John Lytjen papers
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John Lytjen papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Lytjen, John, 1905-1993.
Title: John Lytjen papers
Dates: 1915-1993
Extent: (1 box, 1 oversize folder, 4 film reels) 1.14 cubic feet
Identification: MS 2337
Collection materials are in English.

Biographical/Historical Note

John Lytjen was a resident of Savannah, Georgia. He graduated from Savannah High School in 1922 and earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Florida. He later earned a masters degree in education from Mercer University in 1950.

He taught at the Richard Arnold Junior High School in Savannah, Georgia during the 1930s and 1940s, and served on the board of education from 1947 to 1949. In 1949, he retired from his appointed post to become director of the Savannah Vocational School and supervisor of industrial arts in the Savannah public schools. Lytjen held both of these positions until his retirement in 1972. Besides his career as an educator, Lytjen was a charter member of the Savannah Danish Society and a member of the German Heritage Society. He also served as a judge on the Board of Labor Relations Review for the Georgia Department of Labor from 1948 to 1966. In addition, he was a longtime volunteer for the American Red Cross, the Tuberculosis Association, the Savannah-Chatham Health Council, United Community Services, the Boy Scouts, the Civil Defenses, and the Ironworkers Local Union No. 709.

Lytjen was married to Rachel Keever Lytjen of Savannah and the couple had two sons: John and Dan, and one daughter: Lokey. Lytjen died in 1993 and is buried in Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains clippings, certificates, programs, photographs, artifacts, and school yearbooks from the life and career of John Lytjen from 1915-1993. There are also four reels of 8mm home movies by John M. Lytjen. The film reels have no accompanying information aside from the name Lytjen and a number 1-4 on the tin. The film were examined during the 2014 Association of Moving Image Archivists conference in Savannah and a description of what was on each reel was noted. Based on the edge codes of the film stock the home movies date from approximately 1952-1956. The length of the film has been estimated from the feet of film per reel.


This collection is arranged into 1 box, 1 oversize folder, and 4 reels of film:

Box 1 contains yearbooks and school publications including The Blue and White, for Savannah High School, 1917-1919, The Bluejacket, Savannah High School yearbook, 1920-1922, The Cauldron, Mercer University yearbook, 1926, and Country Data, Savannah Country Day yearbook, 1975; The 'Geechee, Rachel Keever Lytjen's 1937 Armstrong Junior College yearbook; The Early Settlement of Georgia by James Etheridge Callaway; a Girl Scout beret and arrow-shaped tie; a folder of citations, awards, and certificates for John Lytjen, 1929-1989; a folder of miscellaneous publication and photographs including the Richard Arnold School and the old Savannah woodworking lab, 1924-1947, undated; a folder of biographical information on John Lytjen and the Lytjen family, 1920s-1990s; and a folder of photographs of the Lytjen family and friends, most of which are from Christmas and St. Patrick's day celebrations, many of the woman in the photographs were members of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority, 1971-1991.

Oversize folder contains a reproduction print of Savannah in turmoil after news of the capture of Port Royal during the Civil War; a photograph of the Savannah High School Drum, Bugle, and Cornet band, 1920-1921; and several awards, certificates and appointments for John Lytjen, 1947-1971.

Reel 1 contains images of the Lytjen children swimming in a pool; adults, most likely Lytjen family and friends in a backyard; the Lytjen children on a swingset; a graduation, possibly Savannah Vocational School, and people on the steps of what might be a church; and a girl, possibly Lokey Lytjen, in a white dress getting her picture taken outside. Approximately 1952-1956. Approximately 17min of footage.

Reel 2 contains images of a graduation, possibly Savannah Vocational School; images of a neighborhood; the family swimming in the ocean; visiting a park; Lytjen family; a blue car, circa 1952; people in Native American headdress; three generations of the family; Christmas morning; and Halloween. Approximately 1952-1955. Approximately 17min of footage.

Reel 3 contains images of nature scenes; Lytjen family and their children playing; toys; the Lytjen boys playing with toy guns; the family in pajamas; and cars. Approximately 1953-1954. Approximately 17min of footage.

Reel 4 contains images of the Lytjen family outdoors; portraits of the Lytjen children; an older man sitting in a chair; Christmas; an individual in a sombrero and poncho; boats on the water; and possibly Lokey Lytjen in a dress. Approximately 1954. Approximately 13min of footage.

Index Terms

8mm (size: photographic film)
Artifacts (object genre)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Commencement ceremonies.
Home movies.
Lytjen family.
Lytjen, John, 1905-1993.
Mercer University.
Motion pictures (visual works)
Programs (documents)
Saint Patrick's Day--Georgia--Savannah.
Savannah High School (Savannah, Ga.)
School yearbooks.

Physical and Technical Access Restrictions

An 8mm projector is required to access portions of this collection.

Administrative Information

Processing Information

This collection is processed at the Basic Level (or collection level). There is no detailed inventory for this collection as it is not fully processed. To request that this collection be added to our priority list of collections to be fully processed as staffing and funding allow, please contact the Library and Archives staff.


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


Encoding funded by a 2008 Archives-Basic Projects grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.