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Virginia Twinam Smith slides

Collection number: ahc.VIS397

Scope and Contents

This collection contains slides of a wide variety of identified plants including herbs, flowering annuals and perennials, native shrubs, vegetables, vines, and trees of the Southeastern States. Also a part of the collection are photographs of public gardens, such as the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Callaway Gardens, Chattahoochee Nature Center, and the gardens of the Tullie Smith House at the Atlanta History Center. Other images in the Smith collection depict downtown Atlanta, skylines, churches, and buildings with notable architectural features. Also included are photographs of rural areas, cemeteries, and historic buildings such as the Williams-Payne House in Sandy Springs which are also represented in the collection. Of special interest are a large number of street scenes and storefront images of the Little Five Points neighborhood, Atlanta.


  • 1978-2003


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing 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.

Biographical / Historical

Virginia Twinam Smith (1923-2015) was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to John Courtenay Twinam Jr. (1899-1946) and Virginia Russell Twinam. The family lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where Virginia married Robert "Bob" Milburn Smith (1921-1989) in 1943. The couple had two children, Courtenay Howell Smith (1945- ) and Deborah Smith Timberlake (1951- ), and relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1954. Virginia Twinam Smith served and volunteered with many cultural arts organizations such as the High Museum of Art, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Atlanta Arts Festival, and the Atlanta Historical Society's (later Atlanta History Center) Tullie Smith House and Garden (later Smith Family Farm). She worked with the Sandy Springs Historic Community Foundation, where she helped create a photographic record of the Williams-Payne House Museum as well as tours and scripts for docents. Smith helped form the Chattahoochee Unit of the Herb Society of America and lectured on plants to garden clubs and other civic groups. In the early 1980s, Smith began taking photographs to supplement her slide lectures. As her interest in photography grew, she attended and graduated from the Professional Photography program of the Southeastern Center for the Arts in 1988. She was an active member of the Atlanta Photography Group and the Women in Focus organization. She established the Atlanta Photography Group's Georgia Print Purchase Award to purchase photographic prints for the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia and to support local photographers. In addition to photographing a comprehensive range of plants in the Southeastern States, she captured numerous outdoor sites, events and public venues, including street scenes and historic buildings.


5837 color slide(s)




This collection is arranged in two series: Series I. Plants; and Series II. Places. Both series are arranged alphabetically by titles supplied by staff. Contol numbers are occasionally out of numeric order.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 2015

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2020. Some control numbers were not used.

Virginia Twinam Smith slides
Jennie Oldfield
October 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305