Through the month of October, archives and repositories across Mississippi will host various events and activities in promotion of Archives Month. Mississippi’s statewide participation is an extension of the national celebration of American Archives Month hosted by the Society of American Archivists. Archives Month is a way to raise public awareness by calling attention to the role various organizations play in preserving historical and cultural records.
This year’s theme, “I have so much to tell you….,” allows archives to showcase their multifaceted collections that represent an historical and ever evolving state. Organizations are participating in a variety of ways from hosting exhibits to conducting tours. Listed below are just some of the events across the state planned for Archives Month this year.
Society of Mississippi Archivist President Ryan Semmes said, “Archives Month is an important opportunity for archives and libraries around the state of Mississippi to share their programs with other institutions, as well as the general public. It is also a time for the Archivists and Librarians of Mississippi to be acknowledged for their role in the preservation of the history of the Magnolia state. Participation in Archives Month activities will provide access to the general public to wonderful historical documents and lectures on our state’s rich history.”
Archives Month in Mississippi is promoted by the Society of Mississippi Archivists (SMA) and sponsored by the Mississippi Historical Records Advisory Board. The Society of Mississippi Archivists celebrates the important work of preserving the cultural heritage of Mississippi and serves as a point of information for people interested in the rich documentary history of the state. The Mississippi Historical Records Advisory Board (MHRAB) provides professional assistance, resources, and programming to support the preservation and accessibility of the state’s invaluable historical documents and records. It serves as the central advisory board for historical records planning and project assistance in Mississippi. For more information on SMA and its activities go to www.msarchivists.org. For further information on MHRAB go to www.mdah.state.ms.us/admin/shrab/shrab.php.
Archives are locations were collections and records of historical value are maintained, preserved, and made accessible to the public. They may be located in historic societies, academic or public libraries, court houses, corporations, or governmental entities. The first celebration of Archives Week can be traced to the Archives Round Table of Metropolitan New York in New York City in 1989. More information on archivists and American Archives Month can be found at the Society of American Archivists website at www.archivists.org.
For more information on Archives Month events, contact Mona K. Vance with the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library at (662) 329-5304.
Archives Month Events:
Delta State University’s Charles W. Capps, Jr. Archives and Museum (Cleveland)
•LePoint Cassibry Smith will receive the Lucy Somerville Howorth Outstanding Woman of the Delta Award for her years of service in both history and library science. Smith was the first Director of the Bolivar County Library in 1959 and wrote The History of the Bolivar County Library. The event is free and open to the public. It will take place on October 11 at 2:30pm in the Lucy Somerville Howorth Seminar Room at Delta State University.
•A Lunch and Learn Lecture titled Buttered Food and Football: A Mississippi Archives Odyssey by professor Benjamin O. Sperry. The presentation will take place on October 22 at noon in the Charles W. Capps, Jr. Archives & Museum Building in the Lucy Somerville Howorth Seminar Room. The talk is free and open to the public.
For further information regarding these events contact Emily Erwin at 662-846-4780.
Columbus-Lowndes Public Library (Columbus)
•An exhibit titled “Josh Meador: Animator and Artist of Disney’s Golden Age” will explore the life and work of artist Josh Meador (1911-1965). Meador worked for Walt Disney Productions from 1936 to 1965 and was considered one of its most talented special effects artists. He was born in Greenwood, but grew up in Columbus. The exhibit will highlight his work on such movies as Snow White, Fantasia, Bambi, Dumbo, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and many more. The exhibit will run through the month of October and will be free and open to the public.
For more information contact Mona K. Vance at 662-329-5304.
Henry M. Seymour Public Library (Indianola)
•An exhibit documenting the history of the Henry M. Seymour library titled “From the Indianola Reading Club of 1892 to The Sunflower County Library System, 2009: Your Library and it’s History”. The exhibit will run October through December 2009 and is free and open to the public.
•The library is also collaborating with the B.B. King Museum educating ninth graders from Pennington Jr. High in conducting oral histories. For the month of October, they will be interviewing local community members documenting Sunflower County history.
•Archivist Jennifer Rose will be giving a presentation about Southern burial traditions titled “Burial Traditions of the Mississippi Delta”. It will be at the B. B. King Museum on October 30th from 12 to 1pm and is free and open to the public.
For further information contact Jennifer Rose at 662-207-2153.
