Category Archives: Archives & Archivists
The 53rd Girl Scouts National Convention came to a close yesterday in Salt Lake City, Utah. It took place October 16 – 19 and this year’s theme was “Discover, Connect, Take Action: Girls Change the World!” At each and every Girl Scout National Convention speakers and entertainers from across the country and globe lead sessions and offer numerous opportunities for personal and professional development as well of lots of Girl Scout networking. Many people, from GSUSA CEO Anna Marie Chavez to the famous exhibition basketball team, Harlem Globetrotters, were there this year to help facilitate the learning for volunteers and staff from Girl Scout Councils across the country in fun and interesting ways!
One of our very own committee members, Pamela Nye, was at this year’s National Convention representing the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives Committee! She not only attended the 2014 Girl Scout History Conference that took place right before the convention on October 14 – 16, but she presented there too! Pam gave 2 presentations, one was an Archives 101 for Girl Scout volunteers all about how to easily create and organize your archives collection and the other was about metadata, how to easily create information and descriptions for any stored data and archives that Councils may already have. She also served on several panels answering questions about archival practices and how they apply to your own troop and council.
Did you know that 9 years ago, in 2005, the 50th Girl Scout National Convention was held here in Atlanta? At the time, before the nation-wide council mergers of 2008, there were 8 Girl Scout Councils in Georgia. The 3 Greater Atlanta area councils that hosted the 2005 convention were the Council of Northwest Georgia, Northeast Georgia, and Pine Valley. The 2005 convention was held October 7 – 10 and while the Girl Scout History Conference was not held before the convention that year, one of the presentations in the Hall of Exhibits that year was “Girl Scouts Make History,” where you could learn all about Daisy, the house in Savannah in which she grew up, and lots of other things like vintage uniforms, dolls, and other collectibles.
It has already been announced that the 54th National Girl Scout Convention in 2017 is going to be held in Columbus, Ohio, and the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives blog will have more info as it becomes available! We can’t wait and hope to see you there!
Tomorrow, October 7th, the GSGATL History and Archives Committee is 25 years young! During these 25 years, the collection of artifacts that were gathered together by Girl Scout volunteers has grown from just a couple of boxes to our now practically overflowing archives room at the Mableton Service Center.
Much of the same things that we discuss at our meetings today were on the agenda for that first meeting. Questions were asked, such as, “How can we share our history with the public? How can the public help us?” and “How can we reach council members and scouts?” Our priority has always been and continues to be sharing our heritage and getting our history out there for all to learn.
From the very beginning, the Archives Committee has been comprised solely of volunteers who are passionate about collecting and preserving documents, photos, and other items regarding our Girl Scout heritage in order to share with others. Out of the original six volunteers who met on that fall Saturday in 1989, one member, Mary Ann Milton, is still very active in the committee. A vital part of our committee, Mary Ann is shown here wearing a mid-century vintage Girl Scout uniform as she helps represent the committee at the Girl Scout Volunteer Leadership Conference held at the Cobb Galleria in Marietta, Ga. on August 9th, 2014.
The vast majority of our collection today has come from interested people just like you! One of our mottoes is “Your Trash is Our Treasure!” What you might think is unimportant could very well be that special item that we’ve been looking for! That Daisy uniform that you just no longer have room for in that crowded coat closet? That childhood Brownie handbook gathering dust on the shelf? Old cookie prizes that your daughter doesn’t play with anymore? Pins and badges that you came across at the local thrift store? Every little thing is appreciated and valued.
We also offer information for anyone that might be interested in preserving history for themselves or their troop and/or Service Unit. We can answer questions such as “What is cataloging? Accession? What is meant by acid-free paper, etc.? Where can I get training to learn archival techniques?” We’re also always looking for new members for our committee! Are you interested in the past? Are you interested in Girl Scouting’s past? Just want to give your time to Girl Scouts in an incredible way? Please contact us!
Here at the GSGATL Archives Committee, we hope we’re around for at least another 25 years! We can’t wait to celebrate many more birthdays with you. Girl Scouts always have and always will Make History!
October is Georgia Archives Month! During this month we celebrate the value of Georgia’s historical records, share how they enrich our lives, and acknowledge the people who preserve and maintain them, such as those of us here on the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta History and Archives Committee!
Our committee is comprised completely of volunteers- adults and older Girl Scouts- who understand how important it is to keep a detailed record and collection of Atlanta’s Girl Scouting past.* We want Girl Scouts of today to feel connected to the Girl Scouts of yesterday and realize just where it is that they come from. “Honor the Past, Celebrate the Future” and “Girl Scouts Make History” are our mottoes here at the GSGATL Archives. Juliette Gordon Low herself understood how important our past is to our future when she said, “The work of today is the history of tomorrow and we are its makers.”
