Proud Savannah History
Proud Savannah History Project
Documenting and Preserving the History of Savannah's LGBTQIA+ Community
View the Oral History Collection
You can access the collection through the Voices of Savannah site. The collection will continue to grow as new oral history interviews are collected and added. Be sure to check back for new voices!
Make a Deposit to the Voice Bank
Camera shy? Contribute your oral history through a written narrative form (options to restrict your name and when it opens for research in the future are available). Make sure Your Voice and Your Story are part of this project through the Voice Bank, an online form with question prompts to guide you.
Share Your Photos & Memories
Do you have photographs, newspaper articles, memories and stories that you want to share and ensure are preserved as part of this effort? Contribute them through our online collection portal at www.savannahga.gov/YourHistory. Through a simple online form you can upload photographs (JPG or TIF), documents (DOC or PDF), or type in your memories in a narrative field. Tell us about important Savannah leaders, historic events, businesses, and sites that need to be remembered.
Network News Digitization Project
In partnership with the First City Pride Center, the Municipal Archives is digitizing the First City Network's Network News to document the history of Savannah's LGBTQ+ community and make this resource available for research use by the public. This is an ongoing project and you can view issues as they become available online at: First City Network Network News
- The Proud Savannah Oral History Project is one of the products of the Proud Savannah History Project, including all oral history interviews collected with participants, sharing their own stories and voices. Each interviewee sets their own restrictions on their interviews. The collection finding aid/inventory provides more information on the collection, including brief biographies on the participants and release dates for restricted interviews. You can watch all unrestricted interviews through the Voices of Savannah portal.
- The Robert W. Bush papers are fully digitized and will be of interest to researchers of LGBTQ+ history in Savannah. Robert W. Bush (1964-) is a gay native Georgian and human rights lawyer, who has been advocating for the LGBTQ+ community in Savannah, Georgia for decades. Bush works for the Georgia Legal Services Program, was on the board of the First City Network, was the first openly gay local columnist, created a legal assistance program for people living with HIV/AIDS, and has been involved in several local organizations advocating for LGBTQ+ rights.
About the Project
The main purpose of the Proud Savannah History Project is to record the history of the LGBTQIA+ community, in their own words and their own voices, and to preserve this history in the Municipal Archives where it will be accessible to the public. The Municipal Archives continually strives to document Savannah's diverse communities, neighborhoods, and citizens. The addition of voices from the LGBTQIA+ community will help ensure that we are preserving a more inclusive, informative, and complete history of Savannah and everyone that makes up Savannah's story.
The Municipal Archives is serving as the coordinating lead on the project and as the home repository for the collection, preserving the oral history interviews, making them publicly accessible, and ensuring that any restrictions placed on the interviews by the subjects are respected and followed. Partners and collaborators on the project include Georgia Equality, members of the First City Pride Center, and a team of volunteers. Volunteers are vital to making the project a success. Volunteers assist in identifying and reaching out to potential interviewees, scheduling and conducting oral history interviews, and connecting us with new volunteers who want to help out. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Municipal Archives at Archives@savannahga.gov.
Oral History Project Guide
The Project Guide provides information for the interviewee (subject of the interview) and the interviewer (person conducting the interview) to assist them in the oral history collection process. The guide covers the following topics: interviewee guide; sample release form; interviewer guide; basic topic list; basic question list; volunteer scripts; interview checklist; and Zoom guide. The Project Guide is a fluid document and the Municipal Archives staff welcomes feedback from users of the Guide to improve it for future interviewees and interviewers. Feedback can be submitted to Archives@savannahga.gov.
For a quick look at the questions one can expect to be asked during an interview, look at the Basic Question List.
Oral History Interview Release Form
The release form must be completed by both the interviewee (subject of the interview) and interviewer (person conducting the interview) prior to the interview being recorded. It is available as a PDF file to be printed out and completed onsite for in-person interviews or as an online form for interviews being recorded remotely online.
If you have questions about the Proud Savannah HIstory Project, are interested in serving as a volunteer or contributing to the project by sitting for an interview, or have a photograph or document related to Savannah's LGBTQIA+ history that you would like to donate to the Municipal Archives (either original or let us reproduce by scanning), please email us at Archives@savannahga.gov or call us at (912) 651-6412.