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City of Athens Police records

Collection number: MSS-025

Scope and Contents

The dockets in this collection cover the years, 1902-1977. The entries generally include the following information: case number, name of the defendant, codes violated, location of the arrest, date of the incident, name of the arresting officer, date when papers were issued and served, date when the defendant is due to appear, names of witnesses, and dispensation of the case.

The volumes mostly include indexes; the exceptions are the first-sixth volumes (those numbered on the spine 6, 8, 9, 11, and 13, plus an unnumbered volume), the 9th and 10th volumes (numbered 15 and 16 on the spines), the 48th-51st volumes (numbered 53-56 on the front covers), the 53rd volume (numbered 58 on the front cover), the 56th and 57th volumes (numbered 1 and 2 on the spines), the 68th volume (numbered 6 on the spine—not the same number 6 as above), the 76th volume (not numbered on the spine), the 78th volume (numbered 10 on the spine), and the 85th volume (numbered 11 on the spine—not the same number 11 as above). The first-sixth volumes, however, are among those that have been digitized.


  • 1903-1977

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection has no restrictions. This collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required. Apply in the Heritage Room for access.

Biographical / Historical

The City of Athens, incorporated in 1806, has had a police force in some form since that date. From 1806 to 1847, the City of Athens was governed by a commission of three to seven men who themselves enforced the law. In 1847, the city government changed its structure; it now was comprised of an intendant and seven wardens. The wardens were responsible for policing the section of town that each represented. At this time, the city also began to employ town marshals who performed varying functions including police duties. By 1881, the police force was comprised of a chief, lieutenant, and sergeant. By 1900, the force was comprised of a chief, lieutenant, and twelve patrolmen. A city detective joined the force by 1914 and motorcycle patrolmen were introduced in 1923.

The records found in this collection begin in 1902. However, the numbering of the first volume ("6") suggests that these records were possibly being kept in this form beginning at an earlier date.


139 Volumes (139 volumes)


Docket books from the City of Athens' Police Department/ Mayor's Court documenting individual arrest records. One-hundred-thirty-nine docket books are held by the library; eight have been digitized and are available online via the Digital Library of Georgia.


The collection is organized in a single series. The dockets are arranged by date. The numbering found on the dockets is inconsistent; some are not numbered at all.


Rowe, Hugh. History of Athens and Clarke County. 1923.

Wells, Jasper Rea. Athens, Georgia, Home of the University of Georgia, 1801-1951. 1951.

Materials Specific Details

The docket books comprise the entirety of the collection.

Physical Description


City of Athens Police records
Beth Whitlock, Justin Kau
June 2016, January 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Heritage Room, Athens-Clarke County Library Repository

2025 Baxter Street
Athens GA 30606