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Industrial Archaeology records

Identifier: UA452

  • Staff Only


The Industrial Archaeology records contain historical research, correspondence, maps, photographs, diagrams, and publications for a variety of industrial sites throughout the state of Georgia. These sites include: mills, canals, railways, bridges, factories, warehouses, and industrial machinery. The majority of the information and research is from the 1970s by Professor James E. Brittain while at Georgia Institute of Technology.


  • 1902 - 1994


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to collections in Archives and Special Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the Georgia Tech Library Copyright & Fair Use page for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or Georgia Tech.


2 Linear Feet (4 Hollinger document boxes) : 1-half size box 1-oversize legal box 2-standard size boxes ; Half size box 15.25" x 2.5" x 10.25" Oversize legal box 15.25" x 5" x 12.5" Standard size box 15.25" x 5" x 10.25"

Scope and Contents

The scope of materials found in these Industrial Archaeology records includes: questionnaires to historical societies, research lists of industrial sites in Georgia, correspondence to and from Dr. Jim Brittain, maps (black & white and color), photographs (black & white and color), photograph albums with marginal notes about sites, scrapbook of photographs, report of sites, diagrams of industrial structures, drawings of sites, and a variety of publications.

These industrial sites in Georgia include: mills, canals, railways, bridges, factories, warehouses, and industrial machinery. While the majority of the information and research is from the 1970s presumably by Professor James E. Brittain while at Georgia Institute of Technology, many of the background documentation and maps are from many different time periods.

One item of note is a letter from Norman Elsas to Professor Brittain in 1975 outlining his family's background with the Fulton Cotton Mills history and Georgia Tech, specifically Jacob Elsas (Norman's grandfather) and Oscar Elsas (Norman's father).

Another notable item of content is Textile Industries' special feature 1968 publication for Fulton Cotton Mills 100th Anniversary, which gives a comprehensive history and lineage of the company and key figures.

Biographical / Historical

The area of Industrial Archaeology falls within the School of History and Sociology which is part of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. It is believed that the materials in these four boxes came from the office of Dr. James E. "Jim" Brittain (1931-2018), professor for History of Science and Technology courses, who retired from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1994. Most of the correspondence, publications, photographs, and research notes can be directly linked to him. Dr. Brittain's research contained in these boxes focus on industrial sites through the state of Georgia.


Original order maintained, when possible. Folder contents kept intact, but folder names altered to more accurately reflect subject materials.

Larger items, such as photo albums or scrapbooks, needed to be housed in oversize legal document box.

No overall arrangement was present otherwise.

Physical Location

Materials are stored off-site. Requests for access must be submitted in advance.

Custodial History

These two boxes of materials were given to the Archives and Special Collections in 2020 by the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts


No information known about appraisal.

Processing Information

Specific arrangement of files was not apparent or present. Most folders were divided by historical, industrial site or location, and those materials remain in those groupings with folder names to match subject.

The only items weeded from these files were blank sheets of paper, duplicate copies of articles, and newsletters from the Society for Industrial Archeology (sic) dated 1972-1993. The newsletters were weeded since this is not a repository for that organization and they were not directly relevant to the research on the Georgia industrial sites' history.

Inventory of Industrial Archaelogy records
Paige Hendrickson
Copyright 06-2023
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Rlg Best Practice Guidelines For Encoded Archival Description And Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository

Georgia Institute of Technology
266 4th Street, NW
Atlanta 30332-0900 USA