A major metropolitan area like Atlanta poses complex social problems that, on a personal level, are manifested as tragic suffering and loss. Two persistent epidemics, AIDS and housing precarity, have ravaged Atlanta over the years. Faced with these crises – for society and for individuals – private and volunteer groups arose to work alongside government agencies or in their absence.
Special Collections forms relationships with these groups and works to preserve their records and stories. By doing so, we are documenting the history of our region in all its painful complexity as well as providing first-hand information that can help to inform responses to future crises. We help society to remember those who experienced chronic sickness and poverty. And we preserve the legacies of hope and generosity of those who dedicated themselves to relentless battle against these ongoing public health crises.