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 Kenan Research Center preserves extensive primary source holdings for the study of Atlanta, the surrounding region and the nation during the Civil War. The military history library holdings also include publications on the American Revolution, World War I and World War II.

In particular, Atlanta's role as the focus of one of the Civil War's decisive military campaigns is explored and supported by more than 1,500 volumes regarding the conflict, its cultural perspective and military personnel and equipment. The manuscript collections contain significant first-person accounts documenting life in Atlanta during the Civil War, including the diaries of: Samuel P. Richards, a British bookseller living in Atlanta; Carrie Berry, a ten-year-old girl; Mary Rawson, who writes of the siege of Atlanta; and others.

The collection features two rare book libraries assembled by Atlanta natives Beverly M. DuBose Jr. and Thomas S. Dickey.

Beverly M. DuBose Jr. spent years collecting Civil War artifacts, and he eventually formed the nation's largest private collection. He also assembled a library of more than 1,100 research volumes regarding aspects of his artifact collection, the troops who used them, tactics and the Civil War in general. At the time of his death in 1985, he bequeathed his library and collection to the Atlanta History Center.

Brother of poet and novelist James Dickey, Thomas S. Dickey collected Civil War artifacts and authored a number of books on different aspects of artillery projectiles including fuses, hand grenades, rockets and landmines. His collection focuses on the heavy military ordnance of both the army and navy and contains more than 200 relevant publications.

Kenan Research Center is closed December 23 - 25 and December 31 - January 1. 

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