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Southern Labor Archives: Curriculum for the PATCO Records: Lesson 4: Tour of PATCO Digital Collections


The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the PATCO online digital collections interface at Georgia State University.


The Tasks

  • Students will follow instructor on a tour of the PATCO Digital Collections found at the Georgia State University Library website. Students will navigate on their own computers or view an overhead projector.

  • Students will read handout for research using primary sources from Lesson 3.

  • This lesson requires classroom internet access.

The Process

  1. If you have not done Lesson 3, please review the Lesson 3 Handout “Using Archival Finding Aids” found in Lesson Resource Packet 3.

  2. Navigate to the Georgia State University Library website .

  3. Choose the “Collections & Archives” Tab.

  4. Choose “Digital Collections” under the “Collections & Archives” tab.

  5. At the GSU Digital Collections landing page you may scroll down to choose the appropriate link to the collection of your choice:

  6. At the GSU Digital Collections landing page, choose the link for the collection of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO):

  7. You may enter Search Terms, Browse, or Select a Series at the PATCO Digital Collections landing page .

  8. When you choose to Browse the collection, the PATCO folders are displayed in order by Identifier (Series, Box, Folder). The Title and Date of Original is also presented. This arrangement reflects the arrangement of the PATCO finding aid. (See Lesson 3)

  9. The menu to the left allows for Searching and Browsing within specific digital collections at GSU.

  10. Browsing and Searching can also be narrowed by Series in the PATCO Digital Collection.

  11. For example, if you just want to Browse Series V: Strike Files you may choose this link for easy filtering:

  12. You will see breadcrumbs to track how you are filtering your search.

  13. You may then browse through the PATCO folders or choose a title link to view the contents.

  14. For efficient use of the Search function you may enter a specific Identifier in the Search Box, if you have read the finding aid and know the specific Identifier you want.

    In this example, the Identifier is for the first folder of the first box of the 5th PATCO series: PATCO_05_01_01.

  15. You may then click the title link to display the folder contents.  You will see breadcrumbs to indicate what you have searched.

  16. You may also use the Search function to search for a specific folder title, if you have read the finding aid and found a specific title you know you want to find.

    In this example, the title “Dismissed Controllers, 1972” is in the Search Box of the PATCO Digital Collection landing page.

  17. The results from our title search produce some individual pages and then the complete PATCO file for “Dismissed Controllers, 1972.” The PATCO thumbnail, with the associated Identifier and Description, is an indication that the entire folder has been returned from the search. Again, please use the breadcrumbs to help track where you are in your search.

  18. Once you have chosen a file from your Search or Browse, you may scroll through the thumbnails at the right to preview pages.
    • Clicking on a page highlights it in yellow and displays it.
    • The pages of the file are noted at the top right of the first column.
    • Social media sharing links and a permanent reference URL for research citations are provided.
    • You are also provided a full description of the archival folder.

    This example uses the results from the Identifier search for PATCO_05_01_01.

  19. The “View PDF & Text” function allows for full screen viewing of the folder and contents.
    • Any text that is readable to the software is in the left column. You may hide this text with the “Hide Text” tab.
    • A carousel of the folder pages scroll along the bottom for previewing and ease of research, but you may “Hide” this feature as well.
    • You may also add comments or share the document via email.

  20. To save the PDF to your own computer or device, you have the option of downloading the entire PDF.


Downloadable files

Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and Archives
Southern Labor Archives

Phone: (404) 413-2880
Fax: (404) 413-2881

Mailing Address:
Special Collections & Archives
Georgia State University Library
100 Decatur Street, SE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3202

In Person:
Library South, 8th floor

Employee Directory

Digitization of the PATCO records funded by: