Carroll Hart (1913-2003) served as director of the Georgia Archives from 1964 to 1982. She also established the state records management program to preserve government documents. Considered the “Mother of SGA,” she organized the earliest SGA meetings with A.K. Johnson in 1969.
A significant program that Carroll Hart initiated was the Vanishing Georgia Project in 1975, to preserve and copy photographs in communities throughout the state. A mobile photo lab visited counties to copy historical pictures from private collections. Approximately 18,000 photographs were preserved through this project. In many ways, the Vanishing Georgia project and the realization that copies of historic photographs would be in such demand with the public helped lay a foundation for photographs in the digital environment by both improving access and helping preserve the image.
Carroll Hart also founded the Georgia Archives Institute, an annual training program for archivists, in 1967, which continues today. Lacking the funds to send staff to the National Archives Institute in Washington, DC, she brought in prominent archivists to teach archival theory and the role of the modem archivist.
At first the program was intended for the Georgia Archives staff, but it was soon expanded to include attendees from other institutions. Today, The Georgia Archives Institute is recognized throughout the archival community as one of the primary vehicles through which beginning archivists and students can learn theoretical and practical knowledge of modern archives. SGA named a scholarship in Carroll Hart’s honor in 1988, to fund attendance to the Georgia Archives Institute.
Carroll Hart received degrees from the University of Georgia and a Library Science degree from Columbia and American Universities. Her employment at the Georgia Archives began in 1957. She retired in 1982, and passed away in 2003 at age 90.Photo Credit: Carroll Hart, Director, Georgia Department of Archives and History and State Archivist, 1964-1982. Biographical Questionnaires, RG 4-10-74, Georgia Archives.