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The Past is Present in Druid Hills

medallionDuring the past half-century, Emory University has acquired more than 40 linear feet of papers that illuminate the work of the Druid Hills Civic Association. The records, which date back to the association’s founding in 1938, recently were augmented and now feature a complete collection of the Druid Hills News. The 1999 centennial medallion issued by the American Society of Landscape Architects, in recognition of Druid Hills as Frederick Law Olmsted’s last designed suburb, also has a new home at Emory.

“How do we make sense of such a large scale and diverse phenomenon as a city?” asked Randy Gue, curator of Modern and Political Historical Collections at MARBL (Emory’s Manuscript, Archives & Rare Book Collection) who oversees the DHCA Collection.

“Neighborhoods – their history and their story – represent one way to examine a city and the experience of some of its residents,” he noted.

Highlights of the collection also include voluminous documentation of the DHCA’s resistance to the construction of the Presidential Parkway. The records of CAUTION, a grassroots organization that waged a legal, political, and economic battle against what many called “The Road,” also may be found at MARBL.

With the addition of the Druid Hills News collection, researchers will gain both a broad perspective and granular detail on the neighborhood.

“From the first six-page issue in the late 1980s, to the most recent newsletter of April 2014, these papers give a unique history of our community,” noted longtime managing editor Jennifer Richardson.

Thanks to the longstanding relationship between the DHCA and Emory / MARBL, Druid Hills stands as one of the most documented neighborhoods in the Atlanta area, according to Randy Gue.

The files are available to scholars, students, and the general public.

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