Revisiting and Archiving Civil Rights and Atlanta in the 1960s: Introducing the Mayor Ivan Allen Digital Archive | A Hybrid Symposium

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As Atlanta’s mayor from 1962-1970, Ivan Allen Jr. oversaw a city undergoing tremendous political, social, and economic change, and helped put Atlanta on a path toward becoming the international metropolis it is today. In this 60th anniversary year of Allen’s election, we will look back upon our recent past and consider the crucial importance of archives for documenting Atlanta residents’ experiences in broadly inclusive ways.

Allen’s mayoral papers were digitized in 2016 and have now been made available to the public through an online portal that features an NEH-funded, custom-built search interface – but viewing these official records raises important questions about whose experiences and points of view are most often prioritized and preserved for posterity.   

This one-day symposium will formally introduce the Mayor Ivan Allen Digital Archive, while at the same time exploring the intersection of archives, Atlanta history, and art. The sessions will showcase how communities are preserving their experiences in ways that encourage us to creatively think about the future of archives.    

The program will include panels on Atlanta community-archival partnerships and the Legacy Makers’ project to commemorate the Ivan Allen and Maynard Jackson mayoralties, along with keynote lectures by artist/computer scientist Brian Foo and historian Tomiko Brown-Nagin, author of a newly released biography on Constance Baker Motley who successfully prosecuted the first test case of the 1964 Civil Rights Act right here in Atlanta against Lester Maddox’s Pickrick Restaurant. 


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Jason Wright
  • Created:02/11/2022
  • Modified By:Jason Wright
  • Modified:02/11/2022