Atlanta History Center’s Kenan Research Center is excited to announce that the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) at the National Archives has awarded us a $137,554 Archival Projects Grant to rehouse, arrange, and create publicly accessible finding aids for collections that document populations and land use in and around Atlanta. NHPRC awarded these funds to “projects that promote access to America’s historical records to encourage understanding of our democracy, history, and culture.”
The collections will help researchers tell stories about the impacts of segregation and redlining on Black Atlantans over much of the 20th century because Atlanta’s history provides essential insight into regional and national trends related to land and home ownership and race relations. For example, the codification of redlining laws in the 1930s, the legal and social disenfranchisement created by these redlining laws through the 20th century, and the demolition of Black neighborhoods to make way for urban renewal in the end of the 20th century and into the 21st.
AHC will be processing the Atlanta Real Estate Board appraisals, Atlanta Urban Design Commission records, Atlanta Urban Design Commission visual arts materials, and the Atlanta Department of City Planning records. Together these collections provide a multi-faceted insight into historic gentrification and land use in Atlanta, which in many ways exemplify national trends. Atlanta Real Estate Board appraisals demonstrate how a private corporate approached land value. Atlanta Department of City Planning records provide insight into how the city approached similar questions, as well as how citizens did, or did not, benefit from laws and regulations. Atlanta Urban Design Commission records document which neighborhoods the city prioritized preserving. The visual material in the appraisals and the Atlanta Urban Design Commission visual material contain photographs from a variety of neighborhoods during the mid-to-late 20th century, which offers many opportunities for comparison over time in different neighborhoods.
Keep your eye out for further information about this grant because we will be writing blog and social media posts and hosting five webinars in 2024–2025 about home and land research!