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Popular Culture Collection

This guide documents the Popular Culture collection housed in Special Collections and Archives.

Expanding Current Collecting Areas

Graphic of the word Zap

Special Collections is the fortunate repository of many important collections, such as the Popular Culture Literature collection, Alan Dion collection, WSB Radio records, 7 Stages Theatre records, and more. However, in some collecting areas, we still endeavor to complete dense, meaningful networks of associated records. We are particularly eager to supplement existing collections in the following areas:

  • Comic books and collections from Atlanta and Southern-based authors, artists, and publishers
  • Radio broadcasting and podcasts on a variety of topics
  • TV broadcasting, reporters, and journalists
  • Atlanta and Southern theaters

Collection Priorities and New Collecting Areas

Graphic of an early computer with a mouse attachedIn the next five years, we plan to pursue collecting partnerships with individuals and organizations who have created documentation related to the following areas:

  • Video games and the gaming industry
  • Graphic artists
  • Street art and artists
  • Graphic novels, manga, zines, and speculative fiction
  • Film and media


Highly Desired Documentation and Historical Materials

These examples are meant to provide guidance and are not exhaustive.

  • Personal reflections on life, work, or important events
    Diaries and journals, personal correspondence (paper and email), memoirs, scrapbooks and other memory books, blogs, recordings of conversations or events; websites; social media
  • Documentation of an artist/author’s creative process
    Drafts of writing, sketches, other preparatory work, statements
  • Direct evidence of significant events or work in the life of a person or organization
    Photographs, press releases, speeches and other prepared remarks, unique research materials
  • Evidence of the friendship, love, and family networks that influence an individual
    Correspondence, social media, documentation of family life, photographs
  • Rare published materials related to our collecting areas (e.g., magazines, zines, and newspapers).
  • Collected ephemera (e.g., buttons, signs, posters, bumper stickers)
  • Sound and video recordings related to individual’s work, the organization, and/or our collecting areas

Chronological Periods Collected

1900 to present


Geographical Areas Collected

Primarily the Southeastern United States, with a strong emphasis on Georgia and the Atlanta metro area


Oral Histories

Special Collections and Archives actively collects oral histories related to its Popular Culture collections. For information about contributing an oral history, please contact the Music and Popular Culture archivist.

How to Donate

If interested in donating popular culture materials to Special Collections and Archives, reach out to the Music & Popular Culture Archivist.

Georgia State University is happy to accept donations that fall within its collection scope. Any collection accepted commits us to the task of organizing and preserving it, which involves hand labor and costs for archival supplies. Donors are encouraged to include a monetary donation to fund the cost of processing and preserving their materials. Certain objects (especially plaques and trophies), artwork, and other museum-like materials may be refused due to a lack of resources and minimal research value for our patrons.

When a donation is accepted, a deed of gift must be signed by the donor specifying the materials to be donated. This deed of gift will be negotiated between the donor and Georgia State University. Special conditions may be specified by the donor, but GSU Special Collections and Archives may refuse any donation in which it deems the conditions of use overly restrictive.

The GSU Special Collection and Archives discourages:

  • Materials that are irreparably damaged or infested by insects or mold.
  • Materials in which the donor's ownership is in question or disputed.
  • Duplicate materials due to lack of space.
  • Collections that contain materials that do not fit within the scope of our collection areas.
  • Copies, digital or physical, of materials donated to another repository.
  • Collections for which the Archives is unable to provide sufficient support to preserve and provide access to archival records.
  • Collections for which the Archives is unable to provide suitable space, staffing, supplies, and equipment.
  • Material placed on permanent loan, and will not assume liability for materials not owned by Georgia State University.

While any one of the above attributes does not constitute a compelling reason for refusing a collection, the acquisition of a collection with one or more of these deficiencies may be refused or temporarily delayed. During periods of severe deficiency in resources, the GSU Special Collections and Archives will give priority to new accessions of University records whenever possible.

Donors may make arrangements to examine the material they have donated and can be given a copy of any inventories, finding aids, or other research materials produced by Special Collections and Archives about the donated material.

Georgia State University is a nonprofit organization and has been granted tax-exempt status by the IRS. Donations may qualify as tax-deductible. This, however, does not permit the archives staff to appraise gifts. Under IRS regulations, no library, archive, or museum can perform an appraisal. A list of qualified appraisers will be provided upon request.

Access and Use

All collections will be made accessible to researchers through finding aids, databases, digital collections, and our website as appropriate.  Some collections may not be disseminated publicly via the web due to copyright restrictions.  Those collections will only be accessible onsite during our regular reading room hours. 

Some collections may be used for public exhibits on Georgia State University campuses, however, we will not commit to specific exhibition requests from donors.  Exhibits will be created and disseminated at the discretion of the collection archivist.