UGA libraries acquires almost century-old films


UGA may have acquired the earliest movies taken in the state of Georgia through a partnership between the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection and the Pebble Hill Plantation Foundation in Thomasville, Ga.

The reels of 28mm, 16mm and 8mm films in the donation span from approximately 1917 into the 1960s.

Pebble Hill Plantation was the winter home for the Howard Melville Hanna family of Cleveland, Ohio. Elizabeth “Pansy” Ireland Poe, granddaughter of Howard Melville Hanna, was the last family member to live in the plantation’s main house until her death in 1978. Earlier, she created a foundation to ensure the property became the historic house museum and environmental preserve it is today. Pebble Hill’s trustees donated the family’s films to the university in order to protect their unique scenes of the family and property.

Many of the home movies feature “Miss Pansy” and extended family members at home, as well as friends and plantation workers, a summer home in Maine, and the many animals that were part of life at Pebble Hill.

Always on the lookout for films that depict Athens, UGA, Georgia and the Southeast region to add to the visual history of the South, the media archives will host a Home Movie Day screening on Oct. 20 from 2-4 p.m. at the Richard B. Russell Building. Another Home Movie Day will be held Nov. 3 from 1-3 p.m. at the White County Public Library in Cleveland.  For more information, go to