By Katie Nelson
The city of Marietta, Georgia, houses many locations of historical significance. Serving as both a site of the Civil War and a contributor to Civil Rights, there are many decades of history to cover and archive. The Georgia Room, located in Cobb County Public Library’s flagship Charles D. Switzer Public Library near the Marietta Square, houses many materials covering the local history of this city.
The Georgia Room began in 1970 through the generous bequest of Miss Virginia Vanstone Crosby in memory of her father, Charles Mayo Crosby. Since its inception, many have contributed to the growth and development of the Georgia Room collection. In 2007, the Georgia Room was greatly expanded as a result of a generous donation from the Library Foundation. The renovation of Switzer Library from 2019 to the summer of 2021 resulted in a much larger space for expanding the collection and an area receiving larger amounts of natural lighting.
Throughout its tenure as a trusted archive of local history, the Georgia Room has received many thanks from different groups and organizations. A favorite meeting place for nearby chapters of the National Society for the Daughters of the American Revolution, the conference room right inside the Georgia Room’s doors make for a comfortable place for researchers and genealogists to connect and collaborate. The Cobb County Genealogical Society encourages new members to familiarize themselves with the collection, and the group frequently donates materials beneficial to genealogical and local research. The collection, and therefore the Switzer Public Library itself, serves as a stopping point for many travelers as they pass through Cobb County and the Southeastern United States.
Staff members of the Georgia Room, led by research veteran and head Carolyn Crawford, welcome patrons and visitors from the new main desk, located in the foyer, lit by a bay window. Parallel shelves running perpendicular to the windows house most of the books and manuscripts that make up the collection. Microform readers are set up next to public computers ready for research. At the front of the main room sits a piece of the Georgia Room’s future: a Bookeye 4 overhead scanner. Digitization paves the way forward for the Georgia Room with numerous titles and manuscripts ready to be shared with the community. As historical information is continually made available online, a push for digitization in archives and special collections continues to ring out. The Georgia Room is no different and eagerly meets the challenge head on.
For additional information, please visit the Georgia Room page on Cobb County Public Library’s website. There, one can find information on upcoming programs, digitization and research services, and what resources are available to patrons and visitors alike.