How to Find Public Records in Georgia
Public Records Search: Georgia
Georgia makes its archived records and information accessible to the
public. Researchers may visit the archives in person or may obtain many
materials online. By visiting sos.state.ga.us/archives/ researchers may
find resources for locating land records, census records, and many other
types of archived records.
To physically visit the Georgia State Archives, you may travel to their
location at 5800 Jonesboro Road, Morrow, GA 30260. They are located just
south of Atlanta. Researchers may also reach them with questions by
telephone at 678-364-3700. When visiting these archives in person,
researchers must register and present valid photo identification. The
agency is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 5 PM.
Of course, many researchers prefer to do their research online. The
Georgia State Archives has a very user-friendly feature called “Ask an
Archivist.” Researchers may simply email a question and obtain what they
need online. Once you click on this option you will be directed to a
page with types of questions that may fit your query. Some of the
examples they list are as follows: “Do you have a Civil War pension
application for…” or “Do you have county wills for 1920?” and so forth.
Of course, researchers also have the option to mail in requests for
records and information. There are fees associated with this option—even
for Georgia residents.
“Georgia Archives staff can perform limited research via mail for a
non-refundable fee of $15.00 for Georgia residents and $30.00 for
out-of-state residents. This fee will include one of the following: 1)
up to twelve (12) photocopies for most orders with a source citation, 2)
a report of the search indicating all sources searched, or 3) a listing
of suggested sources for further research.”
The site also provides an online request form that must accompany your
request. Click on the link to open and print this form.
Of course, some research may be performed online independently of staff.
Not all resources and records are available online, however. Some online
resources available from the site include various indexes and
inventories, but expect more to come on this horizon. Otherwise, taken
as a whole, the Georgia archives collection is home to a myriad of
documents in many formats. Family letters and papers, business records,
local government records, church records, cemetery records, various
country records are just some types available through the Georgia State
The Georgia State Archives also offers additional links for researchers
that include African American resources, Georgia Colony trustees,
Georgia tax records, Georgia militia districts, historic photographs,
etc…Taken as a whole, all these resources are a treasure trove of
information that may be valuable and important to the public.
There is also a new virtual program sponsored by the agency with a link
on the site for visiting the Virtual Vault, a library of digitized
records, historic maps, tax digests, photos and images spanning a wide
time period of Georgia’s history. This is a work in progress, but
researchers are finding more and more avenues to obtain public records
and information all the time; this is another example of a project
geared at this aim.
All in all, the Georgia State Archives lives up to its mission to
preserve various records for Georgia and its citizens as well as to make
them available to the public. Researchers may be able to find a limited
amount of information themselves by searching the site’s online
holdings, but they may need to contact a staff member to enlist their
help when researching via email and regular mail. Unfortunately there
are fees associated with mailed requests, but as more and more records
find their way online, this may be less a necessity in years to come.
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