Foundation Launches Flag Preservation Initiative

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has the most extensive Mississippi artifact collection in the world, and some of the more remarkable items are the historic flags and banners. The Foundation for Mississippi History and MDAH are introducing the Flag Preservation Initiative in order to create greater awareness of the department’s substantial collection of flags and banners, specifically those in dire need of preservation.

The first flag in need of conservation is one of the department’s most valuable – the Twenty-Star United States flag. This flag represents the state’s admission into the Union on December 10, 1817. Because of its condition, the flag can rarely be handled and it cannot be displayed in any public setting. It will take nearly $50,000 to conserve it and prepare it for travel around the state in celebration of the Mississippi Bicentennial in 2017. The flag will eventually be on permanent exhibit in the Museum of Mississippi History.

Continue reading

MDAH Launches New Website for 2 Mississippi Museums project

MDAH Press Release — The Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum projects are in high gear as the department has been coordinating community meetings around the state, collecting artifacts, and raising funds for exhibits through the Foundation for Mississippi History. The foundation has launched a campaign to raise at least $12 million in private funding for the two museums–$8 million for exhibits and a $2 million endowment for each of the museums. The new website documents the progress of the project and offers readers opportunities to be a part of the work. The web address is

Public meetings for the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum (MCRM) began early this year and will continue through April. Hilferty & Associates, the firm hired to develop exhibits for the civil rights museum, met with MDAH staff and members of the Legislative Black Caucus in January to review and discuss preliminary exhibit plans. MDAH director H.T. Holmes asked caucus members to help the department make contact with civil rights movement veterans and other citizens around the state with stories to tell or artifacts to donate. In February the department held a focus group meeting with Jackson-area leaders at Tougaloo College and public meetings in McComb and Hattiesburg. Continue reading

March 22 Gala Gives Sneak Peek of A Walk through History

This pinch pot, by Mississippi potter George Ohr, will be part of the exhibit.

Thirty-six iconic objects from the MDAH museum division collection will be featured in a limited-time exhibit March 23–April 29 at the Old Capitol Museum. From the Clarksdale Bell used for trade by Spanish explorers in the 1500s to the flip flops worn by a female Freedom Rider incarcerated at the Hinds County jail in 1961, this collection gives visitors a tangible glimpse of Mississippi’s history. Many of these items have not been seen since Hurricane Katrina forced the closure of the Old Capitol in 2005 and won’t be seen again until the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History open in 2017.

The fundraising gala, A Walk through History, will offer a sneak preview of the exhibit as well as a private viewing of the rare twenty-star flag that flew over the United States only in 1818, the year after Mississippi became the twentieth state. Sponsored by the Foundation for Mississippi History, the black tie optional event will be held on Thursday, March 22, 6–9 p.m. at Old Capitol Museum. Tickets are $100 per person. For tickets call 601-576-6885 or make a contribution online and designate your gift as “Walk Through History.” Continue reading

MDAH Introduces New Database of Historical Resources in State

MDAH News Release – A new online resource provides unprecedented amounts of information on the state’s historic sites, from photographs and blueprints to professional reports to digital maps. In addition to basic architectural data, the department’s Historic Resources Database contains images of buildings across Mississippi, plus information such as drawings, newspaper clippings, and other historical documents related to the structures. Users can search by location, style, age, and other categories.

Continue reading

Foundation Board Member Marty Ramage, 1957-2011

MDAH News ReleaseLongtime Department of Archives and History board member Martis D. Ramage, Jr., died November 28, 2011, at his home in Tupelo after suffering a heart attack. He was 54 years old.

Ramage served on the board of trustees for more than fifteen years and was a founding member of the board of directors of the Foundation for Mississippi History.

Continue reading

Statehood Day Includes Address By Graves

Federal judge James E. Graves, Jr., will be the speaker for the third annual Statehood Day celebration in the historic House of Representatives Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum. The program commemorates Mississippi’s entrance into the Union on December 10, 1817. A reception will follow.

“We are honored to have Judge Graves deliver the 2011 Statehood Day address,” said MDAH director H.T. Holmes. “Judge Graves’s lifelong commitment to law and education exemplifies the Old Capitol Museum’s mission to examine the state’s evolving government and political history over the past 194 years and to encourage an active citizenry to continue to reach to the future.”

Inaugural Capers, Carr Black Awards Presented

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.

Continue reading

MDAH to Oversee Construction of Mississippi Museums

The Department of Archives and History will oversee construction of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History, with the goal of opening both in 2017 as centerpieces of the state’s bicentennial celebration. The 2011 Legislature and Governor Haley Barbour worked together to provide $40 million in bond funding for the projects.

The Museum of Mississippi History will tell the story of the state from prehistory through the current day. The civil rights museum will focus on the period 1945–70 and tell the story of the struggle for equal rights and fair treatment under the law. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum will be the nation’s first state-sponsored civil rights museum.

Continue reading

Rare 20-Star Flag to be Preserved

The Foundation for Mississippi History is raising funds to preserve a historic United States flag that marked Mississippi’s entrance into the nation. The flag flew over the young country only in 1818, the year after Mississippi became the twentieth state. The conservation of this rare Twenty-Star Flag, one of only a handful known to exist, has been adopted by the Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration Commission as an official project for the state’s 2017 commemorations.

Continue reading

MDAH Announces the Capers Carr-Black Welty Awards

The Department of Archives and History is accepting nominations for the Capers, Carr Black, and Welty Awards recognizing excellence in the preservation, interpretation, and presentation of Mississippi history.

In 2007 the Foundation for Mississippi History received a contribution to establish achievement awards in honor of Patti Carr Black and in memory of Eudora Welty and Charlotte Capers. Recipients will be selected by the board of trustees of the Department of Archives and History biennially as merited. The 2011 Capers-Carr Black-Welty Awards will each carry a $300 cash prize.

Continue reading