Columbus-Lowndes Public Library receives award

By: Stephenie Morrisey, Mississippi Department of Archives and History

(Left to right) J. Kane Ditto, former mayor of Jackson and President of the Board of Trustees at MDAH; Mona K. Vance, Archivist at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library; Carolyn Burns Kaye, Curator at the Stephen D. Lee Home and Museum; and Hank T. Holmes, Director of MDAH.

Two Columbus organizations are the inaugural recipients of awards recognizing excellence in the preservation and interpretation of Mississippi history. The Department of Archives and History (MDAH) presented the Capers Award to the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library and the Carr Black Award to the Stephen D. Lee Home and Museum at a luncheon August 2 on the campus of Mississippi University for Women.

The Capers Award, which memorializes longtime MDAH director Charlotte Capers, recognizes smaller institutions or organizations whose mission is to acquire, preserve, and provide access to materials of enduring historical value. The Columbus-Lowndes Public Library was praised for outstanding archival achievement and a strong commitment to the preservation of local history. The library’s extensive outreach services include workshops on preservation topics such as processing/preservation and preserving photographs through the Archival Training Collaborative, work to create an online digital collection through the Mississippi Digital Library, and the Local History Announcements blog. The library also partners with the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science on the annual “Tales from the Crypt” project.

The Carr Black Award, named in honor of author and former Old Capitol Museum director Patti Carr Black, recognizes outstanding work by Mississippi museums or individuals in preserving, interpreting, and presenting public aspects of Mississippi history, art, or culture. The Carr Black Award was awarded to Carolyn Burns Kaye, the caretaker for the Stephen D. Lee Home and Museum, for her work as researcher, collector, exhibit planner, and tour guide. Kaye travels throughout the region to promote the house and museum and recently produced a brochure about the house’s history. Her efforts have resulted in increased visitation.

The awards were established in 2010 and will be presented biennially as merited. Recipients are selected by the board of trustees of the Department of Archives and History. The 2011 Capers-Carr Black Awards each carry a $300 cash prize.

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History is the second-oldest state department of archives and history in the United States. The department collects, preserves, and provides access to the archival resources of the state, administers various museums and historic sites, and oversees statewide programs for historic preservation, state and local government records management, and publications. The department is headquartered in the state-of-the-art William F. Winter Archives and History Building, located on the corner of North and Amite Streets in downtown Jackson. For more information call 601-576-6850 or see the MDAH Web site,

Published in: on September 1, 2011 at 5:31 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. Congratulations to Mona Vance and Carolyn Burns for their great work at the library and the Lee Home. Their awards are well deserved–Brenda Caradine

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