Atlanta Studies Network

The Atlanta Studies Network is an interdisciplinary group of researchers, students, and instructors across area institutions including Emory University, Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Clark Atlanta University, Kennesaw State University, the Atlanta History Center, and the New Georgia Encyclopedia. In addition to publishing Atlanta Studies, the Atlanta Studies Network has hosted an annual symposium each spring that is free and open to the public. The Network also hosts quarterly meetups at Manuel’s Tavern. Finally, a number of innovative cross-institutional projects about Atlanta have arisen from collaborations in the Network, such as those highlighted below. 

Mapping and Data

Open World Atlanta

Open World Atlanta, a merger of Unpacking Atlanta, 3D Atlanta, and Atlanta Explorer, is a platform that provides different interactive engagements with historical data, 3D models, maps, and virtual environments about Atlanta, allowing users to explore Atlanta’s past in a variety of ways.


ATLMaps combines archival maps, geospatial data visualization, and user-contributed multimedia location pinpoints to promote investigation into a diverse set of issues about Atlanta.

OpenTour Builder

OpenTour Builder is a free and open source software platform for building geospatial tours that are optimized for mobile devices. The project began by providing Atlanta-focused content like the Battle of Atlanta Tour App, but has since expanded in scope. An Emory-supported instance of OpenTour is now available for those who intend to use the technology for educational purposes or the exhibition of research. 

Cultural Deep-Dives

Unpacking Manuel’s Tavern

Unpacking Manuel’s Tavern captures the walls of Atlanta’s historic Manuel’s Tavern, prior to its 2016 renovation, a virtual catalog of the city’s political and social history. This experimental, collaborative digital archiving project connects high resolution gigapan images of the walls of the tavern to a database of the thousands of objects in these detailed renderings. The Unpacking Manuel’s website makes these images publicly available for annotation, commentary, and research. Dozens of students at Georgia State University and Emory University have unearthed the histories of these objects, and members of the public and Atlanta political class have shared stories about these objects, shedding light on Atlanta’s history.

Unpacking Oakland

This Oakland Cemetery project is a collaborative endeavor between the Historic Oakland FoundationBeam ImaginationGeorgia State University, and Emory University that allows users to explore Oakland Cemetery’s history, residents, and horticulture.

Scholarship, Pedagogy, & Outreach

Atlanta Studies Journal

The Atlanta Studies Journal is an open access publication that features original scholarship about the city, projects, and resources for studying Atlanta and events of interest like our annual Atlanta Studies Symposium.

Teaching Atlanta

Teaching Atlanta is a digital resource for college and high school instructors who are interested in featuring Atlanta as a topic or case study in their teaching. It provides classroom assignments, curriculum, and digital platforms that will connect students to the history and culture of our city. Teaching Atlanta also connects teachers to one another, across disciplines and institutions.

Atlanta Studies Symposium

The annual Atlanta Studies Symposium includes presentations about Atlanta-based or related research and often involves participants who have built on or connected with the other platforms. Since 2013, the Atlanta Studies Network has organized an annual symposium each spring tackling the social, cultural, environmental, and economic issues facing Atlanta. In keeping with our belief that scholarship about the city should also be for the city, the symposium is always free to attend and open to the public. Past symposia have been hosted by Emory University, Georgia State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center. You can read more about the upcoming symposium or past symposia.