Marker Monday: Hidden Histories

In honor of the 2016-2017 Georgia History Festival, “A State of Innovation,” the October #MarkerMonday posts will focus on the research used to make markers possible as part of Archives Month. Over the course of the month, these posts will talk about examples of how newer research informs and even changes our understanding of places, events, and people.

Forsyth Park Fountain, 2013. Courtesy of Andrew Sherman.

Port of Darien historical marker text, 2015. Courtesy of Matthew Decker.

Port of Darien historical marker text, 2015. Courtesy of Matthew Decker.

This week’s #MarkerMonday shines a light on a collaborative project between the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and the Georgia Historical Society, Hidden Histories. This project has provided a way to expand the narratives told through historical markers, improve the public’s interaction with historical markers, and encourage them to explore Georgia’s historic sites. The Hidden Histories project allows the researcher and the public to see there is often more to the story than what can be covered in the 130-word marker text. Beginning in the spring of 2014, Professor Holly Goldstein’s art history students worked to update and expand information about roadside historical markers.  The students submitted new written content focused on an aspect of the story that is not elaborated on in the marker. Students used historic and contemporary photographs, artwork, maps, and literary resources to create their own original works related to marker subjects.  The students conduct research at the Georgia Historical Society’s Research Center on a marker of their choice, allowing for connections between materials (photographs, maps, artwork, etc.) from the GHS archival collection and the topics of existing markers. Now in its third year, Hidden Histories has contributed a great deal of additional content to the GHS marker database available on our website. This project has also enhanced participating SCAD students’ understanding of their community and the stories it has to tell.

Explore the links below to learn more about Hidden Histories and researching historical markers.

GHS is proud to house an unparalleled collection of Georgia history, including more than 4 million manuscripts, 100,000 photographs, 30,000 architectural drawings, 15,000 rare and non-rare books, and thousands of maps, portraits, and artifacts. The Research Center is open to the public Wednesdays-Fridays from 12-5pm and on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 10am-5pm. The collections can also be accessed by searching the digital collection.

To see which markers have a “hidden history” entry, please visit the Hidden Histories page of the GHS website.

Blog Post by Christy Crisp, GHS Director of Programs, for American Association of State and Local History:

Georgia History Festival:

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