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Lane Library's special collections: Discovering Desegregation at Armstrong

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Marsha Artis

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Micheal Rusden

Micheal Rusden

Desegregation Finding Aid for University Archives

Reference Code (2.1):  41-43

Name and Location of Repository (2.2): Special Collections, Lane Library, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, GA, 31419

Title (2.3):Discovering  Desegregation at Armstrong: Records and Papers

Date(s) (2.4): Inclusive dates: 1966-1982
                    Bulk dates: 1974-1978

Extent (2.5):   Three boxes equaling 2.5 cubic feet and containing a total of 34 folders. Folder 17 is split into 17 A and 17 B, the same for folder 28 and folder 29 is divided into A-D which makes for numbered folders up to 29 but a total of 34 folders.  Material includes correspondence, memorandums, official documents, newspapers, pamphlets, minutes, statistics, court documents and various versions of the desegregation plan.

Name of Creator(s) (2.6):   Office of the President, Ashmore

Scope and Content (3.1):   The Discovering Desegregation at Armstrong collection is material related to the process of desegregation at Armstrong State College from 1966 to 1982.  Savannah State College, the historically African-American college of Savannah, is mentioned in tandem with ASC.  The records and papers include correspondence, memorandums, official documents, newspapers, pamphlets, minutes, court documents, statistics and various versions of the desegregation plan.  ASC and SSC of Savannah, Georgia are most prevalent but other University System of Georgia schools are mentioned as well. Influential people include Henry Ashmore, David Tatel, George Simpson and Peter Holmes.

Conditions Governing Access (4.1): Open

Language and Scripts of Material (4.5):  English

Administrative/Biographical History (2.7):   Records accumulated by the Office of the President, Ashmore and transferred to the University Archives upon his retirement.  The Civil Rights movement of the 1950’s and 60’s prompted the desegregation schools in the U.S.  The records indicate that ASC and SSC of Savannah, Georgia spent over a decade revising and considering a course of action in order to comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Related Archival Materials (6.3): Box 40-Desegregation- HEW (1970-1979)
Box 600-Records of the Dean of Joint Graduate Program, 1973-1985, Joseph Adams
Box 751-President, May 1978-May 1979, John Opper     

Access Points: 

African-American Universities and Colleges
Armstrong State University—History
Ashmore, Henry Ludlow
Civil Rights—Georgia—Savannah
Race Relations—Georgia
Savannah State University—History
School Integration—Georgia—Savannah—History—Sources
Segregation in Higher Education—Georgia


Discovering Desegregation at Armstrong--Overview

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950's and 60's was a defining chapter in American history.  An uphill battle in many ways, the struggle for equal rights for all races was achieved by the determination and courage of many men and women.  Specifically, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned segregation in any public space including institutes of higher learning.  In 1964, the city of Savannah, Georgia had a separate college for African Americans.  Over the next 20 years, Armstrong State University and Savannah State University, the traditionally African American college, worked closely together to not only comply with desegregation but to facilitate a healthy learning environment for all students.

Overcoming Obstacles

The Need for a New Plan


Newspapers Continued

Joint Graduate Program

One of the new programs to promote desegregation between Savannah State University and Armstrong State University was the Joint Graduate Program.  The program lasted from 1971 until 1979.  In an effort to better accommodate students, a free shuttle service between the schools was launched (see PDF box). 

Other options were put forth such as having one school focus on lower level classes and the other on higher level classes.  There was even talk of combining the schools either on a brand new campus or at one of the existing campuses.

Contact me for more information

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Caroline Hopkinson
Georgia Southern University Libraries--Lane Library
Savannah, GA 31419-1997