Cobb Public Library to digitize the county’s city directories

Front of Switzer Library, a brick building with a white columned entrancewaySwitzer Library (Photo Cobb County Courier/Larry Felton Johnson)

If you’ve ever done detailed genealogical or historical work tracking a person, a business, or a fixed address through time, you’ll know what a valuable resource city directories can be.

The city directories had sections that listed individuals and businesses by name, by address, and a section devoted to businesses.

So if you wanted to know the various places an individual had lived over the decades, you could just pull a few years of directories off the shelf and look up their name in each of the directories, giving you a map of their movements through the years.

Or if you want to know what people or businesses had been at a particular address you were interested in, you could follow the steps above, but in the address section.

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But it still required a great deal of page-turning and physical look-up in library history and reference rooms.

In the case of Cobb County, it required a visit to the Georgia Room at the Switzer Library in Marietta. It was always a pleasant visit, but not always convenient.

So there is good news.

The Cobb County Public Library is digitizing its collection of city directories.

The library system posted the following to its social media:

The Georgia Room has wonderful news! All Cobb County city directories are currently with the @diglibga to be digitized and made available online. This includes Marietta, Smyrna, Mableton, and Austell volumes usually available in the Georgia Room. We estimate to have them back in the Georgia Room and available October 2022. Thank you for your patience!

This is an exciting project that will be a welcome addition to the toolbox of researchers and amateur genealogists alike.

About the Cobb County Public Library

According to the Cobb County Public Library website:

Cobb County Public Library is a 15-branch system headquartered in Marietta, Georgia, where its staff members serve a diverse population of over 750,000 people. Cobb is one of Georgia’s fastest-growing counties, and Cobb County Public Library is dedicated to being a resource center in the community by providing equal access to information, materials, and services.

History of Cobb’s library system

The first public library in Cobb County was opened in the home of Sarah Freeman Clarke in Marietta. The first standalone library building, opened on Church Street in 1893 and was named for Clarke.

Libraries were opened in Acworth and Austell in subsequent years, and in 1959, the city of Marietta and several other Cobb County libraries combined to form a countywide system that began the Cobb County Public Library as we know it today.

You can read more about the history of the Cobb County Public Library by following this link.

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