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02 April 2015

University of Georgia Selected to House Habitat for Humanity Historic Records & Documents

Habitat for Humanity is a world-famous, non-profit organization based in Americus, Georgia.

Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has helped more than 5 million people worldwide through home construction, rehabilitation and repairs.

(Habitat for Humanity and University of Georgia leaders announced the university's Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library would be the new home of Habitat's historical records and documents. Image courtesy Habitat for Humanity.)

Now, their illustrious history will be preserved for future generations to learn about the charity's mission to build simple, decent, and affordable housing for those who need it. Tuesday, 1 April 2015, Habitat for Humanity announced the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia will be the new home to nearly four decades of Habitat's historical records and documents.

"These materials tell the story of how faith and determination helped shape Habitat into a global housing ministry that has touched the lives of more than 5 million people," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. "We are grateful to the University of Georgia for organizing and preserving this collection that enables us to preserve our past as we continue to build our future. We also want to thank those who helped raise the walls on this home and to the countless supporters who work so hard every day to build homes, communities and hope."

Habitat's records are the largest addition to the library's growing collection of materials revolving around the topics of housing, philanthropy and social change, and consist of correspondence and files relating to events, administrative activities, Habitat affiliates, photographs and artifacts. Some materials, such as newsletters, date back to the early 1940s and chronicle activities at Koinonia Farm in Americus, Georgia, the birthplace of Habitat for Humanity. Habitat's work through recent years, including the planning and execution of signature build events and programs, such as the annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, are also part of the collection.

"We are honored to be the home of Habitat for Humanity's historical records," said Jere W. Morehead, president of the University of Georgia. "Habitat's work and global impact over the years have been impressive, and we are proud to support the organization in its mission to eliminate substandard housing everywhere."

Following the announcement, staff and volunteers from Athens Area Habitat for Humanity and the Habitat-UGA campus chapter joined the University of Georgia in framing a home in front of the Library. The house will be moved to the Carpenter's Circle neighborhood in Athens, Georgia, where it will be completed by local volunteers and become home to Kim Arnold and her daughter Molly.

"Celebrating and contributing to the preservation of Habitat's history has been a blessing," said Spencer Frye, executive director of Athens Area Habitat for Humanity. "Habitat's history and mission has inspired many of our volunteers and is the reason we have been able to provide safe, decent and affordable housing to more than 300 families in Athens."