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Helen Bullard papers

Identifier: Manuscript Collection No. 599

Scope and Content Note

The Helen Bullard papers contain general correspondence, subject files, writings, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, reports, photographs, and miscellany. Though the oldest items in the collection are photographs dating from the 1920s, the bulk of the papers were created in the late 1960s and the 1970s.

With its concentration of materials from the 1960s and 1970s, the papers document primarily the professional and personal activities of Bullard's last two decades. Her involvement with political campaigns and with political leaders is a major, recurring topic mentioned frequently in the general correspondence and the elections subseries. Election records for Wyche Fowler, Panke Bradley, Max Cleland, and others reveal Bullard's influence in the campaigns she ran and the thoroughness of her attack. Her interest in local, state, and national government is also very apparent.

Other topics include the Atlanta Housing Authority and Bullard's activities as a consultant for tenant relations. A major part of this section of the subject files contains copies of a residents' survey filled out by tenants in AHA housing projects. Analysis of survey results, administrative records and other materials relating to the AHA are also included. Her work with the Fernbank Science Center and its development into a major urban park and biological center is also detailed in the collection. Civil rights, the welfare of friends, and other public relations projects of Bullard's are also frequently mentioned topics.

Correspondents include political and business leaders of Atlanta and Georgia, nationally-known politicians, and local authors and artists. Among the names represented in the correspondence are Ivan Allen, Jr., George Busbee, Jimmy Carter, Wyche Fowler, Grace Towns Hamilton, James A. Mackay, Zell Miller, Eliza Paschall, Celestine Sibley, Herman Talmadge, Nedra Tyre, and Jack Watson.

Much of Bullard's career and personal development are not detailed by this collection. Few materials date earlier than 1960 and no records remain for political campaigns conducted before 1968, including those done for Mayors Hartsfield and Allen. Bullard's duties with Charles Rawson Associated and with the Ivan Allen administration are mentioned only in newspaper clippings. Her seven years of public relations activities with Toombs, Amisano, and Wells are documented only by a few folders of correspondence. Her consultation work with the LaGrange hospital campaign also lacks detailed coverage. Materials relating to Bullard's youth and her college days are also minimal; her mother's scrapbook in Series 6 and some of Bullard's poems and short stories are the only papers remaining from this time of her life.


  • 1920-1979

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Biographical Note

Helen Elizabeth Bullard (June 16, 1908-July 20, 1979), political advisor and public relations consultant, was born in Dalton, Georgia, the daughter of George T. and Jennie Mae Brown Bullard. Her father apparently died when she was very young; her mother, a nurse, died in 1967. Helen had one brother, James Thomas, known as "J.T."

Bullard attended primary and secondary schools in Dalton and received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Home Economics from the University of Georgia in 1931 and 1933. She did post-graduate work in public administration at the University of Chicago.

Returning to Georgia in 1934, Bullard was appointed County Relief Administrator of Whitfield County (Dalton) but soon moved to Atlanta. She worked for a short time with the Georgia Power Commission before joining Charles A. Rawson Associated, an advertising and public relations agency. As the firm's executive vice-president from 1942 to 1960, she planned and directed community service programs and served as a consultant to many local and state political campaigns. In 1961, she became executive assistant to Atlanta's newly elected mayor, Ivan Allen, Jr. She left city government a few months later to join the architectural firm of Toombs, Amisano, and Wells as a partner and public relations consultant. She directed community relations programs which related to the firm's building projects. Then, in January 1968, she formed Helen Bullard Associates. She remained active in the firm until her death in 1979.

During her forty years in Atlanta, Bullard worked on a wide variety of political and civic projects. A long-time interest of hers was the election of government officials. At one point late in her life, she estimated that she had directed more than one hundred sixty-five political campaigns with a success rate as high as ninety-six percent. Politicians whose campaigns she conducted included Atlanta mayors William B. Hartsfield, Ivan Allen, Jr., and Sam Massell, Congressman Wyche Fowler, Georgia legislator Max Cleland, Senator Walter F. George, and others. In many of these campaigns, she sought to build coalitions of white and black voters. Other projects included advising the Atlanta Housing Authority for three years in the early 1970s on tenant relations and later assisting the Housing Authority of Louisville, Kentucky, in developing tenant programs. She served as a consultant on a LaGrange, Georgia, campaign to finance the building of a new hospital through city-issued bonds and foundation money. She also helped in planning and financing the Memorial Arts Center, Fernbank Science Center, several buildings at Spellman College, and rebuilding three black churches bombed during racial strife in Atlanta.

Bullard was a liberal and a Democrat. She was a member of the board of the Atlanta Urban League, the public relations committee of the Atlanta YMCA, second vice-chairman of the Atlanta Community Relations Commission, and the public relations committee for the Atlanta Memorial Cultural Center. She was also a writer who had several poems, short stories, and nonfiction articles published. For more biographical information, see the "Woman of the Year" folder in Series 2, Subseries 4.


