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Grace Towns Hamilton maps and photographs

Collection number: ahc.VIS35

Scope and Content

The collection contains images of Grace Towns Hamilton, her family, special events, and other public officials. The bulk of the collection features Hamilton posed with public officials including: Governor Jimmy Carter, U.S. Congressman Andrew Young, Georgia Governor George Busbee, Coretta Scott King, Atlanta University President Benjamin E. Mays, and U.S. Congressman Julian Bond. Also included are photographs of Atlanta homes of the 1960s; African-American Navy yard workers (1940s); the Presidio of San Francisco (1880s); Grace Towns Hamilton's Honorary Doctorate Degree Ceremony at Emory University (1984); the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, "Your Heritage House" exhibit (1983); and various Governors Balls. Of special interest are photographs documenting the opening of the Hughes Spalding Pavilion of Henry Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia (1952).

The collection also contains maps of Fulton County districts, DeKalb County districts, and the city of Atlanta. The collection includes a map of 1967 voting precincts and the 1974 education districts of Fulton County. The Vine City Neighborhood Development Program and Urban Development Area's boundary maps from 1969, 1970, and 1971 are included in this collection. There is also a map dated July 1974 that shows the conceptual designs for the Vine City MARTA station. The three demographic maps were prepared by the Southern Regional Council between 1970 and 1974. These maps show the black population as a percentage of the total population in fifteen southern counties. They show the rural population as a percentage of the total population in these counties as well.


  • 1882-1984, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

This material is protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Administrative/Biographical History

Legislator, educator, community and civil rights activist Grace Towns Hamilton (1907-1992) became the first African American woman elected to the Georgia General Assembly. She was born in Atlanta, Georgia to community activist parents, George Alexander Towns, Sr. and Nellie McNair Towns. She graduated from Atlanta University in 1927 and graduated from Ohio State University several years later. She returned to Atlanta and taught psychology at Clark College and the Atlanta School of Social Work. In 1930, Grace Towns married Henry Cooke Hamilton, son of builder Alexander D. Hamilton. They moved to Tennessee where their only child, Eleanor Payne Hamilton, was born. After moving back to Atlanta in 1941, Grace Towns Hamilton advocated for healthcare, fair and equal housing, schools, and voter registration drives for African Americans as she served as the Executive Director of the Atlanta Urban League until 1961. In 1965, she became the first African American woman elected to the Georgia General Assembly and she worked for the improvement of Atlanta until 1984. After 1984, Hamilton held another public office as advisor to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, serving from January 1985 to 1987.


454 image(s) (217 black and white photographic prints, 230 maps, six negatives, and one color slide)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1986

Related Archival Materials

Grace Towns Hamilton papers, MSS 597, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center

Description Control

This collection was reprocessed in 2017.

Grace Towns Hamilton maps and photographs
NaVosha Copeland
March 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305