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Engineering the New South Records

Identifier: MS032

  • Staff Only


Published as part of the centennial celebration of the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1985, Engineering the New South is the first comprehensive history of Georgia Tech. These records document the planning, research, and writing of the seminal volume by six faculty members of the Department of History, Technology, and Society.


  • 1905-1987 (bulk 1981-1985)
  • Majority of material found within 1981 - 1985


General Physical Description note

(7 document cases, two half-sized document cases)

Restrictions: Access


Restrictions: Use

Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.


3.2 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

The Engineering the New South records include various drafts and revisions of manuscripts for the book, research and interview notes, and a small amount of administrative materials documenting the planning and execution of the work. The research and interview notes are primarily notes taken during oral history interviews with various individuals closely connected to Georgia Tech. Complete transcripts of some interviews, conducted by ODK, are also included. The notes and transcripts indicate that many of the individuals interviewed were very frank and open about controversial issues related to Tech. Some of the research materials are photocopies of subject file and collection material located in the Georgia Tech Archives; the dates provided reflect the date of creation for the original documents, not the photocopies.

The administrative files include book outlines and proposals, meeting minutes, promotional materials, and permissions for access to restricted archival material at Georgia Tech. The Centennial Executive Committee file is particularly useful for documenting much of the administrative activities related to the production of the book.

Numerous drafts and manuscripts for various chapters are included. These were maintained in the original order. There are additional drafts of Chapters 6 and 7, most probably because Gus Giebelhaus, the donor of the records, wrote those chapters. While these records provide an excellent overview of the research and writing of Engineering the New South, researchers should also consult the oral history interviews for more information on the history of Georgia Tech.

Administrative History of

An official centennial publication commemorating the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Engineering the New South provides a history of Georgia Tech from 1885 until 1985. Co-written by six faculty members from what was then the Social Sciences Department (now History, Technology, and Society), the authors' goal was to combine an institutional history of Georgia Tech with analysis of how one particular institution of higher learning has shaped and been shaped by the world around it.

Co-chairs of the centennial celebration, Regents' Professor of Civil Engineering Paul Mayer and Vice President for Institute Relations and Development Warren Heemann, proposed the writing of the book. J. Erskine Love, Jr. and Gay M. Love, William C. and Edna Raine Wardlaw, William C. Wardlaw III, and the Georgia Tech Foundation all provided financial support. President Joseph Mayo Pettit encouraged the effort and made all archival material under his jurisdiction available to the authors. The centennial committee sought an objective history that would place Tech's story within the context of higher education in America and would analyze its role in the history of science, technology, and economic development.

Although the book was co-authored by six faculty members, primary responsibility for individual chapters is as follows: 1-3, James E. Brittain; 4, Germaine M. Reed; 5, Ronald H. Bayor; 6-7, August W. Giebelhaus; 8, Lawrence Foster; and 9-10, Robert C. McMath, Jr. The authors relied heavily upon materials in the Georgia Tech Archives, but also interviewed more than sixty individuals who had been closely associated with Tech.

Engineering the New South was published by University of Georgia Press in 1985, along with a companion pictorial work, Images and Memories: Georgia Tech, 1885-1985.


Missing Title

  1. Series 1. Research/Interview Notes, 1905-1987 [bulk 1981-1985] [Boxes 1-3]
  2. Series 2. Administrative Materials, 1969-1985 [bulk 1982-1985] [Box 3]
  3. Series 3. Manuscripts, ca. 1984-1985 [Boxes 3-8]
Arrangement note

These records are arranged into three series, with series designated for Research/Interview Notes, Administrative Materials, and Manuscripts. Within the first two series, folders are arranged alphabetically by folder title. The third series is arranged in an approximation of the chronological order in which each draft would have been completed.

Other Finding Aids

A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.


Fifty-four audiotapes of oral history interviews and a small number of photographs were separately arranged and cataloged as AVM #32. Not all of the oral interviews listed on page 538 of Engineering the New South are included. According to Dr. Giebelhaus, not all of the interviews were taped, but all existing tapes are included in the collection.


August W. Giebelhaus donated the records in 1987. Accession #1987.0704 (old number: 87-07-04).

General Physical Description note

(7 document cases, two half-sized document cases)

Processing Information

Susan J. Illis processed these papers in 2000.

Inventory of the Engineering the New South Records, 1905-1987 (bulk 1981-1985)
Susan J. Illis
Copyright 2000.
Description rules
Finding Aid Updated Using Rlg Best Practice Guidelines For Encoded Archival Description
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

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