The distinctive primary source collections at the University of West Georgia's cover the topics of: Georgia's Political Papers and Political Oral History, Humanistic Psychology and Human Consciousness, West Georgia History & Culture, and the University Archives. Through these collections and through our work partnering with other community archives, Special Collections directly supports and enriches research, teaching, and learning at the University of West Georgia and promotes understanding and scholarship by members of the general public and academic communities.

Our Collections

The Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program is comprised of over 3,000 linear feet of archival collections, along with an extensive number of oral history interviews, that document the unique political culture of the state of Georgia. 

The archival holdings include the papers of five U.S. Representatives – Newt Gingrich, Bob Barr, Pat Swindall, Mac Collins, and Lynn Westmoreland – along with Speaker Thomas B. Murphy of the Georgia House of Representatives, Georgia House representative and Carrollton mayor Tracy Stallings, and other state representatives, state senators, political staffers, and political activists. Finding aids for these collections are searchable here.

Oral history interviewees include President Jimmy Carter, U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell, U.S. Senator Herman Talmadge, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, Governor Carl Sanders, Governor Joe Frank Harris, Governor George Busbee, Governor Zell Miller, Governor Roy Barnes, civil rights activist Hosea L. Williams, and many other politicians and political activists. These resources are available via the Digital Library of Georgia.

The University of West Georgia's psychology program is distinguished by its academic specialties in humanistic psychology and parapsychology. In order to support teaching, learning, and research for those unique disciplinary areas, Special Collections actively collects archival materials and printed materials pertaining to human consciousness and humanistic psychology.

Display of bent cutlery from the William G. Roll collection

Notable among these collections are papers of Ingo Swann who coined the term “remote viewing,” along with his book collection; the papers and print collections of Dr. William G. Roll whose area of speciality was psychokinesis (PK) and was on faculty at West Georgia College; the papers of Dr. Stanley Krippner; the David Wayne Hooks library which originated from the Psychical Research Foundation; the papers of scholar Sidney Jourard, who founded the American Association for Humanistic Psychology; Carmi Harari, who founded the Division of Humanistic Psychology within the American Psychology Association; the papers Janet Lee Mitchell who conducted experiments in extrasensory perception and psychokinesis; and the papers of Anne C. Richards who served on Association for Humanistic Education (AHE), trustee for the Field Psych Trust, and surveyed University of West Georgia students’ attitudes towards sexuality from 1981-1999. Also notable are the papers of psychologist Edith Weisskopf-Joelson who studied schizophrenia, alienation and logotherapy.

The topical strengths of the human consciousness collections, which are predominantly 1970s-present, include:

  • Extrasensory perception (ESP)
  • Remote viewing
  • Psychokinesis (PK)
  • Near-death experiences
  • Out-of-body experiences
  • Cosmic art
  • Astrology
  • with smaller holdings in: UFOs, psychedelic drugs, the New Age movement, shamanism, Scientology

Maps, books, oral histories, and archival materials on the people, history, and culture of the West Georgia region highlight the area’s unique contributions in agriculture, education, music and other aspects. Notable materials include shape note hymnals and minutes of singing conventions, the Benjamin M. Long collection from a local insurance agent who photographed many of Carrollton’s buildings from the 1920s to 1960s, and the oral histories conducted by Myron House.

Prospectus of the Tallapoosa Land, Mining & Man’f’g Company, Tallapoosa, Haralson Co., Georgia, 1887Left, Prospectus of the Tallapoosa Land, Mining & Man’f’g Company, Tallapoosa, Haralson Co., Georgia, 1887. Special Collections is building on its West Georgiana collections with the recent acquisition of the Prospectus of the Tallapoosa Land, Mining & Man’f’g Company. This rare 32-page pamphlet was first published in 1887 to promote Tallapoosa in Haralson County as part of the New South’s investment potential for agriculture, cotton, iron, and other natural resources, as well as the amenities of the South’s cities and towns, including Atlanta and Birmingham. 

