Call for Papers

The Primary Source, journal of the Society of Mississippi Archivists, is a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to supporting the work and research of archivists, librarians, and historians in Mississippi, but also welcomes papers from archivists, librarians, and historians outside of Mississippi.

The April 2021 issue will be a special edition focusing on archival work during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be two sections. The first section will be for peer-reviewed articles, on topics that include, but are not limited to, the following topics in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Archives management (staff and resource management; designing, implementing and managing long- and short-term processing projects, etc)
  • Innovative processing techniques and procedures
  • Innovative approaches to reference and instruction and providing access
  • Community outreach
  • Activities and projects related to social justice in the archives (Promoting Inclusion in the Archival Profession; Seeking, Collecting, and Promoting Collections from Marginalized Groups; Developing Collection Policies that Promote Inclusion; Including Marginalized Histories in Instruction; Creating Anti-Racist Descriptive Practices; Celebrating Cultural Histories of Marginalized Communities; Researching Marginalized Communities or Social Justice Topics
  • Exhibit design and implementation (digital and non-digital)
  • Reviews of books of interest to archivists, librarians and historians.

Articles submitted for peer review should be between 3,000 and 6,000 words and formatted in Chicago style.

The second section will be for informal personal reflections on pandemic experiences, limited to 500 words each.

Deadline for submissions: February 15, 2021

Publication Date: April 15, 2021

To submit a paper, please visit the journal website:

Personal reminisces may be sent to

Please contact the editor, Jennifer McGillan ( if you have any questions/concerns.

Primary Source web address:

Call for Papers: Society of Mississippi Archivists 2021 Annual Meeting

The Society of Mississippi Archivists will hold our annual meeting online again this year, due to Covid concerns. The meeting will be held April 15 and 16 2021, via WebEx.

Registration is free and will be open shortly.

Theme: “Creative Problem Solving in Archives: Covid, Low Budgets, Natural Disasters, Oh My!”

This past year, perhaps more than any other in recent memory, has required archivists to use creative problem solving skills, whether it be how to safely space out a reading room, how to safely offer instruction and reference, or how to prove to stakeholders that archival work can be done remotely. But creative problem solving is not new to archivists- all of us have dealt with insufficient budgets, supplies, and staffing, or perhaps faced damage related to mold, building leaks, or natural disasters. How have you handled these issues creatively?

Please share your proposal in roughly 250 words.

This call is open to non SMA members and graduate students.

Proposals are not restricted to the conference theme. All proposals related to archives will be considered.

Please submit proposals to Mona Vance-Ali at by March 15.

New board member

After saying goodbye to Jenifer Ishee, who took a job out of state, we are pleased to welcome our new board: Vic Jones, the Archives & Special Collections Librarian at MUW!

Carrie Mastley will take Jenifer’s place on the Primary Source editorial board.

Virtual Table Talks – call for spring lineup

SMA’s Virtual Table Talks are one-hour informal discussions to promote the sharing of knowledge between archivists working in Mississippi galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. Each talk will feature a speaker who will share their experience and knowledge on a given topic. For the 2020-21 season, SMA is looking for presenters who can speak to what activities or projects their institutions are completing in relation to Social Justice in the Archives. Presentations unrelated to Social Justice will also be considered, but preference will be given to topics directly related to the theme.

Presentation ideas include, but are not limited to:

  • Promoting Inclusion in the Archival Profession
  • Seeking, Collecting, and Promoting Collections from Marginalized Groups
  • Developing Collection Policies that Promote Inclusion
  • Including Marginalized Histories in Instruction
  • Creating Anti-Racist Descriptive Practices
  • Celebrating Cultural Histories of Marginalized Communities
  • Researching Marginalized Communities or Social Justice Topics

If you are interested in serving as a speaker for a Virtual Table Talk, please contact Carrie P. Mastley ( no later than December 4, 2020. Please include your name, institution, presentation title, and a description of your presentation (description not to exceed 200 words). In your description, you may wish to include how your activity/project originated, how you instated or completed the activity/project, why it is important to our profession and patrons, what problems or issues it might resolve, and any insights or lessons learned. Final presentations should be no longer than 45 minutes in length.

Tentative Spring Series Schedule: February 19, May 21

November Virtual Table Talk registration open

SMA’s next Virtual Table Talk is scheduled for November 20 at noon CT. Baldwin Chiu, Larissa Chiu, and Emily Jones will be presenting “My Artifact Needs an Agent: How to Celebrate and Be a Good Steward of Popular History.”

SMA VTT image_2020_03

This talk will feature filmmakers Baldwin and Larissa Chiu, producers of the award-winning documentary, Finding Cleveland, and Emily Jones, archivist and curator for the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum. Over the course of her career, Jones has witnessed researchers “meet” their ancestors through the materials available in the Museum’s collection. For her, these encounters have had a strong impact on how she engages with the collection as well as her community of users, especially since she does not culturally or racially represent the collection for which she stewards. In this talk, attendees will observe and engage in a discussion regarding the importance of cultural awareness and the implications of serving as an advocate and steward of a cultural heritage collection.

Click here to register!

Next SMA Virtual Table Talk

The Society of Mississippi Archivists will be hosting its second Virtual Table Talk entitled “Community Collaboration: The Margaret Walker Center and the Scott-Ford House, Inc.” This talk will be given by Angela D. Stewart and Dr. Alferdteen Harrison on Friday, September 25 at 12:00 pm (CT).

The Margaret Walker Center, located at Jackson State University, is an archive and museum dedicated to the preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of African American history and culture. Founded in 1996 through the efforts of Dr. Alferdteen Harrison, Scott-Ford House, Inc. is devoted to preserving two homes in the Farish Street Historic District of Jackson, Mississippi for use as a historic house museum complex. One of its most recent projects, developing an oral history database, is currently underway with the assistance of the Margaret Walker Center. This presentation will describe the cooperative work between these two institutions and explore collaboration as a means for preserving and celebrating the histories of marginalized communities. The presentation will also discuss how the Margaret Walker Center benefits from the collaboration with the Scott-Ford House, Inc. and how this collaboration can be a template for future community collaborations.

Click here to register. Registrants will receive an invitation to the WebEx event room the week of the event date. Registration will close an hour prior to the event. A recording of the event will be made available via SMA VTT’s YouTube channel.


July 31 Virtual Table Talk recording

Did you miss our first Virtual Table Talk on Friday? Watch the recording here!

Carrie Freshour, Ted Fisher, Arlene Sanders, Sykina Butts, Tyler Wells, Michelle Johansen, and Emily Jones of Delta State University present “‘We have no leaders, we are all leaders!’: Collecting and Celebrating the 1969 Black Student Sit-In at Delta State College.”

Virtual Table Talks

SMA’s Virtual Table Talks are one-hour informal discussions to promote the sharing of knowledge between archivists working in Mississippi galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. Each talk will feature a speaker who will share their experience and knowledge on a given topic. For more information on this series, or if you are interested in presenting, please contact Carrie P. Mastley at

Next Talk: “Intersectional DEI,” presented by Michelle Ganz of History Factory, December 3, 2021 at 12:00 noon

Diversity and Inclusion must be intersectional to be successful. The speaker will discuss strategies for management/leadership and staff for how to create a truly diverse and inclusive environment that fosters and supports social justice efforts in archival environments. The ideas that will be discussed can be applied to a variety of situations from museums and academic institutions to your daily lives.  Change comes from a thousand little acts, not one giant leap.

Click here to register!

Recorded Talks: