Integration @ UGA: A Guide to the Resources in UGA Special Collections

Below are a selection of primary resources from the University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries that chronicle the integration of the university.

Hargrett Library - University Archives

This electronic pathfinder provides pointers to materials found in the University of Georgia Archives that help document the struggle of African Americans to integrate the University. Most of the papers date from 1950 through the early 1960s with a few pieces going back to the 1930s and 1940s. Some of these materials have been extracted from existing collections while others have remained within their original accessions.

These materials, donated by Ms. Early, include copies of letters related to her admission process, copies of news clippings related to her time at UGA, biographical materials and other items.  Of particular interest is a 1962 letter of congratulations from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., praising her efforts. 

Bolton was Comptroller of the University. Box 2 contains the Holmes-Hunter File 1960-61, which includes Scholarship and Fee Receipts, Letters of Removal, and Resolution of the Law School Faculty in regard to the admission of Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter-Gault.

Russell Library

These papers primarily document public reaction to the integration of the University of Georgia and Hunter-Gault’s professional activities as national correspondent and anchor for MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Correspondence to University Dean of Students Dr. Joseph Williams in 1961 reflects both students’ and state residents’ opinions regarding desegregation. Other materials include Dr. John C. Belcher’s research files and transcripts of oral histories he conducted documenting the integration of the university.

The S. Ernest Vandiver, Jr. Papers consist of office files and personal papers including correspondence, speeches, press releases, reports from state agencies, news stories, editorials, photographs, and scrapbooks from Vandiver’s career as governor of Georgia (1959-1963). Series I, Subject Files, includes material on segregation in Georgia educational institutions as well as the "University Crisis"

The Walter A. Lundy Files, Red and Black (Fall 1953) Integration Issue Papers consist of correspondence, clippings and printed materials. The materials document the response on both local and national levels to the dispute between Walter Lundy and Bill Shipp, editor and managing editor of the Red and Black, the student paper of the University of Georgia, and the Board of Regents of the University System led by Roy V. Harris. The debate concerned Lundy and Shipp's statements in two editorial columns advocating the end of racial segregation in Georgia's public schools. The majority of the correspondents support Lundy and Shipp for their position on segregation while others who do not favor the editors' proposals, decry efforts by Harris and the University of Georgia to proscribe the newspaper's control over its editorial content. Many of the letters and newsclipping come from other student newspapers across the country.

The Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series X: Civil Rights relates to many aspects of the civil rights issue. Almost all of the files deal with black-white relations in the United States, particularly those involving legislative action during Senator Russell's career in the Senate. Issues, such as the antilynching bill, the Fair Employment Practices Committee, racial integration, and the various civil rights bills from 1948 until 1964, are documented. This series is organized by subject then date. While the University of Georgia is not explicitly mentioned as a folder title, correspondence written around the time of the integration of the university does reflect current events.

Media Archives

The WSB Newsfilm Collection contains over 5 million feet of newsfilm dating from 1949 to 1981. Footage pertaining to the integration of UGA includes clips of public officials - such as the governor and members of the Board of Regents - making statements, Holmes and Hunter-Gault on campus at the university, and student reactions in Athens.

Goin' Back: Remembering UGA is an oral history project designed to preserve the memories of former students, faculty and staff of the University of Georgia. A joint project of the Office of Public Affairs and the UGA Alumni Association, the main goal of the project is to save the remembrances of those who were there – who lived the events as they happened – and to provide access to those recollections by scholars, alumni and friends.


Compiled by Renna Tuten and Emily Olivier, 3 May, 2012