Juliette’s birthday, October 31st, is known as Founder’s Day. There is a display currently up at the Switzer Library’s (formerly Central Library) Georgia Room in Marietta, Georgia that celebrates Georgia Archives Month and Girl Scouts together! If you’re in the Marietta area, swing by and take a look! Learn a little about the history of Cobb County and Greater Atlanta Girl Scouting and see some of the items that the Georgia Room has in its collection. The display will be up until November 1st.
*If you are interested in volunteering in the GSGATL Archives or donating any materials to us, please contact us at GirlScoutArchivesAtlanta@gmail.com! We always appreciate any help and can’t wait to hear from you!
It starts with us!
This past weekend, on Saturday, August 9th, was the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Volunteer Leadership Conference. Where you there? We were! The GSGATL History and Archives Committee had a booth set up all day long sharing info and educating everyone about who we are and what we do! Everyone had a lot of fun spreading the word about what the Archives can do to help volunteers grow and strengthen their leadership experience.
The Volunteer Leadership Conference was held at the Cobb Galleria off of Cobb Parkway, near Marietta, Ga. It focused on learning experiences and how volunteers and leaders can make the most of their knowledge of Girl Scouting while facilitating the volunteers of tomorrow.
Archive committee members educated leaders about the many items we have in the collection that can help them and their troops complete programs and earn badges. For example, did you know that in the Archives we have resource boxes for each age level that will help you complete the history portion of the Girl Scout Way badge?
How has our Girl Scout Law changed over the years? Our uniform? Our ceremonies? Our songs? We can help you learn all about the traditions of our Girl Scout Sisters of the past and how they relate to Girl Scouts of today, then share your new found knowledge with your troop or other Girl Scout leaders and volunteers!
If you missed this year’s Conference, we welcome all of you to make some time to come by the Mableton Service Center and see what we have to offer for you and your Scouts!
By now, those of you on the Girl Scout History Listserv will have heard about the announcement from National:
The Girl Scout National Historic Preservation Center (NHPC) is pleased to announce that History Conference 2013 will take place at Edith Macy Conference Center (EMCC/Macy), Briar Cliff Manor, New York, from Monday, 9 September through Wednesday, 11 September 2013.
This conference is perfect for those starting or maintaining a GS Council Archives, and who have never been an archivist before. Be sure to mark your calendars and send someone from your Council to attend. It will be a great conference, and we will be posting more details as we have them.
At the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives, we spent the week discussing many issues, as our monthly meeting was taking place the day after Girl Scout Week was complete (March 10-16, 2013). Today, we had a work day sorting posters in our collection and seeing what sorts of duplicates we might have. As in many Archives collections, we found posters that were great but also damaged through age as well as regular wear and tear.
How, might you ask, do these volunteers deal with such a problem? In the past, tape was often used to bind the edges (or middles) together. Today, there are products on the market labeled as “archives tape” or “framers tape.” What you want to remember is:
“Don’t DO anything that you can’t UNDO.”
Tape is tape–there are adhesive and chemicals involved. The special tapes have a lower amount of these than commercially available tape, but none of these are perfectly safe for long-term use.
So what can we do, you may ask? If the item is small enough, you may wish to encapsulate the item between two sheets of mylar. A great description of this process is on the State Archives of Florida site. However, if the item is very large, such as the posters in question, you may wish to store them flat in a large, oversize alkaline folder and try to handle as little as possible. If it is a popular item, have it scanned and make a “use copy” for researchers, volunteers, or exhibits.
If you have further questions about this topic, archives products, or vendors, we’ll be happy to help. We’d love to hear about your favorite Council poster!
Atlanta’s First Black Girl Scouts: The Untold Story of the District V Girl Scout Troops
Sunday, June 10, 2012. 3:00 p.m.
The Auburn Avenue Research Library will host Atlanta’s First Black Girl Scouts: The Untold Story of the District V Girl Scout Troops. This community discussion will highlight the experiences of Atlanta’s first African American Girl Scout troops, and honor the achievements of Bazoline Usher, Phyllis Dews, and Roslyn Pope.
Usher led the group of African American women who founded Atlanta’s first troops for girls of color in 1943. Dews was the second Field Director of District V. Pope was the 1953 Senior Girl Scout All State Camper and had numerous accomplishments in her Girl Scout career.
This event will also include displays of photographs, Girl Scout memorabilia, pins and vintage uniforms pieces from the 1940 – 50’s that reflect District V’s achievements in scouting.
A Senior from Troop 1368 at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta will be in a uniform from that era and serve as moderator for the discussion. This picture was taken at their cookie booth sale on Girl Scout Sunday, March 11, 2012.
The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History is located at 101 Auburn Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30303; Tel: 404-730-4001. All events are free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!
This past Tuesday was a busy one for not only the History and Archives Committee, but the whole Council. In a wonderful turn of events, the Council hosted the CEO of GSUSA, Anna Maria Chavez, at the 100th Anniversary Time Capsule Dedication and Girl Scout Day ceremonies. The committee decided to wear some of the original and replica uniforms to honor the occasion. Several attendees at the event enjoyed learning about the uniforms and the history behind them. The committee were asked several times to pose for cameras, and we happily obliged.
