ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The South Georgia Archives at Thronateeska Heritage Center in downtown Albany officially opened the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday. coinciding with the beginning of Georgia Archives Month.
"Afterwards, the archives building will be open for public research on Thursdays and Fridays from 1 - 5 p.m., or by appointment," said Archives Manager Teresa Smith. "We believe it fits our mission to be the stewards of Albany's and South Georgia's history."
The idea for a local archives facility originated from a partnership between Thronateeska Heritage Center and the City Clerk's Office. Both entities needed better storage and digitization of resources.
"The construction of the archives building allows the city of Albany to keep our permanent historical records local and in a safe and secure location," said Albany City Clerk Sonja Tolbert.
"It will also open up opportunities for Thronateeska. I am excited about this unique partnership, which is the first of such partnerships in the State of Georgia, and I thank the Mayor and the Board of Commissioners for their support" said Tolbert.
Planning for the building began in March of 2010. Granted under the SPLOST 6 referendum, the project was approved by the City Commission in November 2010 with a budget of $2.1 million dollars.
The archives building measures to 7,000 square feet and contains state-of-the-art climate controls and security protocols to ensure the protection and stability of documents and materials contained within.
"The Georgia Archives and National Archives at Atlanta served as model resources for the project," said Smith.
"Along with Thronateeska Heritage Center's collection of items relating to the history of Southwest Georgia, the archives will also house local city and county records, such as ordinances, meeting minutes and resolutions," Smith said.
According to the Society of Georgia Archivists' website, "Georgia Archives Month is a way to celebrate the value of Georgia's historical records, publicize the many ways historical records enrich our lives, and recognize those who maintain our communities' historical records" (
"It just adds to the amenities we have here. We have a science museum, the weather view planetarium, the history museum. This adds an element to that," said Executive Director Tommy Gregors.
In accordance with this year's theme, Sweet Tea and Southern Breezes, a miniature exhibit of local items will be open in the lobby of the archives building until the end of October. Admission to the exhibit is free and open to the public.