‘Uncovering Hidden Narratives’ Launches

uncovering hidden narratives, civil rights movement
Screen Shot 2024-04-30 at 11.14.02 AM.png

The Georgia Tech Library today unveiled “Uncovering Hidden Narratives in Georgia Tech's History,” a self-directed, online course exploring responsible description practices in archives and the way they influence the understanding of integration efforts before 1961, when the first three Black students began school at the Institute.

To view the course, click here.

Designed by Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Resident Alex Brinson with oversight from University Archivist Alex McGee, the course is the result of Tech undergraduate Sam Bolton looking for information about her grandfather, Robert Cheeseboro, being denied admission to Georgia Tech in 1953.

“A reply to Cheeseboro and letters involving other prospective Black students were found in a collection called the ‘Board of Regents records,’” said Brinson. “Because the materials in which we eventually found information involving Cheeseboro were vaguely described, they were difficult to find — essentially burying a piece of Georgia Tech’s history.”

Finding these stories, she said, “demonstrates the power archivists have when processing or preparing archival collections for use.”

The course is broken into three main sections: the traditional narrative around integration at Tech and the efforts of Black students before 1961; the process of discovering the Board of Regents records, including historical context and the lack of “inclusive description;” and how the Georgia Tech Library now describes such records to unveil the important stories contained within. 

“The decisions around how we describe and display these types of important historical records inform the way history is told and understood,” said McGee.