The first event, held at Camp Timber Ridge, began with a great talk from Anna Maria Chavez. It was great to hear her perspective and plans for the Girl Scouts. She was energetic, lively, and very committed to making Girl Scouts the best place to be for girls. Afterwards, in our chat with her, we were glad to hear that she is a history buff as well.
Afterwards, all of the event participants headed back to the Council offices for the 100th Anniversary Time Capsule dedication. The Archives committee had been working for several months with Council staff to make this the best time capsule we could possibly make. Not only were Council items and 100th GS Anniversary memorabilia included, the Council reached out to current Girl Scouts of all levels and asked them to contribute an item they thought significant.
Linda Bishop, chair of the Archives Committee presented to Anna Maria Chavez and Marilyn Midyette, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, our “Girl Scouts Make History” pin, as our thanks and appreciation for working together with the committee. As you can see from the picture, Linda presented the pins in her traditional manner.
Pamela Nye gave a short speech on the importance of time capsules, and of the Archives’ role in keeping safe not only the list of items enclosed in the capsule, but the location of the capsule as well. Too many time capsules have been lost or forgotten, and we do not intend for this one to suffer that same fate. The life span of electronic records is amazingly brief, so any audio, video, or electronic records will be held in the Council Archives for safekeeping, and to be able to migrate the records to whatever the next medium will be. We also want the current Girl Scouts, adult volunteers, and interested researchers to be able to access this information. All the items that were placed inside the time capsule are either eye readable records or cloth materials that won’t break down over time. A full list of contents will be posted soon.
One of the more interesting uniforms was worn by TaMara Powell. In the United States, this white uniform was only worn in the South, due to the extreme heat. It was officially recommended for use in 1920. It consisted of a white middy blouse, skirt, shoes and stockings, a black or colored tie, a khaki hat, and armband. (The light blue tie was added in 1922.) The uniform was made of lighter weight material and was only approved for use as requested. It was never available in a catalog, but was approved for use in the Southern U.S. states, Puerto Rico, Hawai’i, Panama, and the Phillipines. [For more information about uniforms, please see the Girl Scout Collector’s Guide by Mary Degenhardt and Judith Kirsch, 2005.]
The event was a great success, and we were glad to see so many people come out and celebrate this momentous occasion. Here are a few news stories about the event.
We love to keep up with what our committee members are accomplishing. Gigi Baroco, a founding member of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives, is creating a new exhibit on 100 years of Girl Scouts, which will be available on March 12, 2012, at the History Museum of Mobile (Alabama). Since 2007, she has been the historian for the Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama, and has been a Girl Scout for 45 years. From Gigi:
“Girl Scouts all over the world are connected by traditions, friendships and vision, but each Girl Scout council has its own history because of its culture and geography. The Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama is comprised of 30 counties: eight from Deep South, fifteen from South Central Alabama, and seven from Pine Valley, Concharty and Cottaquilla councils. We have a history of Mariner troops in our coastal areas, troops involved in state government in the Montgomery area and animal husbandry and agricultural activities in our rural areas. Unique to Mobile is the Junior Miss pageant and for many years troops have adopted Junior Misses.
Alabama also has many rich archaeological sites around which encampments were held for 25 years. We are digging up our past through scrapbooks, photos and personal stories and are developing visuals that showcase our history. In addition to our council history, we are collecting items that have appeared over the years in the GSUSA equipment catalogs. Our museum collection began with a major donation from the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta for which we are very grateful. We are using these items in exhibits, fashion shows of vintage uniforms, and shadowboxes that can be easily transported to various venues. Each shadowbox has a theme and includes vintage newspaper articles featuring Girl Scouts as well as Girl Scout awards and memorabilia related to the articles. These shadowboxes along with enlarged photos, mannequins in vintage uniforms, and Girl Scout memorabilia from our collection will be in an exhibit room at the Museum of Mobile opening on March 12th.
We are looking forward to having programs for girls such as Victorian tea parties, signaling demonstrations, and other vintage badge activities as our fledgling museum develops.
This anniversary year, a “Discovering Our 100-Year History” patch program was designed to help Girl Scouts celebrate the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A and to develop an appreciation of how their council became what it is today. The requirements fall under three categories: Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. history, Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama history, and a Girl Scout history-related service project. Additionally, a “Vintage” patch program was designed for girls to learn skills taken from Girl Scout badges from the past and to see how much life has changed over the last 100 years. Activities have been lifted from the Signaller badge, the Health Guardian Badge, the Homemaker badge and many others.
If you have questions, comments or donations, please contact Gigi Baroco at email@example.com.”
We are grateful to have such a knowledgeable and dedicated volunteer on our History/Archives Committee. If you are in the Mobile, Alabama, area, please take the time to go see this wonderful exhibit!