Skip to main content

Mary Givens Bryan papers

Identifier: MC-002

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence (business and personal) research notes and articles, personal records, photos, and artifacts (non-Camden county land records) from Mary Givens Bryan.

A seperate box contains roughly 300 research requests for information pertaining to specific veterans. The box is labled "MGB," so the current assumption is that this box is a part of the Mary Givens Bryan papers.


  • 1834-1964



Mary Givens Bryan was born in LaGrange, Georgia on September 3, 1910, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Young Clyde Givens.

She was educated in the public schools of Decatur and at Mount de Sale Academy in Macon. She also attended the State College for Women, Crichton’s Business College, Emory University, and the University of Georgia – Evening College. Her professional courses included archives administration and records management at American University.

Mrs. Bryan began her archival work as a clerk in the Georgia Department of Archives and History in 1933. She was soon promoted to secretary, and a few years later named assistant director of the department. In 1950, she was promoted to acting director and served only a year before being named director of the Georgia Department of Archives and History and Georgia State Archivist. She held this position until her death.

In 1951, she joined the Society of American Archivist and three years later was appointed chairman of the State Records Committee. During her years of service in this capacity from 1954-1957, she inaugurated a series of committee publications that were among the most useful productions of the Society. Each year she edited and published a “Comparative Study of State and U.S. Territorial Laws Governing Archives”. Her outstanding work resulted in her election in 1959 to the office of president of the Society. Her presidential address “Changing Times” is printed in the January 1961 issue of American Archivist. Her final service in April 1964 was the supervision of a workshop for untrained custodians of records and manuscripts.

Because of the vast role she played in preserving Georgia’s history, “Georgia Magazine” gave her the title of “Georgia’s Miss Mary” in their December 1959 issue.

When Mary Bryan became Georgia State Archivist, the archives were housed in Rhodes Memorial Hall, an older mansion not suited for preservation of books and documents. She traveled across the state campaigning for a better facility. Finally, the state legislature appropriated more than six million dollars for a new archives building. This new archives was built within sight of the Georgia State Capitol.

Mary Givens Bryan died in Piedmont Hospital on July 28, 1964. She is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in St. Marys, Georgia.


1.5 Linear Feet (1 file drawer)

Language of Materials


A Guide to the Mary Givens Bryan papers
Harland Harris, Connie Brazell
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bryan-Lang Archives Repository

P. O. Box 715
311 Camden Ave.
Woodbine Georgia 31569 United States