Joining the Georgia State History Department, College of Arts and Sciences in 1972, Professor Emeritus Timothy J. Crimmins has been committed to serving not only his students but also his community at Georgia State University. As Professor and Director of the Center for Neighborhood and Metropolitan Studies, with a specialization in Historic Preservation and Urban History, Professor Crimmins has studied and researched not only Atlanta but also southern, European, and North African cities. Over the course of his career, the teacher, historian, and author has worked to further not only his own historical knowledge, but also that of those around him. It can be seen clearly through his work that Professor Crimmins believes that history should be accessible to all and that stories of the fight for democracy simply can’t go untold, especially those that took place so close to home.
His achievements and recognitions truly reflect the depth of his passion and ability when it comes to bringing people together through knowledge. For instance, Professor Crimmins developed the Filming-the-Metropolis Freshman Learning Community. Additionally, he worked as the lead historian for Teaching-American-History grants for teachers in four Metro-Atlanta counties. His research on Atlanta history has appeared in exhibits at the Atlanta History Center, in an eight-part series titled “The Making of Modern Atlanta” on Atlanta public television (1991-1993) and in The New Georgia Guide (1996). But, perhaps one of his most prominent achievements is the culmination of his years of research in Democracy Restored: A History of the Georgia State Capitol, which he co-authored. This earned him the title of Georgia Author of the Year in History, named by the Georgia Writers Association.
In the years following the release of Democracy Restored, Professor Crimmins found himself interested in making the stories from the book accessible to people while they were in the Capitol. Wanting to focus on stories that happened in the Capitol, those that tell of a larger history of the struggle for democracy, Professor Crimmins joined forces with former student Chris Escobar in order to develop a virtual guide for visitors to have when seeing the capital. The final product, a smartphone app, walks users through a number of different historical facts about the building, told through interviews and videos done by Professor Crimmins himself.
Currently, Professor Crimmins is directing the Atlanta Metropolitan Growth Project for the Atlanta Regional Commission, as well as writing a history of metropolitan Atlanta, proving, once again, that his passion for this city and its history will never die.