FROM MDAH RELEASES — On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act, one of the most far-reaching pieces of civil rights legislation in United States history. To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of this watershed event, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History partnered with the Southern Documentary Project, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, to produce an original short film, “50 Years and Forward: The Voting Rights Act in Mississippi.” Continue reading
FROM MDAH RELEASES — The Mississippi Department of Archives and History celebrated a $1 million contribution from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi with the first inside peek at the museums. Known for its support of Mississippi’s communities, arts, and culture, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi was one of the initial contributors to the 2 Mississippi Museums Project in 2013. The gift is funding the orientation theater, which will be housed in the Museum of Mississippi History, where visitors will begin their museum journey.
The announcement was made June 11 from the William F. Winter Archives and History Building overlooking the construction site of the 2 Mississippi Museums in downtown Jackson. Continue reading
FROM MDAH RELEASES – The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has received a $500,000 donation from Nissan for the 2 Mississippi Museums project. The gift will sponsor the “I Question America” gallery in the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the dining room shared by the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.
The announcement was made April 27 from the Nissan Vehicle Assembly Plant in Canton. Continue reading
FROM MDAH RELEASES — The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has received $850,000 in commitments from Trustmark and Butler Snow for the 2 Mississippi Museums project. Trustmark’s gift of $500,000 will sponsor the lobby and Community Room shared by the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History. Butler Snow’s $350,000 donation will sponsor the opening gallery, “Mississippi’s Freedom Struggle,” in the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. Continue reading
FROM MDAH RELEASES — The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has received commitments for $2.5 million in gifts from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation and philanthropist Ray Neilsen. The funds, given to the Foundation for Mississippi History, will be used for exhibits in the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum now under construction in downtown Jackson. These gifts are the largest received to date. Continue reading
FROM MDAH RELEASES — The Mississippi Department of Archives and History will receive $2.3 million from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support programming through the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and fund a partnership between MDAH, the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute, and the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation. The grant will make possible educational initiatives such as summer teacher training programs and school workshops, public programs in communities throughout the state, and the digitization of important historical documents from the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Collection at MDAH. The announcement was made October 14 in Jackson at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building. Continue reading
FROM MDAH RELEASES — Katherine Drayne Blount has been named the seventh director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The Board of Trustees made the decision at a special meeting on September 4. Current director H.T. Holmes will continue to serve in the position until January 31, 2015.
“Katie Blount’s twenty years of experience working with all divisions and programs of MDAH gives her a thorough understanding of the department,” said MDAH board president Kane Ditto. “I am confident that under her leadership the department will continue to build on the progress made by Hank Holmes over the last decade and embrace new opportunities to strengthen the services it offers the people of Mississippi.”
FROM MDAH RELEASES — The 2014 Eudora Welty Research Fellowship has been awarded to Jacob Agner, a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Mississippi. Agner will use the $2,000 fellowship to cover expenses incurred while working with the Eudora Welty Collection at MDAH, where he will explore the influence of film noir on Welty’s short stories, particularly “The Demonstrators.”
“I am interested in ‘rural noir,’ the crime fiction and potboilers of southern writers like Welty,” said Agner. “She seems like the least likely noirish writer, but in some of her stories there’s a strain of sudden violence and an anxiety that can’t be quite placed.”
“Jacob Agner’s distinctive research interest promises to add to the high caliber of scholarship of previous Welty Fellows,” said Julia Marks Young, director of the MDAH Archives and Record Services Division.
Established by the Eudora Welty Foundation and MDAH, the fellowship seeks to encourage and support research use of the Eudora Welty Collection by graduate students.
FROM MDAH RELEASES — In lieu of the annual Historic Preservation Boot Camp, MDAH is planning a series of training sessions this summer in Pascagoula, Starkville, Natchez, and Leland. The workshops are for elected officials, city staff, local Main Street organizers, and anyone interested in historic preservation.
These free seminars fulfill the annual training requirement for historic preservation commission members in Certified Local Government communities. Each session will focus on a different aspect of historic preservation, so participants may attend more than one as they choose. Continue reading
FROM MDAH RELEASES — In the summer of 1964 hundreds of northern college students, most of them white, joined with local African Americans in communities across Mississippi to register voters, conduct Freedom Schools, and promote civil rights. Beginning in June MDAH will mark the fiftieth anniversary of Freedom Summer with an original exhibit at the Winter Building, diverse programming at its sites, and an address at the Old Capitol by an icon of the Civil Rights Movement.
On Monday, June 2, Dr. Robert P. Moses will give the keynote address for the 2014 Medgar Wiley Evers Lecture Series. A leader in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and co-director of the Council of Federated Organizations, Moses became a principal organizer of the Freedom Summer Project. He was also instrumental in establishing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party that would challenge Mississippi’s all-white delegation at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in the fall of 1964. Continue reading