Virtual discussion about archival reference and instruction during Covid-19

Jennifer Brannock will be leading a virtual meeting about how we can move forward with archival reference and instruction in the coming months:

I thought it would be a great idea for Mississippi archivists/librarians to get together to talk about our ideas on these topics, since we may all have similar timelines for returning to the office.

Some of the topics we could talk about include:

* Are we going to reopen the reading room in the summer/fall? Will it be appointment only? Will masks be required?

* Are you planning on conducting instruction in the library, or will all instruction be online for the fall?

* What tools are you going to use if you are going to teach online?

* Is your lesson plan going to change for the sessions since it will be online?

* Will you have protective shields for people in service areas?

The meeting will be online on June 11 at 10:00am CST. Registration is required. To register, go to

On the form, there’s a space for anything you want to discuss. Please feel free to include all of the topics that interest you. I think we are all trying to figure things out, and I want this to be a place where we can try to figure things out together.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jennifer Brannock at

Call for Presenters: SMA 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 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 June 5, 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 Series Schedule:

Summer 2020 Session
Friday, July 31st, 12:00 pm CST

Fall 2020 Sessions
Friday, September 25th, 12:00 pm CST
Friday, November 20th, 12:00 pm CST

Spring 2021 Sessions

SMA Virtual Conference

Though we had to cancel our in-person annual meeting at Jackson State, we will still be holding a virtual conference on April 17 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

9:00 – Jennifer Brannock
10:00 – Kate Gregory
11:00 – Carrie Mastley
12:00 – DeeDee Baldwin

Webex Meeting Link

Join by phone
+1-415-655-0001 US Toll
Access code: 284 272 058


Mississippi archives – status and hours

Last update: May 13. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation with coronavirus precautions, this information is subject to change at any time, and it’s best to call ahead. Please send additions or updates to

Columbus-Lowndes Public Library Archives
The Local History Department (LHD) at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library is now available for phone calls and email research requests. Temporary hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm and Friday 9am-2pm. You can reach the LHD by calling 662-329-5304 or emailing either or The LHD is closed to in-house patron usage until further notice.

Delta State University Archives & Museum
Museums closed, archives by appointment only. Responding to reference requests.

Margaret Walker Center
Closed to the public.

Mississippi Baptist Historical Commission / McMillan University Archives
Closed, answering emails.

Mississippi Department of Archives & History

Mississippi State University Libraries Special Collections
Closed to the public. Responding to reference requests.

Mississippi University for Women Archives
Closed to the public. Responding to reference requests.

Sunflower County Library System
Closed to the public. Responding to reference requests.

Tippah County Archives
Open to the public 9:00-3:30 on weekdays. Responding to reference requests.

University of Mississippi Libraries Archives
Closed. Responding to reference requests.

University of Mississippi Medical Center Archives
Closed. Responding to reference requests.

University of Southern Mississippi Special Collections
Available by appointment only. Responding to reference requests.

William Carey University Archives & Special Collections
Available by appointment only. Responding to reference requests.

2020 annual meeting to be online-only

Following advisories from doctors and scientists about curbing the spread of COVID-19, the SMA board has made the difficult decision to cancel our annual meeting at Jackson State next month.

We will, however, be planning a day-long digital conference with our presenters. There will be no fees for the virtual conference, and it will have the advantage of being open to anyone, anywhere. Details, including a program, are forthcoming.

All presenters will receive a letter about their proposals being accepted even though the conference was canceled. We know how important those P&T files are!

For more information, or if you have questions, please email SMA president DeeDee Baldwin ( or vice-president / conference planner Jessica Perkins Smith (

Ask an Archivist: Preservation Roadshow at MHS

If you’re attending the Mississippi Historical Society’s 2020 annual meeting in Cleveland tomorrow, be sure to join us at 5:30 for Ask an Archivist: Preservation Roadshow for lightning talks, Q&A, and hands-on advice from Jennifer Brannock, Jenifer Ishee, Emily Jones, Jessica Perkins Smith, Lorraine Stuart, and Mona Vance-Ali. We look forward to seeing you!

Society of Mississippi Archivists 2020 Annual Meeting – Call for Papers

Society of Mississippi Archivists Annual Meeting 2020
Jackson State University, Margaret Walker Center
April 15-17, 2020

The Society of Mississippi Archivists is pleased to announce their annual meeting will occur on April 15-17, 2020 on the campus of Jackson State University.

This one-and-a-half day multidisciplinary conference will explore the theme of Teaching Mississippi. For those who arrive on Wednesday, there will be tours of the Margaret Walker Center and COFO Civil Rights Education Center.

We seek posters, individual presentations, and panels that consider all aspects of Teaching Mississippi through archival practice, including reference, instruction, outreach, appraisal, and processing. The SMA annual meeting offers a collegial, low pressure environment, and we encourage graduate and undergraduate student proposals related to archival work or student research projects utilizing archival materials.

Possible topics include:

  • Incorporating Mississippi history in undergraduate instruction
  • The complexities of teaching events that were fraught with tension and racial violence
  • Utilizing digital collections to make Mississippi archival repositories more widely accessible
  • Considering whose stories we are really telling

Please send an abstract (with title) of approximately 200 words and a brief bio to Jessica Perkins Smith (, by March 1, 2020. Both individual presentations and panel discussions will be limited to one hour sessions. Presentation times may be shortened if sessions are combined.

We welcome proposals from scholars at all stages of their careers.

January 24 board meeting & new officers

The SMA board met this morning at the Department of Archives and History in Jackson. In addition to the board, we were happy to welcome two guests, including a current MLIS student interested in archives. All board meetings are open to SMA members who wish to attend. The next meeting will be on April 17 at the close of our annual conference (details forthcoming).

To read the minutes from our November 22 meeting, download here: SMAMinutes_22Nov2019

We are currently seeking nominations for two positions on the board: board member (2-year term) and vice president / president elect (1-year term as vice president, 1-year term as president, 1-year term as past president). Both positions involve a commitment to meet in Jackson four times a year. The vice president will be primarily responsible for planning the 2021 annual meeting. If you are interested or want to nominate someone else – please make sure they understand the commitment involved – please contact DeeDee Baldwin ( by January 31.