The Georgia Archives Institute was founded in 1967 by Carroll Hart, Director of the Georgia Department of Archives and History (1964-1982). Lacking the funds to send staff to the National Archives Institute in Washington, D.C., Ms. Hart brought in prominent archivists to teach archival theory and the role of the modern archivist. She saw the need for basic instruction for beginners in the profession. At first the program was intended for the Georgia Archives staff, but it was soon expanded to include attendees from other institutions. The first official session was in August of 1967, with students traveling around the state visiting repositories, courthouses, and other institutions housing records.
Today, the Georgia Archives Institute is recognized throughout the archival community as one of the primary vehicles through which beginning archivists and students can learn theoretical and practical knowledge of modern archives. Many types and sizes of archival and educational institutions continue to be partners in the Georgia Archives Institute, ensuring that students are exposed to a broad range of perspectives and thus will be adaptable in the workforce.
In 2016, the Georgia Archives Institute received the Society of American Archivists’ Distinguished Service Award at their annual meeting in Atlanta. This prestigious award recognizes an archival institution, education program, nonprofit organization, or government organization that has provided outstanding service to its public and has made an exemplary contribution to the archives profession.