Housing Instability in Atlanta and the Surrounding Area

This guide provides resources to assist with research & instruction that focuses on housing instability in Atlanta and the surrounding area.

Using Archives to Contextualize Research

What are Archives?

The word "archives" is used in many different ways in everyday conversation, but on this guide archives refers to the the meanings defined by the Society of American Archivists and other professional archives organizations. In short, there are three main meanings of archives:

  • Archives are records that are deemed to be "permanently valuable" and can include letters, manuscripts, photographs, diaries, technical reports and other kinds of documentary material. These records are created by people or organizations, such as businesses or government agencies.
  • Archives can also mean an institution dedicated to collecting and preserving these permanently valuable records. Special Collections & Archives at Georgia State University is an example of this kind of meaning of the word.
  • Archives can also be used to refer to the physical building or location where the archival material is stored.

Why are Archives important for your research?

Like libraries, archives exist to make their collections available and accessible to researchers. Archives, however, differ in their collecting scope. In other words, archives collect materials, either published or unpublished, that are special, unique, or rare. These materials are the primary sources that document historical and social events, movements, and processes. Visiting and using the collections in an archival repository gives you access to unique, primary evidence, providing depth and a solid foundation for your original research. Archival records are also particularly important for understanding long-term trends and the history of issues such as homelessness or housing.

Activist Ed Loring in front of Open Door Community's Ponce de Leon location, 1990. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographs, held at GSU Special Collections & Archives. (AJCP455-148c)

University Collections

The following is a list of selected collections available at Special Collections & Archives at Georgia State University Library. This list is not meant to be exhaustive.

Atlanta-Based Collections

The following are selected resources available at other archives in the Atlanta area. This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

Special Collections & Archives

This LibGuide only provides a sampling of the many great collections available at GSU Special Collections & Archives and in local Atlanta repositories.

For further assistance, please contact Joshua Hogan, Archivist for Atlanta Civic & Neighborhood History, at jhogan18@gsu.edu or (404) 413-2893.

Special Collections and Archives Department

Phone: (404) 413-2880
Fax: (404) 413-2881
E-Mail: archives@gsu.edu

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