While some archives are carefully curated by experts with clear intentions and institutional resources supporting their creation, other archives are unintentional and organic collections of materials that have gathered in a corner of a city like driftwood on the beach. One such example of the later type of archive are the walls of Manuel’s Tavern, which over the past half century have slowly evolved into a record of the local established political left that inhabited that space; where a generation of cops, soldiers, and politicians—who believed in a more representative democracy—gathered to eat pork chops in a neighborhood occupied by immigrants, hippies, and punks. And to this day neighbors still treat it like an extra living room, where they come to watch elections or play chess.
Unpacking Manuel's Tavern aims to both preserve this unintentional archive as it was before Manuel's Tavern underwent renovations in 2015 and provide a platform through which one might learn more about the individual items in this archive and even contribute to the knowledge about them. This project is the result of a collaboration via the Atlanta Studies Network, Emory University's Center for Digital Scholarship, Georgia State University’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and University Library, with additional contributions from the Savannah College of Art & Design in Atlanta and the Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia.
The project has received both local coverage (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WABE, Creative Loafing, ArtsATL) as well as national coverage (New York Times).
For more information about this project, feel free to contact us.
Note: All photographs, videos, and other materials hosted on this site are licensed CC BY NC.