From the Special Collections & Institutional Archives:

Historic photographs are often some of our most requested materials at the Reese Library Special Collections and Institutional Archives, as they offer unique opportunities to visualize the past in a way that can be more immediate than text-based archival materials.

A collage of 5 photographs of individuals taken in the early 20th century. Three photos are of young men and two photos are of one infant and one young child.
A variety of family photographs from the newly acquired Ethel Turner Seago Welles photograph collection.

Special Collections and Institutional Archives has recently acquired a new photograph collection, the Ethel Turner Seago Welles photographs, dating to the 1890s-1920s, which features a number of portrait photographs and family photographs from local Augusta families. These photographs offer a window into what life in Augusta would have looked like at the turn of the twentieth century. The portrait photographs also provide a glimpse into Augusta’s business past, as they were all produced by various photography studios along Broad Street during this period.

As the department holds both photograph, and text-based archival collections, the interactions between these two mediums, even if they may not have been created by the same family or individuals, can paint an even more detailed picture of life in Augusta during this era. For example, as a researcher, you can gain a more detailed insight into the era by reading diary entries from this period, as well as consulting historic photographs like the ones in this collection. The acquisition of new photograph collections like the Ethel Turner Seago Welles photographs help us to create even richer resources for faculty, staff, student, and community researchers!

-Kara Flynn, Special Collections Librarian

From the Historical Collections and Archives (HCA):

While some of the manuscript collections held in the Greenblatt Library’s HCA have photographs, the Health Sciences Campus Archives has the largest collection of photographs – 28 boxes of various sizes, approximately 17 linear feet. The majority of these photographs came from the Augusta University Division of Communications and Marketing and were used in different campus publications between the 1950s to the 1990s. The photographs comprise the record group RG18.01 and a finding aid for the photograph collection can be found here.

Remember from last month’s blog a finding aid is a descriptive tool that includes the contents and arrangement of materials in a collection. University archives are typically arranged by record groups based on the collection’s function, office of origin, or format. Within this collection are aerial photographs that illustrate the progression and growth of the Health Sciences Campus, particularly the Augusta University Medical Center. A select few of the aerial photos have been digitized can be viewed online in the Historical Images of the Health Sciences Campus collection in Scholarly Commons, Augusta University’s institutional repository.

-Renée A. Sharrock, Curator

In the below aerial photo, the Newton Building (1) and the majority of the Old University Hospital (2) no longer exist. Only the two wings on each side of the old hospital are still standing. From the left, the first wing is now the Shepheard Building and the last wing is the Jennings Building. The Health Sciences Building stands between these two existing buildings where the Old University Hospital stood. None of the buildings on the right side of the photo (running along Harper Street) are still standing but have been replaced with the Children’s Hospital of Georgia and the Sydenstricker Wing of the AU Medical Center. This photo was taken in 1956 shortly after the AU Medical Center was built.

Aerial photograph taken in 1956 showing the buildings on the Augusta University Health Sciences Campus between Laney Walker Blvd and Harper Street.
1956 Aerial of the Augusta University Health Sciences Campus 1-Newton Building 2-Old University Hospital 3-Kelly Administration Building 4-Murphey Building 5-Dugas Building 6-Augusta University Medical Center

About the Heritage Unit: The University Libraries has a department devoted to the preservation and archival keeping of the campus’ unique histories. The Historical Collections & Archives (HCA) is located on the 2nd floor of the Greenblatt Library on the Health Sciences campus. Special Collections & Institutional Archives is located on the 3rd floor of the Reese Library on the Summerville campus.