Archivist speaks at the 2011 Society of American Archivists Conference on “Tales from the Crypt” program

Archivist Mona K. Vance presented along side Jennifer D. Rose, Public History Coordinator at the Sunflower County Library System, at this year’s Society of American Archivists Conference in Chicago last week.

Vance and Rose partnered on creating a poster that highlighted the work that each does with separate yet similar programs in two Mississippi towns: “Tales from the Crypt” in Columbus and “Headstone Stories” in Indianola.

Rose (left) and Vance (right) stand in front of their poster presenation at the SAA Conference 2011

The purpose of their poster presentation was to share with those repositories that do not have any outreach programs or are looking to incorporate new ideas.  Many archives are looking to reach out to their local community, but face a mountain of challenges such as budget constraints, limited staffing, and much more.  The presentation showed how two different institutions have built successful outreach programs while facing some of those very same challenges.

More than 50 people stopped by over two days to ask Vance and Rose questions about their work.  One attendee even walked by and said, “That is the coolest project I’ve seen yet!”

Rose discussing poster with SAA Conference attendee

Since there was so much interest in their involvement with the two programs, Vance and Rose hope to turn their poster presentation into a full panel discussion at next year’s SAA Conference!

Started in 1991, “Tales from the Crypt” assigns high school juniors the task of researching individuals buried in a Columbus graveyard.  With only a list of names, the students utilize the primary and secondary sources available at The Local History Room at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library.  Then, students create a vignette on their individual for a performance in the cemetery held during the annual Pilgrimage (March/April).

Inspired by “Tales from the Crypt”,” Rose began “Headstone Stories” at the Sunflower County Library System in 2010 using sixth graders and was able to successfully incorporate a similar program into her community.

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Published in: on August 30, 2011 at 5:14 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Congratulations to Mona Vance–this is a great representation for Columbus–Brenda Caradine, Chair Tennessee Williams Tribute, Columbus


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