CSU Archives Receives Grant to Process Woodruff Papers

COLUMBUS, Ga. - The Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board grant program has awarded the Columbus State University Archives $3,333 to arrange, describe, preserve and make accessible papers on Columbus businessmen James W. Woodruff Sr. and James W. Woodruff Jr.

The senior Woodruff (1879-1963), who led the effort to establish the series of dams on the Chattahoochee River, including one named in his honor, is often referred to as The Father of the Chattahoochee. This connection is significant to the collection that will be ready for public access by January 2007, said CSU Archivist Reagan Grimsley.

With all of the recent debate over water sharing and the environment along the river, the historical content of these papers can shed light on how the river has changed over the past 50-100 years, Grimsley said. Now groups such as the graduate students in the environmental science program at CSU can utilize these papers as they seek to understand the complicated history of the Chattahoochee.

The CSU Archives will process 135 linear feet of papers documenting the lives, businesses and philanthropy of the Woodruffs, including records of three broadcast stations, WRBL in Columbus, WGPC in Albany and WATL in Atlanta. In addition to both Woodruffs interest in various Chattahoochee River development projects, the papers also contain information about the role of the younger Woodruff (1914-1976) in the formation of the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning. A related collection, the Confederate Salvage Association Records, documents Woodruff Jr.s role in recovering the gunboats Jackson and Chattahoochee.

Established in 1975, the CSU Archives serves as a repository for records documenting the history of CSU and the greater Columbus region. Located in CSUs Simon Schwob Memorial Library, the archives contains local history materials in a variety of formats, including manuscripts, photographs, maps and oral histories. The facility is open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For moreinformation, call 706-568-2247 or visit http://archives.colstate.edu.

The Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board grant program is sponsored by the Georgia General Assembly and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The program is designed to assist local historical organizations in preserving Georgias documentary heritage.