Mississippi Department of Archives and History or MDAH (Jackson)
•There are numerous events held at or hosted by MDAH around the state. Visit www.mdah.state.ms.us for a complete listing of all of the programs. Below are simply a few.
•A History is Lunch series (a brown bag lecture series) with various topics and presenters. All events held as part of the History is Lunch series are from 12pm-1pm at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building. Please visit mdah.state.ms.us/admin/hil.html for more the most current information about the History is Lunch series.
•October 15-16, 2009
Held at the Corinth Public Library, Corinth
Thursday, October 15, 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Friday, October 16, 8:00 a.m. – Noon
Personal Treasures is the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s popular program based on the Antiques Roadshow format. The public is invited to bring household items, books, maps, photographs, textiles, architectural elements, and military items (except weapons) for expert advice on the age and origin of the item and its conservation and care. Monetary appraisals are not available at this event. Personal Treasures is free and open to the public.
•October 27, 2009
Basic Records Management
(A training opportunity for records officers of state agencies)
Held at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building in Jackson
9:00 a.m. – Noon, Registration Deadline: October 1, 2009
This free three hour course is designed for records officers of state agencies. The workshop will provide a records management foundation and includes hands-on activities of current practices and procedures for interaction with the State Records Center and State Archives. Space is limited to no more than two persons per agency; registration is required and there will be no on-site registration.
Visit mdah.state.ms.us/recman/state_training.php for registration and more information.
For more information about all events and programs held at or hosted by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History visit www.mdah.state.ms.us or call Chris Goodwin at 601-576-6998.
Mississippi State University’s Special Collections Department (Starkville)
•Presents an exhibit with selections from the Todd Herring Collection. The exhibit will be housed at the Special Collections Department with Mitchell Memorial Library and will run October 1-31.
•A lecture titled “A Historian’s Perspective: Historian Todd A. Herring Reflects on Collecting Historical Materials”. The lecture and reception is Friday, October 9 at 3pm at the Mitchell Memorial Library on the Mississippi State University campus.
For additional information regarding these events contact Mattie Sink at 662-325-3848.
University of Mississippi Department of Archives & Special Collections (Oxford)
•In honor of its 25th anniversary the Blues Archive at the University of Mississippi is showcasing a yearlong exhibit called “Still Got the Blues: A Silver Anniversary Exhibition”. It is housed at the Archives and Special Collections with the J. D. Williams Library.
From original record contracts for Elmore James and Sonny Boy Williamson, rare sound recordings by Robert Johnson and Charlie Patton, artwork by Lightnin’ Hopkins and James “Son” Thomas and records from B.B. King’s personal record collection, this exhibit is sure to have something that appeals to everyone. For an interactive experience, visitors can check out mp3 players and view video clips of Mississippi Fred McDowell and Othar Turner and listen to interviews with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and others who helped shape the blues.
An opening reception will take place on Tuesday, September 22nd at 4:00 pm. Blues Curator Greg Johnson will give a talk on the history and current projects of the archive. Refreshments will be served and the exhibition will be open until 6:00 pm.
The exhibit is currently available 8-5, Monday – Friday.
For more information contact Greg Johnson at (662) 915-7753 or email@example.com.
University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg)
•The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection and the Historical Manuscripts Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi are celebrating Archives Month with the opening of a collaborative exhibit using materials from both collections.
The display, titled “Connections”, will highlight the links between the Emilie and Marie Stapp materials in the de Grummond collection and Historical Manuscript materials related to the timber industry and the Piney Woods School in Mississippi. The exhibit will run October 12, 2009 through March 1, 2010.
For more information regarding the above exhibits contact Diane Ross at 601-266-5592 or Ellen Ruffin at 601-266-6349.
•The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries’ Special Collections Department, which recently became home to the Mississippi Library Association papers, presents an exhibit titled “A Century of Service: The Mississippi Library Association Centennial Exhibit” from September 14 – December 5 in honor of the organization’s centennial. The Mississippi Library Association (MLA) in 2009 celebrates 100 years of providing support and leadership to the librarians of Mississippi. On display in the Cleanth Brooks Reading Room will be photographs, documents and memorabilia illustrating the history of MLA.
For further details about this exhibit contact Peggy Price at 601-266-5077 or Peggy.Price@usm.edu.