From Special Collections & Institutional Archives:
In celebration of Black History Month here at Reese Library, I’ve chosen to highlight the finding aid for the Richmond County slave records (1819-1847). It is a fully processed finding aid, and currently being digitized, so it can be more easily accessed by students and community users alike.
The collection is designated MSS 004 and consists of three bound volumes of handwritten records citing individuals in Richmond County who owned slaves. Often, the names of the enslaved persons are recorded as well. The collection was transferred to Reese Library Special Collections by The Augusta Richmond County Museum in 1979. The finding aid is accessible by clicking the “off-campus” or “on-campus” link on the Special Collections section of Reese Library’s homepage.
As part of Reese Library’s celebration of Black History Month, a new exhibit about the career of Frank Yerby, an African-American author from Augusta, has been installed on the third floor outside of Special Collections. A timely reminder: many important resources related to the history of the African-American community in Augusta are housed here, all of which are available to access any time of the year.
-Maranda Christy, Special Collections Assistant
From the Historical Collections and Archives:
Last month the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Concentration and Extermination Camp was observed on January 27, which is also known as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In two months, on April 15, it will be the 75th anniversary of the liberation of another Nazi camp, the Bergen-Belsen Camp. Virgil P. Sydenstricker, MD was one of the most beloved and respected professors at the Medical College of Georgia. He was one of the men who saw first-hand the atrocities of the Bergen-Belsen Camp.
Bergen-Belsen began as a prisoner of war camp in 1940, but by 1943, Jewish civilians were imprisoned at the camp. Bergen-Belsen was designated a concentration camp by December 1944. Anne Frank and her sister Margot died in the Bergen-Belsen camp one month before the camp was liberated by British and Canadian forces.
Sydenstricker was nationally and internationally recognized in the medical fields of hematology and nutrition. During the Second World War, he served as head of the European Nutritional Section of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (1944-1945). It was in this capacity that he served as the medical officer in charge of rehabilitating the malnourished victims of the Nazi Bergen-Belsen concentration camp after it was liberated in April 1945. The below photos are of Sydenstricker’s official papers regarding his entry to the camp.
At some point after the Second World War, Sydenstricker compiled into a scrapbook his personal documents and photographs concerning his service in Europe as well as official photographs of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen camp. This scrapbook is part of the Virgil P. Sydenstricker Collection housed in the Historical Collections and Archives. For more information on Dr. Sydenstricker and his life, please see the finding aid for the Sydenstricker Collection. An exhibit featuring Sydenstricker will be on display soon on the second floor of the Greenblatt Library.
-Renée Sharrock, Curator
About the Heritage Unit: The University Libraries have 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 located on the 3rd floor of the Reese Library on the Summerville campus.