Kenan Research Center

Kenan Research Center

The Original Search Engine

Want to learn about your neighborhood's past? Did your family come over on the Mayflower? Find out answers to these questions and more at Kenan Research Center. It's easy to get lost in the aisles or dive into our databases. That's not a bad thing — we encourage it. Just come in and we'll help you get started!

The James G. Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center offers expanded public research space with open access to archival resources for the study of Atlanta and southern regional history and culture. The 42,000 square foot library possesses over 15,000 cubic feet of records, including 33,000 published volumes, more than 2,000 manuscript and photograph collections, and 7,800 rolls of microfilm.

The Kenan Research Center collects primary and secondary source materials in all formats conveying the history of Atlanta and the culture of the American South. Other areas of interest include: Regional decorative arts and design and its influences; African-American history and the Civil Rights movement; Atlanta politics; southern cooking; gay and lesbian historical studies; regional photography and the history of photography; Regional folk art and folklore; transportation and economic development.

The Kenan Research Center includes a series of special libraries including: the Cherokee Garden Library of southern gardening, botany, landscape design and agriculture; the Philip T. Shutze and Harvey M. Smith libraries of architecture, decorative arts and design; the Beverly M. DuBose Jr. and Thomas S. Dickey libraries on the Civil War and military ordnance; and the Sons of the American Revolution genealogy collections.

The Kenan Research Center is a member of the Society of American Archivists, American Library Association, Atlanta Regional Consortium for Higher Education, Society of Georgia Archivists, and the Georgia Library Association.

Curious about guidelines for using the Kenan Research Center? Check out our FAQs.

For more information, please call 404.814.4040 or email

Holiday Hours

Kenan Research Center is closed November 22-28, December 23-26, and January 31-2.

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