Caldwell, Grizzard books in new facility at UGA

By W. WINSTON SKINNER winston@newnan.com The special collections library at the University of Georgia -- which includes a trove of documents and books relating to Coweta authors Erskine Caldwell and Lewis Grizzard -- is now in a new facility that will be dedicated Friday. The Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries will be dedicated Friday at 11 a.m.
Jean Cleveland, who grew up in Senoia, was once a reporter for The Newnan Times-Herald and now is on the university staff, said a celebration will be held "on the front lawn" of the Hull Street facility. UGA President Michael F. Adams will speak, along with University Librarian and Associate Provost William Gray Potter. Representing the University System will be Chancellor Hank Huckaby and Regents Larry Walker and W.H. "Dink" NeSmith, who, in addition, chairs the Russell Foundation. Mallory L. Davis, president of UGA's Student Government Association, also will speak. A reception will follow the dedication program. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved to the event hall in the building. "The new facility is designed to help the university preserve and share its most distinguished books, documents and audio visual material," Potter said. "It is a vast archive that has as its focus the history and culture of our state." The library has been in its "new state-of-the-art facility" since the beginning of 2012, Cleveland said. The building houses the university's three special collections libraries: the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, and the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies. The Hargrett Library includes extensive holdings on Caldwell and Grizzard. Caldwell, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was born near Moreland and wrote such novels as "Tobacco Road" and "A House in the Uplands." Grizzard grew up in Moreland and became a renowned newspaper columnist and humorist. The Hargrett Library's collection includes a volume of each American edition of Caldwell's books. The library also has correspondence between the author and other family members to his parents, Ira and Caroline Bell Caldwell. Ira Caldwell was an Associate Reformed Presbyterian who was serving Coweta County congregations when his son was born in 1903. Photographs and clippings are also part of Hargrett's Caldwell holdings. UGA's collection of Caldwelliana is second in size only to the Dartmouth College collection. The Hargrett Library's Grizzard collection is primarily typed manuscripts for Grizzard's books and newspaper columns. Some correspondence and newspaper clippings are in the collection, as well as videotapes of television appearances and performances. A golf trophy bag presented to Grizzard in 1990 for receiving the Gene Sarazen Cup from the Atlanta National Golf Club is also in the collection. The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies includes several items relating to Ellis Arnall, who grew up in Newnan and spent most of his life here. Russell and Arnall were longtime political leaders in Georgia, and both served as governor of the state. "We are exhilarated to reach completion of this outstanding new facility designed for the purpose of growing, caring for and sharing the university's most distinguished collections," said P. Toby Graham, deputy university librarian and director of the Hargrett Library. "After many years of planning and fundraising, we are eager to welcome students, researchers and the general public to engage with our collections in the Russell Building's research rooms, exhibition halls and classrooms and through public events." A highlight of the building that visitors will not see is a 30,000-square-foot Harvard-model high-density storage facility "constructed largely below ground level," Cleveland said. This type of storage model is generally used for off-site shelving facilities, making UGA's special collections vault unique in its incorporation of high-density storage into an actual library. "Items are retrieved using a motorized order picker to reach the 30-foot-high shelves," Cleveland said. Located near historic North Campus in a triangular tract bounded by South Hull Street, Florida Avenue and Waddell Street, the Russell Building anchors a proposed northwest quadrant of campus. After years of planning and fundraising, ground was broken for the $46 million structure in January 2010. The libraries raised one-third of the money through private sources, including a $3 million donation from the Russell Foundation. The building is named in honor of Richard Russell. The Russell Building allows for state-of-the-art storage and security for its most valuable collections. It is on track for LEED -- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design -- certification. LEED certification "recognizes implementation of practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions," Cleveland said. "Three galleries provide space for exhibiting materials relating to the history and culture of Georgia in interactive settings," Cleveland said. An auditorium, classrooms and seminar rooms will also be part of the 115,000-square-foot facility.


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