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About the Georgia Heritage Room

Augusta-Richmond County Public Library
Georgia Heritage Room
823 Telfair Street
Augusta, Georgia 30901

Monday-Friday, 10:00am-5:00pm
Saturday, 1:00pm-5:00pm
Closed Sundays

The Georgia Heritage Room is a resource center for historical and genealogical study, located on the third floor of the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library. The repository houses an extensive collection of local, county, and Georgia history resources, as well as genealogy materials, including print resources and microfilm. The library subscribes to a variety of online databases for historical and genealogical research, such as Ancestry Library Edition, Heritage Quest and Digital Library of Georgia.  The collection also holds materials from some surrounding states including South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Because the Augusta Public Library is the headquarters library for the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System, the Georgia Heritage Room places special emphasis on the rich history of the Central Savannah River Area, therefore limiting our collection to a very specific geographical area. The Georgia Room welcomes and encourages researchers, both the novice and the more advanced to use our materials and resources, yet recognizes the collection’s limitations and the staff time available for assistance. While the Georgia Room makes every effort to build a more regional collection, and includes resources from bordering states, our primary focus is and always will be the Aiken-Augusta area.

All materials located in the Georgia Heritage Room are non-circulating, and meant for in-house research and study only. However, many of the print resources are available in the Georgia History stacks on the second floor of the library and can be checked out.

Some resources available to library card holders and out-of-town visitors:

  • GALILEO-on online library of over 100 research databases, including Digital Library of Georgia and the Georgia Historic Newspapers Project
  • Access to Ancestry Library Edition (accessible only from public computers in library) and Heritage Quest Online
  • Georgia and South Carolina census records on microfilm
  • Family histories, county histories, and cemetery indexes
  • Elliott Funeral Home index
  • African-American Funeral Programs database
  • City directories, 1841 to present (some years missing)
  • Early Augusta newspapers and miscellaneous African-American newspapers on microfilm.
  • Augusta Herald on microfilm (1799 to 1993)
  • Augusta Chronicle (1792 to present) on microfilm and access to online archive. (remote access from home with valid Richmond County library card.)
  • Civil War rosters for Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, and Texas
  • Index of Revolutionary War Pension Applications
  • Colonial Records of Georgia
  • County maps
  • State genealogy periodicals
  • Georgia Death and Marriage indexes
  • Local high school yearbook collection

The Georgia Heritage Room encourages in-house study with the advantage of full access to our collection and the library’s resources, but recognizes the need for out-of-town researchers to also have access to our collection. It is our objective to provide services for those researchers living out-of-town and to residents unable, for whatever reason, to conduct their own in-house research. However, the staff of the Georgia Heritage Room does not take on extensive research projects, nor will staff conduct your genealogical research for you. The staff will offer guidance and an effort will be made to teach patrons to use the collection and to provide self-help materials for reference use. Information regarding courses, programs on the subject, and groups or individuals specializing in certain areas will be made available to patrons.

  • The Georgia Heritage Room charges a flat rate of $5.00 for simple search and reference requests, including obituaries, city directory listings (for checking one name in one to five years of the directories), newspaper articles, marriage and death index searches, etc. For example, if you request one obituary and one newspaper article, your charge is $10.00. Copying, postage, and handling included.

Please be very specific with your request. For example, when requesting an obituary from the Augusta Chronicle, please include the first and last name of the individual, death date, and when possible, the citation date, page number and column number.

  • Requests requiring longer than twenty (20) minutes to search are considered formal research queries and are subject to an hourly rate of $15.00 for residents of Richmond County, and $20.00 for out-of-town non-residents, with a search limit of three hours. Charges apply to the actual search regardless of whether the information is located. The requestor will receive a list of all resources used in pursuit of the request.

All research requests should be sent in writing to either the address below, or via email:

genealogy@arcpls.org.

Augusta-Richmond County Public Library
Georgia Heritage Room
823 Telfair Street
Augusta, Georgia 30901

The Georgia Heritage Room hosts monthly programming and exhibits on topics related to local, state, and regional history as well as beginner and intermediate genealogy classes. Please check out our genealogy blog by visiting the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library website at www.arcpls.org and hovering over the Georgia Heritage Room tab. Also see us at Augusta Genealogy and Local History on Facebook.

We are always seeking interesting and unique materials for public display. If you are a collector of vintage memorabilia and ephemera, or a craftsperson seeking an exhibition space for your wares, we will consider giving you the opportunity to show off your work. The exhibit does not necessarily have to be related to local history or genealogy, but first priority will be given to those which do. Exhibits typically run for eight weeks. Please contact the Georgia Room at (706) 826-1511 for details, or email us at genealogy@arcpls.org.

FamilySearch Affiliate Library

In January of 2015, the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library became a FamilySearch affiliate library. The new designation means library patrons have greater and more convenient access to the wealth of genealogical resources available through FamilySearch.

FamilySearch is the world’s largest repository of free genealogical records and manages the famous Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. It has amassed billions of birth, marriage, death, census, land and court records of genealogical significance from over 130 countries.

FamilySearch International is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, of which the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library is now a part of, and including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Please call, email, or visit the Georgia Heritage Room for more details about the FamilySearch affiliate library program. You may begin the process by creating a free account at FamilySearch.org

How to Begin Your Family History:

Please take advantage of our beginner genealogy tutorials by calling (706) 826-1511 to set up an appointment. Below are some pointers to help you begin growing your family tree.

  1. Get organized! Start by filling out a family pedigree chart http://c.mfcreative.com/SSS_INS/1.0.490/AIC/Cdn/Pdf/US/anchart.pdf . Only record the information you know. If you don’t know something leave it blank. The blanks are where your search begins, and the vitals, such as birth, marriage and death are your building blocks.
  1. Don’t wait until it’s too late to speak with family members about what they know. Do it NOW, and write it all down. But be aware that family stories are not always completely accurate, so be prepared to dig deeper.
  1. Start with a genealogy database like Ancestry Library Edition (available at the library) or FamilySearch to find vital statistics such as birth and death dates, census records (1940 and earlier), military service records, and immigration records.
  1. Search the Augusta Chronicle Online Archive to find obituaries and personal information. Included in the Georgia Heritage Room’s collection is a four-volume set of the Personal Name Index to the Augusta Chronicle by Alice O. Walker which covers 1786-1830 and can be used to find Richmond County ancestors.
  1. Use the Augusta City Directories to find information about where family members may have lived and worked.
  1. Look through county book resources for historical information on cemeteries, and early marriage, land, court, and church records.
  1. Once you have exhausted the library’s resources, it’s time to visit cemeteries, county probate courts, genealogy and historical societies, and state archives.
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