UWG recognizes the value of West Georgia regional historical societies, genealogical societies, churches and other religious institutions, and other entities for their importance in preserving culturally significant materials. Special Collections partners with local organizations to provide digital preservation consultation and services to ensure archival collections documenting the uniqueness of Georgia culture and the impact everyday people have in shaping our region’s collective memory, are available to the community and researchers for years to come. Community Archives offer opportunities for community members to tell their stories and facilitate the preservation of these stories building archives representative of the people and free of the traditional institutional repository.

Recent Community Archives partnerships:

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society

Thanks to the generous support provided by a Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council grant and a financial gift made by the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, UWG’s Special Collections housed, arranged, and created archival-standards-based finding aids for 13 priority collections.

Carroll County Genealogical Society

With the support of a Digital Library of Georgia Grant, UWG in partnership with the Carroll County Historical Society are pleased to announce the availability of volumes 1 and 2 of Carroll County Georgia Cemeteries and 53 issues of the Carroll County Genealogical Quarterly published from 1980 to 1994.

Carroll County Georgia Cemeteries is a guide to cemeteries in the western (volume 1) and eastern (volume 2) parts of the county published by the Carroll County Genealogical Society. Together they provide transcriptions of names as they appear on tombstones within the 292 cemeteries located in Carroll County. The digitization of these volumes makes family names keyword searchable, which greatly aids researchers’ ability to perform genealogical research in their own homes and other settings.

The Carroll County Genealogical Quarterly (1980-present) is another publication of the Carroll County Genealogical Society that compiles, collects, and creates genealogical information for Carroll County, Georgia. The University of West Georgia’s Ingram Library’s Special Collections has a complete set of these newsletters in which members have written articles on their research into various aspects of the county’s history, which includes information on the land lottery of 1827, Carroll County’s old militia districts, early post offices and postmasters, early settlers and marriages, rural churches and cemeteries, family histories and genealogies, wills and family records transcribed from bibles, census records, ownership of enslaved people of African descent, military history, tax digests, and more. The Carroll County Genealogical Quarterly is an invaluable resource that can be used in learning, teaching, and research of Carroll County history by students, genealogists, local historians, and descendants of Carroll County who live outside of the area.

Keith Bohannan, a professor in the department of history at the University of West Georgia notes: "The books and periodicals being digitized were only published in small numbers and are not easily available to the public outside of the county library or Georgia State Archives. The resources being digitized will be very helpful to people both inside and outside of the community doing genealogical or historical research."

The University Archives sheds light on student life and the academic experience at this institution since its establishment as the Fourth District Agricultural & Mechanical School in 1906 (doors opened in January 1908), through the creation of the West Georgia College in 1933, the name change to State University of West Georgia in January 2005, through its current status as doctoral-granting research university, the University of West Georgia. The University Archives focuses on the historical record of the university, particularly its presidents and vice presidents, notable faculty and student life. Notable materials include the papers of the first president of the university, Irvine S. Ingram, whose long presidency covered the period of World War II and with grant funding from the Rosenwald Foundation created educational programs for the community and expanded the educational opportunities for students in this area of the rural South. Also notable are the papers of past university president, James E. Boyd, which document the integration of the university in summer 1963 and the May 1964 campus visit of Robert F. Kennedy.

Special Collections has digitized nearly all the yearbooks printed during the University's history. Not only has digitizing the yearbooks provided with one-click access to the history of UWG 24/7, but it also preserves the historical information provided by these books for ages to come.

Other great historical documents that have been preserved, including Student Handbooks, Uncatalogs [student handbooks], Freshman Revues, and more can be found on the Internet Archive.

The West Georgian, first published on November 1, 1933 under the direction of Editor Doris West, is the University of West Georgia's (UWG) student newspaper. The publication contains articles on sports, culture, students, campus life, national and international news, and significant issues of the day, along with advertisements from local businesses. Years 1933-2007 can be found at the Digital Library of Georgia.

Additional history compiled for the Centennial Celebration can be found in this web archive.