Revisiting and Archiving Civil Rights and Atlanta in the 1960s: Introducing the Mayor Ivan Allen Digital Archive


A Hybrid Symposium | April 8, 2022 

7th Floor of Crosland Tower,
Georgia Tech Library


As Atlanta’s mayor from 1962-1970, Ivan Allen Jr. oversaw a city undergoing tremendous political, social, and economic change, and helped put Atlanta on a path toward becoming the international metropolis it is today. In this 60th anniversary year of Allen’s election, we will look back upon our recent past and consider the crucial importance of archives for documenting Atlanta residents’ experiences in broadly inclusive ways.

Allen’s mayoral papers were digitized in 2016 and have now been made available to the public through an online portal that features an NEH-funded, custom-built search interface – but viewing these official records raises important questions about whose experiences and points of view are most often prioritized and preserved for posterity.   

This one-day symposium will formally introduce the Mayor Ivan Allen Digital Archive, while at the same time exploring the intersection of archives, Atlanta history, and art. The sessions will showcase how communities are preserving their experiences in ways that encourage us to creatively think about the future of archives.    

The program will include panels on Atlanta community-archival partnerships and the Legacy Makers’ project to commemorate the Ivan Allen and Maynard Jackson mayoralties, along with keynote lectures by artist/computer scientist Brian Foo and historian Tomiko Brown-Nagin, author of a newly released biography on Constance Baker Motley who successfully prosecuted the first test case of the 1964 Civil Rights Act right here in Atlanta against Lester Maddox’s Pickrick Restaurant. 


Brian Foo 

Artist and computer scientist living and working in Washington, DC and New York City. Data visualization artist at the American Museum of Natural History. 

Dr. Tomiko Brown-Nagin 

Dean of Harvard Radcliffe Institute, Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, and member of the history department at the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. 



Atlanta Archives Futures Panel:
Jina DuVernay, Morna Gerrard, Derek Mosley, Dr. Aisha Johnson 
Creating the Art and the Archive - Atlanta Legacy Makers Project:

Floyd Hall, Clark Tate , William Downs, Fredalyn M. Frasier, Laura Moody, Samara Minkin, Matt Cherry

Pickrick Protest Augmented Reality Demo:
Dr. Janet Murray, Angela Dai, Austin Peete, Brandy Pettijohn, Amanda Wang, Yuchen Zhao


9:30 a.m.  Welcome & the Story of the Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. Digital Archive

10 a.m. Morning Keynote: Brian Foo

11:15 a.m. Lunch

Noon Visit the Eco Commons for Pickrick protest AR demo

1:15 p.m. Atlanta Archives Futures Panel 

2:30 p.m. Creating the Art and the Archive -  Atlanta Legacy Makers Project

3:45 p.m. Break

4 p.m. Afternoon Keynote: Dr. Tomiko Brown-Nagin

5:15 p.m. Rooftop Reception 

Address and Walking Directions

Library - 6th floor Crosland

This symposium will be held on the 7th floor of Crosland Tower at 222 Bobby Dodd Way NW, Atlanta, GA 30313.

Find walking directions here: 

Parking and Transportation

Parking at Georgia Tech: 

The closest Georgia Tech parking lot is the Visitor Area 1: North Avenue Visitors Lot 

Navigate to 190 North Avenue NW, Atlanta, GA 30313 

For parking rates, navigate to the Georgia Tech Parking and Transportation page 

Taking MARTA: 

Tech Trolley: The Tech Trolley provides a direct connection to campus from the Midtown Station. Exit the trolley at the Transit Hub noted on our Interactive Map for easy access to the Library. 

Walking: Exit at North Avenue Station and walk west on North Avenue. Take a right onto Cherry Street, The Library is at the end on Cherry Street. This route is approximately 15 minutes. 


For any accommodation requests or questions, please email Catherine Manci at

Eco Commons

This symposium includes an optional lunchtime visit to the Georgia Tech Eco Commons.

Read more about the Eco Commons

Symposium Bibliography




Georgia Tech Library

Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts

School of History and Sociology

School of Literature, Media, and Communication

Digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center



Atlanta Legacy Makers Project