November 22 2021
The Columbus State University Archives and Special Collections were recently awarded the Excellence in Archiving Program Development Award from the Archives of Georgia and the University System of Georgia. The award is given to honor the actions of an agency or institution for appropriate care and management of archival records. Specific areas of excellence at CSU include facility improvements, outreach, and a robust internship program available to students.
“We are extremely proud to receive this award. We have come a long way over the past several years in our efforts to establish ourselves as the leading archival repository in the state, and we are very pleased to be recognized for all of our hard work,” said David Owings, Chief Archives and Private Collections. Owings has been at CSU since 2013 and was recently appointed president of the Society of American Archives on Archival Facility Guidelines, the leading recognized professional association of archival professionals worldwide.
CSU’s archive facility was renovated in 2020, and now includes a new archival vault with specialist environmental controls designed to ensure the long-term preservation of its priceless collections that include materials dating back to 1563.
Other renovations include a new reading room, a multipurpose room to expand classroom teaching and communication, and high-density built-in shelving, funded through a capital investment grant. The rack ensures decades of growth and allows archives to continue to acquire new collections documenting the local area.
In addition to the renovations, the archive team has also been honored for an awareness campaign that includes the department’s newsletter “The Archival Advocate”, social media pages, and outreach to donors.
An annual giving program, Archivists’ Advocates, has also been established, along with a community advisory board. Initiatives include the creation of the first archives endowment and the purchase of two newspaper archives.
Students also have the opportunity to participate in the archive through the renewed Internship Program. The program provides students with hands-on experience while promoting professional and personal growth.
Since 1975, CSU Archives and Special Collections have served as a repository for the university and surrounding Chattahoochee Valley communities. Its mission is to collect and preserve materials illustrating the lives and experiences of those who call this area home. Examples in the collection include documents focused on business and industrial aspects, commodities and products, personal and family papers, and more.
Based in the Simon Schwob Memorial Library on the main campus, archives and private collections are open to scholars and the public from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-5 p.m.