Bernadette Loftin Collection

Bernadette K. Loftin

Professor Bernadette Kuehn Loftin came to Middle Georgia College in 1969. Not long afterwards she began researching the history of Bleckley County and the city of Cochran, Georgia. During her early years of research she taught a course entitled the “History of Bleckley County from the Perspective of Its Residents.” After almost two decades of research she completed The Cochran Community. Development, Continuity and Challenge, Uchee Trail Publishers (1999). A link to the collection finding aid is available at the bottom of this page.

Scope of the Collection

After her retirement, Loftin donated her research materials to Roberts Memorial Library, Middle Georgia College. The collection encompassed two hundred years of myriad documents and ephemera; 19th and 20th century legal documents, deeds, superior court minutes, wills, tax digests and census records; copies of articles from academic and non-academic journals, newspapers, magazines, and books; audio tapes of oral interviews; and a collection of newspaper articles for each year from 1870 to 1949. The collection consisted of several thousand pages of countless materials.

Project Design

In February 2021, after the renovation of Roberts Memorial Library, Middle Georgia State University a project was undertaken to inventory and catalog the extensive collection. Professor Loftin’s papers were originally organized in an informal manner useful to her. The project goal was to formally inventory, catalog and organize all the materials in a manner for researchers to access the collection.

Organization of the Collection

The collection is organized by the original twenty-two chapters of Loftin’s book. The research materials are divided into separate folders for the subjects included in that chapter. There is a comprehensive inventory of all papers in each folder with complete bibliographic citations. In many cases the copy of the original article was in poor condition and sometimes not a complete copy of the published article. The partial copy was sufficient for Professor Loftin’s use but not necessarily for a new researcher. Copies of the original articles, when possible, were located through reputable Internet sites and libraries. A complete copy of the article was made providing full context for the subject of the article. In many cases, when similar articles were found that were not part of Loftin’s original papers they have been added, increasing the amount of references available for the researcher.

Research Subjects

The Cochran Collunity: Development, Continuity and Challenge

The collection documents the history of Bleckley County from the early pioneer days with the arrival of the first five major families at the beginning of the 19th century. The research and resources are extensive, covering life in the early ante-bellum days to the end of the 20th century; the economics and businesses of rural counties and cities, local government, judicial, politics, religion, education, agricultural, land development, plantation economics, slavery, the Civil War, transportation, cultural and social issues, and the world wars of the 20th century.

Current Records Status

After two plus years of inventory, the collection is now available for academic and public use. It is an on-going project with more materials being added as inventories are completed. The collection is housed in the archives of Roberts Memorial Library, Middle Georgia State University, Cochran, GA.

Use of the Archives

The Archives is located on the third floor of the Roberts Memorial Library in Cochran, Ga at Middle Georgia State University, and is open to the public. Hours of operation are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to noon on Friday. Summer hours vary.

The archived material cannot be borrowed and must be examined in the reading room of the archives. Copies of documents may be provided for .10 a sheet.

Access to the collection is available for all researchers, academics, students, private and general public. Appointments are necessary, please contact the library at 478.934.3179 to arrange an appointment.

Administrative Information

Copyright: Materials published before 1927 do not have copyright restrictions. For later publications it is the user’s responsibility to determine copyright requirements.

Preferred Citation for publication: after identification of item(s), Loftin Collection, Roberts Memorial Library, Middle Georgia State University, Cochran, GA.

Collection arranged and described by James (Jim) Adams, 2023. 

Professor Bernadette Loftin Research Collection Finding Aid