12.5 linear feet (25 boxes) (1 oversized papers box (OP); 1 extra oversized papers folder (XOP))


Papers of civic leader, public relations consultant, and political advisor Helen Elizabeth Bullard, including correspondence, subject files, writings, printed materials, and photographs.

Arrangement Note

Organized into six series: (1) General correspondence, (2) Subject files, (3) Writings, (4) Printed materials, (5) Photographs, and (6) Miscellaneous.

Finding Aid Note

A personal name index for the General Correspondence and Subject Files Series is available.


Gift of the Estate of Helen Bullard, 1981. The gift was courtesy of Ann McMillan and Joe Amisano acted as the executor.

Appraisal Note

Acquired as part of the Rose Library's holdings in Atlanta history, the history of Civil Rights movements, and Georgia authors.

Related Materials in This Repository

William B. Hartsfield papers, which contain extensive campaign records showing Bullard's role in several of Hartsfield's successful mayoral campaigns.


Control level 3


File name: bullard599.doc


Processed by EKL, 1983.

Control level 3

File name: bullard599.doc

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Index of Selected Correspondents

Correspondence with prominent local, state, and national politicians, Atlanta authors, and other prominent local citizens is indexed here. Correspondence from Series 1 and 2, General Correspondence and Subject Files, has been indexed. Reference has also been made to records in the elections subseries (2.2), when Helen Bullard helped run political campaigns of the indexed person. Index is to series or subseries number, box number, folder number and number of items. For example, notation "Subseries 2.1 - 5:3 (1)” refers to Subseries 2.1 (which is part of Series 2), box 5, folder 3 with 1 item. Letters from the same series or subseries continue on the same line, e.g. "Series 1 - 1:4 (2); 2:12 (1)."
This is not an index to all correspondents represented in Series 1 and 2. With the exception of campaign records in the elections subseries (2.2), indexed items refer only to correspondence to or from particular individuals. Other materials (newspaper clippings, photographs) relating to the same individual have not been indexed.
Allen, Ivan Ernest, Jr., 1911
Amisano, Joseph, 1917-
Arnall, Ellis Gibbs, 1907-
Barnes, Margaret Anne, 1913-
Bell, Griffin B., 1918-
Boles, Paul Darcy, 1919-
Bond, Julian, 1940-
Brown, Fred
Bundy, McGeorge, 1919-
Busbee, George Dekle, 1927-
Carter, James Earl, 1924-
Carter, Rosalynn Smith, 1927-
Cleland, Joseph Maxwell, 1942-
Douglas, William Orville, 1898-
Ellis, Elmo, 1918-
Federal, Robert Joseph Keegan, Jr., 1943-
Ford, Gerald R., 1913-
Fortson, Benjamin Wynn, Jr., 1904-
Fowler, William Wyche, Jr., 1940-
Gambrell, David Henry, 1929-
Gulliver, Harold Strong, 1935-
Hamilton, Grace Towns, 1907-
Hartsfield, William Berry, 1890-1971
Howard, Pierre du Vinage, Jr., 1943-
Jackson, Maynard Holbrook, 1938-
Kennedy, Edward Moore, 1932-
Lance, Thomas Bertram, 1931
Lane, Mills B., Jr., 1912-
Levitas, Elliot H., 1930-
Mackay, James A., 1936-
Marcus, Sidney J., 1905-
Massell, Sam, 1927-
Miller, Zell Bryan, 1932-
Mondale, Walter Frederick, 1928-
Nunn, Samuel A., 1938-
Paris, Rachel Theresa, 1911-1976
Paschal1, Eliza King
Patterson, Eugene C., 1923-
Portman, John C., Jr., 1924-
Proxmire, William, 1915-
Queen, Ellery, 1905-
Raines, Howell, 1943-
Richardson, Eleanor Low, 1913-
Sanders, Carl Edward, 192
Shriver, Robert Sargent, Jr., 191
Sibley, Celestine, 191
Siddons, Anne River
Smith, Lillian, 1897-1966
Spalding, Jack, 1913-
Stephens, Robert Grier, Jr., 1913-
Talmadge, Betty
Talmadge, Herman Eugene, 1913-
Thurman, Marjorie C., 1928-
Tyre, Nedra, 1921-
Vigtel, Gudmund, 1925-
Walters, Barbara, 193
Watson, Jack H., Jr., 1938-
Weltner, Phillip
Woodruff, Robert Winship, 1889-
Young, Andrew, 1932-
Helen Bullard papers, 1920-1979
Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University
January 30, 2006
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library Repository

540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta Georgia 30322 United States