About the Project

The Digital Library of Georgia is pleased to present The Georgia State Fair, Macon, 1886-1960. This Web site is a collaborative initiative of the Digital Library of Georgia and the Middle Georgia Archives, which is part of the Middle Georgia Regional Library System and serves Bibb, Crawford, Jones, Macon, Twiggs, and Wilkinson Counties. The project is part of the Georgia HomePLACE initiative. The Georgia State Fair is supported with federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Georgia Public Library Service, a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

This online collection consists of 151 black-and-white photographs, and four advertising fliers, from the Georgia State Fair records held by the Middle Georgia Archives at the Macon-Bibb County Public Libraries. These photographs document the evolution of the state fair in Macon from 1886 until 1960. A group portrait of the executive committee of the Georgia State Agricultural Society is the earliest piece in the collection. The majority of the photographs depict county agricultural exhibits whose function was to promote a variety of farm produce and homemade items. These displays include cotton, seeds, vegetables, preserved food, clothes, quilts, furniture, and more. Exhibits from the early 1940s are of interest due to the appearance of slogans supporting the World War II home front effort. One notable picture during this era shows a demonstration of a community canning project. Displays for agricultural associations and state government agencies, such as the Highway Department and the Fish and Game Commission, can also be seen in this collection. Other photographs capture fair culture beyond the exhibitions: 4-H clubs, farm machinery, livestock judging, amusement rides, the midway, side shows, food booths, and parades. Macon mayor B. F. Merritt appears in several photographs along with other notable Macon citizens. Former Georgia governor Marvin Griffin is also pictured.

In order to provide broader access to this important collection, the Digital Library of Georgia has created a searchable database of the collection's photographs. DLG staff scanned the original documents at 400 dpi. From these images, DLG staff produced smaller, Web-ready derivative images, 72 dpi, 50 pixels wide JPEG thumbnails and rasterized MrSid images.

The Dublin Core-based descriptive records for the photographs are derived from information provided by the Middle Georgia Archives staff and supplemented by DLG staff research. Every effort was made to identify the individuals and events depicted in the photographs and to place the photograph within the context of the fair's history. Staff added appropriate Library of Congress subject headings and established locally names for the institutions and individuals found in the collection. The descriptive records are made available through the The Georgia State Fair Web site and the Digital Library of Georgia's Web site.