CSU Libraries receives USG Archival Excellence Award

Monday, November 29th, 2021

The Columbus State University Archives and Special Collections was recently awarded the Excellence in Archival Program Development Award from the Georgia Archives and the University System of Georgia. The award honors an agency’s or institution’s actions to appropriately care for and manage archival records. Specific areas of excellence at CSU include facility improvements, outreach, and the robust internship program available to students.

“We are incredibly honored to receive this award. We have come a long way over the past several years in our efforts to establish ourselves as a leading archival repository in the state, and we are so pleased to be recognized for all of our hard work,” said David Owings, head of Archives and Special Collections. Owings has been at CSU since 2013 and was recently appointed chair for the Society of American Archivists Committee on Archival Facility Guidelines, a professional association that is a recognized leader for archivists around the world.

The archival facility at CSU was renovated in 2020 and now includes a new archival vault with specialized environmental controls designed to ensure the long-term preservation of its priceless collections that include material dating back to 1563.

Other renovations include a new reading room, a multipurpose room to expand classroom instruction and outreach, and high-density compact shelving, funded through a capital investment grant. The shelving ensures decades of growth and allows the archives to continue acquiring new collections that document the local area.

Beyond the renovations, the archives team is also being recognized for their outreach campaign which includes “The Archival Advocate” departmental newsletter, social media pages and donor outreach.

Also established is the annual giving program, Advocates for the Archives, along with a community advisory board. Initiviates include establishing the Archives’ first endowment and purchasing two newspaper archives.

Students also have the opportunity to be involved at the Archives through the revamped internship program. The program provides students with practical experience while fostering professional and personal growth.

Since 1975, CSU’s Archives and Special Collections has 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 centered on commercial and industrial aspects, goods and products, personal and family papers, and more.

Based in the Main Campus’ Simon Schwob Memorial Library, the Archives and Special Collections is open to researchers and the public 9-12 p.m. and 1-5 p.m. Appointments are not required but are recommended and can be scheduled by contacting the Archives staff