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Marietta to Give Kennesaw State 75 Years of Historical Records

“I’m just thrilled with this acquisition,” Dr. LeeAnn Lands, associate professor of history and American studies, said.

The Kennesaw State University Archives invites you to a special ceremony Thursday honoring the gifting of nearly 75 years of historical documents, photographs and blueprints from the Marietta Housing Authority.

The Marietta Housing Authority has provided low-income residents with affordable, safe housing. Serving the elderly, handicapped or special needs families of Marietta, the MHA has provided other services such as Boys and Girls Clubs.

A partnership has developed between the MHA and KSU to preserve the history and the stories of MHA residents and administrators. The KSU Archives will receive nearly 75 years of MHA blueprints, photographs, scrapbooks, and administrative files documenting the development of MHA and its impact on the community. This will expand the KSU Archives' collection of Georgia and Cobb County history. The KSU Archives currently includes the Cobb County Branch of the NAACP papers, the Blair Family Papers and the Bell Aircraft Photograph Collection. This Cobb County and Georgia historical resource is accessible to the public as an educational and historical research resource.

“I’m just thrilled with this acquisition,” Dr. LeeAnn Lands, associate professor of history and American studies, said. “Few repositories have been able to acquire records from housing authorities or other entities that serve the working poor.

KSU’s Department of Museums, Archives and Rare Books has been exceptionally proactive in identifying and acquiring important local collections.

“With materials from other housing authorities throughout the nation, the MHA collection can help increase our understanding of low-income housing policy and its implementation in America’s suburbs, the ongoing quest for safe and affordable housing, and the federal and state role in class and racial housing segregation,” said Lands, the author of The Culture of Property: Race, Class, and Housing Landscapes in Atlanta, 1880-1950 (Politics and Culture in the Twentieth-Century South).

Thursday's ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. at the KSU Center, 3333 Busbee Dr. Tamara Livingston, the associate director of KSU Museums, Archives and Rare Books, will be among the special speakers.

“We are honored that the MHA has selected Kennesaw State University to be the repository for their priceless historical records spanning over 70 years,” she said. “We are also looking ahead to working with the MHA on projects ranging from capturing and preserving their more recent history, to sharing their work and legacy in Marietta and the community through exhibits and outreach efforts.”

MHA executive director Ray Buday will also speak at Thursday's ceremony.

“The 75-year history of MHA is a very interesting component of the history of our community,” he said. “In the initial decades of its life, MHA replaced slum housing with modern, attractive housing owned by MHA in which parents with low incomes could raise a family in decent comfort. In recent years, MHA’s history, reflecting changing times, has been one of construction of extraordinary senior housing and, for families, reliance on housing vouchers that are used to rent outstanding private housing and eventually reduce dependence on subsidized housing.”

For more information on this ceremony, please contact KSU Archivist Heather Oswald at 678-797-2682 or hoswald@kennesaw.edu.

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