Milledgeville Audubon Society Collection
Compiled by Marlene R. Harrington, 1998
The papers of the Milledgeville Audubon Society (also known as the Bird Club) were donated to the Library in July of 1997 by Dr. Harriett Whipple. They were previously housed at the Mary Vinson Library. The collection consisted of one box of materials. Marlene R. Harrington, Library Associate, processed the documents in February of 1998.
The result of the processing is one box consisting of 20 file folders divided into two series. It has been arranged for easy research. The initial investigation showed the minutes of the meetings in fairly good order. Other documents were packaged together in several large envelopes.
This guide to the collection includes the introduction, biographical and historical notes, summary and scope notes, and a box inventory. The Milledgeville Audubon Society Papers are available for use by all qualified researchers.
Biographical and Historical Notes
The first organizational meeting of the Milledgeville Audubon Society was held on December 8, 1930. By its second meeting, the club adopted its Constitution. In 1934 Milledgeville was designated as a "Bird Sanctuary" by the City Council. In 1940 the club celebrated its 10th anniversary. By 1941 Boy Scouts became Associate Members, and by 1946 a Junior Bird Club was established. The city of Milledgeville hosted the Georgia Ornithological Society on three occasions, and were quite successful--1942, 1953, and 1968. The M.A.S. joined the Georgia and National Ornithological Societies.
In 1946 the club published "Birds of Baldwin County and Vicinities." The "Constitution" was renamed "By-Laws" in 1950. That same year, the society celebrated its 20th Anniversary. A Nature Trail was begun in Nesbitt Woods in 1959. In 1960 the society celebrated its 30th Anniversary.
The mission of the society was to extend hospitality to the wild birds, acquire a greater knowledge of birdlife in the vicinity, and create a healthful public sentiment in favor of bird study, and reasonable bird protection.
The last minutes found in the collection were dated November, 1968.
Scope and Content
The minutes of the meetings of the Milledgeville Audubon Society range from its inception in 1930 through November of 1968. The society first met at the Baptist Church on December 8, 1930 with 8 members. At the 2nd meeting on January 5, 1931, the "Constitution" was presented and adopted. In the beginning, it was also called the "Bird Club." The main purpose at the onset of the society was for the protection of migratory birds, and teaching young people about the preservation of birdlife. The M.A.S. was a member of the Georgia and National Ornithological Societies.
The "Minutes" of the meeting are in Series 1 and are arranged chronologically beginning with the year 1930. Series 2 consists of "Subject Files" which are arranged alphabetically.
The society was quite active and involved in various projects: bird census counts for Milledgeville and vicinity, bird banding projects, attaining status as a bird sanctuary in 1934, records of sighting of rare birds in the area, and studying films and habitats of birds. At many meetings, outside speakers gave presentations and talks for the society.
Milledgeville had the honor of hosting the Georgia Ornithological Society on three occasions: 1942, 1953, and 1968. Also, several members of the M.A.S. were delegates and officers in the G.O.S.
Young people were incorporated into the society in 1941 when the Boy Scouts were accepted as Associate Members. Five years later, in 1946, the Junior Audubon Society was started. These actions were representative of the main purpose of the club originally----to teach young people about birdlife.
The history of the M.A.S. is contained in two booklets: "1940-1950" and "1950-1960" which were produced by the society. They are located in the "Twentieth" and "Thirtieth Anniversaries" subject folders respectively. Also, they published "Birds of Baldwin County and Vicinity."
On January 9, 1950, the society changed the wording from "Constitution" to "By-Laws." One revision was that "Bird Club" was dropped from being one of the society's titles. In 1959 a Nature Trail was begun in Nesbitt Woods, which gained national recognition.
Anniversary celebrations were held in 1940, 1945, 1950 and 1960. At the last one, Dr. Harold Peters, from the National Audubon Society, was the guest speaker. He praised the society for their work and dedication.
The strengths of the collection include the detailed minutes and the informative histories written about the society. The weaknesses include: the collection does not contain all the minutes for all the years. The "1930-40" history book is missing. The last minutes recorded are in November, 1968, so it is unclear as to what happened to the club after that time period.
Provenance and Arrangement
Dr. Harriett Whipple, Georgia College & State University, Department of Biology, received the Milledgeville Audubon Society Papers from the Mary Vinson Public Library for research purposes. She donated the papers to Special Collections in 1997. The papers were processed in February of 1998.
The minutes of the meetings were in fairly good order, although some were just loose cards. The arrangement was kept in chronological order beginning with 1930, when the Society started. The rest of the documents and materials arrived in several large envelopes in no particular order. These materials were arranged in folders by subject matter for easier access for researchers.
Series 1--Minutes of Meetings (Box 1, Folders 1-10)
Series 2--Subject Files (Box 1, Folders 11-20)