Unpacking Manuel's Tavern | Unpacking Manuel's Tavern
Unpacking Manuel's Tavern, a digital archive
Manuel's Tavern, Atlanta, digital, archive
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Unpacking Manuel’s Tavern

Unpacking Manuel’s Tavern is an experimental, collaborative digital archiving project. The project has several phases:

  • Capturing high resolution gigapan images of the walls of the tavern
  • Creating a database of objects on the walls
  • Making images publicly available for annotation, commentary, and research
  • Experimenting with other visualizations, like 3D renderings

What Will It Look Like?

North Avenue Room Meeting Room Main Dining Room

Names of Tavern walls

The final product will be a gigapan photograph—imagine an image composed of a matrix of hundreds of close-up photographs all stitched together. You can zoom in to see extreme details. You can read inscriptions and examine dust and scratches. We have made gigapan photographs of each wall in the tavern, and 3D scans of each room.


Here are a few sample walls, taken from the meeting room area and the North Avenue room.



Soon, using this website, you will be able to travel virtually through the tavern. You will enter a room and see all the artifacts hanging as they have for decades. Like a wall of little drawers, you will click on an artifact and open it’s story in the form of a pop-out window.


We are still photographing the tavern and processing images, but you can participate now. We are looking for research and stories to tag onto artifacts. You don’t have to be an educator or student to contribute. If you have history to share, we want to know!

How Can I Contribute?

We invite you to send us your research.

Help us unpack the items from the walls of the tavern. Your content can be in the form of a written story, hypertext, audio recording, video recording or any combination of these.


1. Send it to us as an email.
2. Attach a snapshot of the item for our reference.
3. Include your name and contact information, as well as your citations and research references.


We will place it onto your item when the final site is launched. All entries will be vetted by Manuel’s historians and by educators using the site for their classes.

We Are Also Looking For:

We Are Also Looking For . . .
• Photos in Manuel’s or related ephemera: Do you have an archive of your own that documents how Manny’s has changed over time?
• Personal recollections and stories: Tell us why Manny’s is an important place for you. Did you have your first date there, or your first election?
• Additional reference leads: Are there people you know who would be good to include that we should reach out to?

For Educators

Want to teach your students how to think like a journalist or detective? Want to engage your students in the creation of a public archive? Use this project in your course as an assignment, group project or even a full semester.


Can they trace the history of the bar itself? Can they use the Carter Center archive to learn the stories behind the photos taken throughout his political career? Can they research the life stories from the names on any of the memorial plaques throughout the tavern? Or find the stories behind any of the maps, photographs, signs, or even beer cans?


We want to unpack this organic archive from the perspective of many disciplines: History, Art, Urban Planning, Political Science, Film, Archeology, Sociology, American Studies, Gender or Ethnic Studies, Architecture, Photography, Anthropology. We envision this project taking multiple directions and are excited to partner with you!


If you want some inspiration, we have sample assignments from David Morgen’s English 281 class at Emory University and Jody Brooks’s English 3160 class at Georgia State University.

Want to get involved with the project?