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Posted April 18, 2014

Lives Changed and Your Community Changed

Looking at resources that show your community through the years is fun, but a study of local history also broadens an understanding of the people, the culture, and the issues you encounter every day. For exploring Georgia communities, GALILEO and the Digital Library of Georgia provide a wealth of resources.

The Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Georgia Towns and Cities, 1884-1922 are a good starting place for looking at how communities have changed. The highly-detailed, color-coded maps document the changing faces of Georgia cities by depicting, not only the community, but also each building, block, and neighborhood. The maps detail building construction, sizes, and usage, as well as city services such as water and fire services. Each town included in the collection has multiple maps from as early as 1884 to 1922.

GeorgiaInfo includes maps through the ages, as well as other historical information for each county and city. County pages include historical populations for each decade that the county existed. You can also find a list of historical markers by county that show the location, image, and text from the marker.

The New Georgia Encyclopedia is an authoritative resource on Georgia’s rich history, diverse culture, and still-unfolding story. To find the article about your county or city, click the Counties, Cities & Neighborhoods link. In addition to pages on specific counties and cities, try the General County & City Topics for articles on the county unit system, Georgia’s Historic Capitals, and more.

The Digital Library of Georgia is a gateway to Georgia’s history and culture, including books, photographs, newspapers, maps, and more. You can start by searching for your county or city, or you can try Browse by County to see collections in the Digital Library of Georgia that include items from your county.

There are a couple of ways to find local history information in HeritageQuest Online. See an earlier post for finding information on how county lines changed over time. You can also find local history books by choosing the Search Books section and searching for your city or county in the Places section.

To limit your search to Georgia information in Ancestry Library Edition, click the Show Advanced button then scroll down to Explore by Location to see collections from Georgia. Ancestry Library Edition is only available on-site in public and academic libraries.

Some links may not work off site. Log in to GALILEO first for access.