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Special Collections

Location: 5th Floor
Phone: 404.730.1896

The Genealogy Collection is one of two separate collections within the Special Collections Department. The Department also contains the Georgia History Collection, materials on the history and culture of Atlanta, Georgia and the Southeast, including the Margaret Mitchell Exhibit.


Online Gallery of Photographic Images of Fulton County Commissioners

Chronological List of Members of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners
Gallery of Commissioners by Terms Beginning 1880-1900
Gallery of Commissioners by Terms Beginning 1900-1931
Gallery of Commissioners by Terms Beginning 1932-1961
Gallery of Commissioners by Terms Beginning 1961-1991
Gallery of Commissioners by Terms Beginning 1992-Present

Using Our Genealogy Resources
Focus of the Genealogy Collection
Arrangement of the Collection
Indexes, Directories and Non-Book Resources
Reference Service & How to Contact Us
Pathfinders to Our Collection
Resources Outside Our Collection

Focus of the Genealogy Collection
All books in the Genealogy Collection have a call number beginning with GEN R. The Genealogy Collection contains sources whose emphasis is on Georgia. However some sources contain information on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and other states throughout the United States. More limited resources are available for some foreign countries. In general, the more people a state has contributed to Georgia, the more materials we will have on that state. We offer county histories; family histories; limited indexes to wills, deeds, military rosters, passenger lists, and other documents; and Atlanta city directories. Census records for Georgia 1820 through 1880, and 1900 through 1930 are available on microfilm, as well as local histories and a collection of Georgia newspapers. We do not hold vital records such as birth and death certificates.

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Arrangement of the Collection
The Genealogy Collection has both books and non-book resources. The books are arranged as described in the following paragraph. (See also our Indexes, Directories, Periodicals and Non-book Resources.)

The main section of books in the Genealogy Collection is arranged as follows:
• GEN R 929.1 - Books of a general nature, especially "how-to" books. (But how-to books dealing with a specific geographic area go with the geographic area under GEN R 929.3.)

• GEN R 929.2 - Individual Family Histories A to Z.

• GEN R 929.3 - Genealogy books covering geographic areas, e.g. states.
(See How the state sections are organized below.)

• GEN R 970's - Books which are as much history as genealogy. For example, if your ancestors are from North Carolina, begin with the main North Carolina genealogy section at GEN R 929.3756 -- but don't overlook the North Carolina materials at GEN R 975.6. Additional information can be found in our vertical files and in periodicals.

• Other sections within the Genealogy Collection include
GEN R 369 - DAR Materials. Gazetteers and other general works on geography are at GEN R 910-917, and at the service desk.

How the State Sections & Other Areas are Arranged
As a rule, genealogical books dealing with a single geographic area, such as one state, are shelved under the section for that area. Items concerned with broader areas will be shelved under the next larger geographic area. For example a book covering South Carolina will be in GEN R 929.3757 (South Carolina) but a book covering North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia will be in the next broader section, GEN R 939.375 (Southeastern U.S.). A book about states in more than one region will be found in 929.373 (U.S.A. in general). The sign at the end of each aisle will guide you to major divisions of the collection.

Within each state, a section contains county histories, limited indexes to vital records (not the vital records themselves), and abstracts of wills, deeds, land lotteries, and cemetery records. For states for which we hold many books, books concerned with a single county are arranged alphabetically by county under the call number for the state. Preceding the individual counties' section are the books that deal with more than one county or the whole state. We also have a "U.S.A. in General" section which may offer more material on your state.

Some of the main subsections for the geographically arranged section are as follows:
• GEN R 929.373 - U.S.A. in General
• GEN R 929.374 - Northeastern U.S.
• GEN R 929.375 - Southeastern U.S.
o GEN R 929.3755 - Virginia
o GEN R 929.3756 - North Carolina
o GEN R 929.3757 - South Carolina
o GEN R 929.3758 - GEORGIA
o GEN R 929.3759 - Florida
• GEN R 929.376 - South Central U.S. including
o GEN R 929.3761 - Alabama
o GEN R 929.3762 - Mississippi
o GEN R 929.3768 - Tennessee
• GEN R 929.377 thru 929.379 - Middle and Western U.S.

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Indexes, Directories and Non-Book Resources
Many of the following resources serve both as genealogy resources and general Georgia history resources:
Atlanta City Directories from 1867, Atlanta Telephone Directories from 1946 and Criss-Cross Directories from 1946
Census records for Georgia, 1820-1880, 1900-1930. In addition to the printed census indexes, we have the Soundex for the Georgia census for 1880 and 1900-1930
Other indexes to wills, deeds, marriages and divorces, military rosters and passengers lists and immigration lists
Biographical Index Card File compiled in the 1930's on prominent Georgians of the past
Periodical Collection of local and national genealogical and historical publications.
Georgia Newspapers on microfilm, primarily an historical collection from the Atlanta area such as The Atlanta Georgian, some other Civil War-era Georgia newspapers, and Atlanta-area neighborhood community papers and alternative ("underground") papers such as the Neighbor newspapers, Creative Loafing and The Great Speckled Bird. See holdings.
Vertical files on all aspects of Georgia/Atlanta history and genealogical topics
Map collection, containing topographical and historical maps of Atlanta and Georgia.
Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System archival records dating back to the 1860's
Rare Book Room

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Reference Services and How to Contact Us
Special Collections is a special reference and research collection and none of our books or other materials in the department may be checked out. However, there are circulating copies of some of our books elsewhere in the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, including in other departments here at the Central Library.

Please feel free to contact us by phone at 404.730.1896 or by mail:

Special Collections
Atlanta-Fulton Public Library
One Margaret Mitchell Square
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

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Pathfinders to Our Resources
The Special Collections librarians' Genealogy Pathfinders are guides to the resources in our collection and offer suggestions to help you get started in your research project. Free copies of these bibliographic guides are available as brochures next to the department's reference desk. Our most popular pathfinders include:
• Genealogy Pathfinder for Beginners
• Genealogy Pathfinder for African-American research
• Genealogy Pathfinder for Native American research
• Genealogy Pathfinder for Missing persons

To see these brochures and other information about our collection click here and look for the document icon.

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Resources Outside our Collection and on the Internet
No one collection will ever contain all the genealogical information you need. We can refer you to sources for county, state, and federal documents, and help you identify historical organizations, museums, public libraries and other institutions.

Special Collections librarians have also put together a Guide to Additional Atlanta & Georgia Resources for Genealogical Research that you may find helpful. Our librarians have also compiled a Search Guide to Genealogy Resources on the Internet.

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