Collection Laid Foundation for Camden Research; Documents Donated 25 Years Ago Were the Start of a Historical Library
Jackson, Gordon, The Florida Times Union
Byline: GORDON JACKSON
WOODBINE - When Beatrice Lang donated her collection of historical documents to Camden County 25 years ago, county officials were unsure what to do with the rare collection.
Lang, a state historian, wanted her extensive collection of letters, diaries and books stored in her basement in Decatur returned to her hometown of Woodbine to help people research Camden County's history.
Last week, the Bryan-Lang Historical Library commemorated the donation that led to its creation in 1987. The facility is one of 16 historical libraries in Georgia, according to a brochure at the library.
While none of the books or documents can be removed from the library, librarian Judy Buchanan said many people come into the facility to research county and family histories through records dating to 1777, when Camden County was established as one of the state's eight original counties.
The collection, which has grown significantly over the years, includes self-published family histories, diaries, personal letters, church records, tax documents and out-of-print books.
"It's the seed of the collection," Buchanan said. "It gave the library its start."
Kingsland City Manager Gwen Mungin, a member of the library's collection committee, said Lang's donation was crucial to creating a depository for historical documents for the county and region.
"We really didn't have a location where we could gather historical documents," Mungin said. "It laid the foundation. It's an enormous collection of different types of data."
Mungin said the library was important when Kingsland was looking for information for the August observance of it centennial. …