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About this collection

Bill Wilson photographs, 1938-1984 (VIS 99)

William Bryan Wilson (1914-1993) worked as a photographer for the Atlanta Constitution from 1937-1942, and then volunteered for the Navy during World War II. Following the war, Wilson returned to the Atlanta Journal where he worked until he retired in 1979.  In 1953, Wilson won several national awards for a photograph he took of the family of Korean War Prisoner of War, J.P. Love upon his return to the United States. 

This collection is comprised of original negatives, copy prints, and copy negatives created by Bill Wilson while employed as a photographer for the Atlanta Journal, as well as images by other artists and photographers, whose works were collected by Wilson. The collection offers important documentation on a wide variety of personalities, events, and geographic locations both in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. Included are images of political leaders, athletes, and celebrities such as Herman Talmadge, George Wallace, Ivan Allen, Jr., Julian Bond, Jack Dempsey, Bobby Jones, and Susan Hayward.

Other photographs document politics, sports, civic gatherings, civil rights protests, and natural disasters. Such events include Atlanta Braves baseball games, Atlanta Falcons, University of Georgia, and Georgia Tech football games, the Masters Golf Tournament, stock car racing, the funeral of Senator Richard B. Russell, and a rent demonstration in Atlanta involving Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ralph David Abernathy. The collection also contains photographs of the integration of Murphy High School in Atlanta, and hundreds of photographs in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia of the General Assembly Committee on Schools, commonly known as the Sibley Commission.  

The William Bryan Wilson collection contains 4,848 black and white negatives and photographic prints, 1,760 of which are digitized and available on this database. 

The finding aid for the entire collection is available here.

 

To view the rest of the images, please visit the Kenan Research Center located at 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30305. Our hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Wednesday – Saturday. You may contact us by calling 404.814.4040 or emailing reference@atlantahisorycenter.com.

Digitization of this collection is made possible in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

 
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