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 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 award carries with it a $300 cash prize. 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 local workshops on preservation topics such as processing/preservation and
preserving photographs, an online catalog, and the Local History Announcements blog (http://lowndeslibarchives.wordpress.com/). 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 award carries with it a $300 cash prize. The Carr Black Award was presented to Carolyn Burns Kaye, the caretaker of 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. Nominations are presented to the board of trustees of the Department of Archives and History, which selects the recipients. Funding for the awards is provided through a contribution to the Foundation for Mississippi History.