2019 Annual Meeting

Our 2019 annual meeting is in the books! Thanks to everyone who attended. The schedule, which includes information about presentations and speakers as well as links to the recorded session videos on Facebook, is still available here and can be accessed under the Resources tab.

Special Meeting and Call for Papers Update

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to invite you to a special meeting to be held before the Society of Mississippi Archivists conference this year, to discuss the current state of records of enslaved persons in Mississippi and elsewhere in the Deep South.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the following

–          What have we got?

–          Where is it?

–          What kind of shape is it in?

–          How accessible is it (digitized, transcribed, indexed, etc)?

–          How can we collaborate to improve discoverability and access?

The Society of Mississippi Archivists conference will be held at Mississippi State from April 24-26. The special meeting would be held on the afternoon of the 24th, starting at 3 PM. Please let me know if you would be able to attend by MARCH 22, 2019.

NB: Please feel free to share this message with interested colleagues, including graduate students, in your state!

I also invite all of you to seriously consider submitting a presentation or poster to the SMA conference. The call for papers is below, and submissions are due by FEBRUARY 7 (deadline has been extended). If you have any questions about the pre-meeting, please do let me know at jmcgillan@library.msstate.edu.

-Jennifer McGillan

Call for Papers: Society of Mississippi Archivists Annual Meeting 2019

Call for Papers:
Society of Mississippi Archivists Annual Meeting 2019
Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS
April 24-26, 2019

The Society of Mississippi Archivists is pleased to announce their annual meeting will occur on April 24-26, 2019 on the campus of Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS.

This one and one half day multidisciplinary conference will explore the theme of Diversity and Inclusion in the Archives. There will also be a pre-conference workshop on Wednesday, April 24, on Teaching with Primary Sources, Special Collections, MSU Libraries, from 2-5 PM.

We seek posters, individual presentations and panels that consider all aspects of diversity and inclusion in archival practice, including reference, instruction, outreach, appraisal and processing.

Possible topics include:

  • Successful outreach to underrepresented communities
  • Approaches to developing LGBT+ collections
  • Recruiting and retaining faculty and staff from underrepresented communities
  • Making the archives accessible to patrons with disabilities
  • Creating diverse and inclusive exhibits in the archives and on-line

Please send an abstract (with title) of approximately 200 words and a brief bio to DeeDee Baldwin (dbaldwin@library.msstate.edu), by February 7, 2019. Both individual presentations and panel discussions will be limited to one hour sessions.

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

Exhibit Highlights Mississippi Delta Grocery Stores

Grocery Stories: Stories Behind the Counter of the Mississippi Delta Chinese Grocery Stores, a new exhibit at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library in Columbus, Mississippi, will be on display from August 1-25, 2018. A presentation by Dr. Sherman Hong will take place at the library on August 14 at noon.

Grocery stores played an integral role in the establishment of the Chinese presence in the Mississippi Delta. This exhibit focuses on the lives lived within grocery stores and demonstrate how many families blended their heritage with their new environment.

The exhibit and presentation are free and open to the public and will take place at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library at 314 North Seventh Street, Columbus, Mississippi. The exhibit is made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The event is sponsored by the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library, Friends of the Columbus-Lowndes Public library, and Delta State University.

For more information, call 662.329.5300.




Southern Archivists Conference 2018

September 13-14, 2018

Alabama Department of Archives and History

Montgomery, Alabama

The Southern Archivists Conference is a joint biennial conference of the Society of Alabama Archivists, The Louisiana Archives and Manuscripts Association, The Society of Mississippi Archivists, and the Society of Tennessee Archivists. This year will mark 30 years of conference collaboration between these state organizations.

The Program Committee solicits proposals in these categories:

INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATIONS of less than 20 minutes. May include any media supported by hardware and software available in the meeting rooms.

PANEL PRESENTATIONS should be no longer than 60 minutes.  They should consist of a chair/moderator and may operate as a discussion or a traditional panel.

POSTERS should be no larger than 36″ x 48″ and be mountable on an easel (SALA will provide cardboard backing and easel). At least one presenter must attend the Poster Session. (See http://www.posterpresentations.com/ or http://www.genigraphics.com/ for free templates.)

Please make your proposal in only one category.  Proposals should contain complete contact information, presentation title, and abstract.  Panel proposals should include contact/title/abstract for all participants.  Please note what kind of presentation media you will need (PowerPoint, web access, etc.).

Submit proposals to: Reagan Grimsley, rlg0020@uah.edu

DEADLINE July 1, 2018

Southern Archivists Conference, September 13-14, 2018

This year, the Society of Mississippi Archivists will collaborate with regional archival associations from Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee to host the Southern Archivists Conference. This year’s conference will be held in Montgomery, AL on September 13-14. More information will be released when it’s available.

2017 Mississippi Library Association Annual Conference

The Society of Mississippi Archivists had a booth at the Mississippi Library Association Annual Conference (October 17-20). SMA members talked to librarians from around the state about how the organization can help with their daily jobs.  We signed up some new members and met others around the state that have archival materials in their collections.


Billups-Garth Archives at Columbus-Lowndes Public Library Digitizes Eugenia R. Morgan Letters

The Billups-Garth Archives at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library has partnered with the Mississippi Digital Library (MDL) to digitize seventy-nine letters written by Eugenia “Genie” R. Morgan from 1889 to 1890. The letters offer a glimpse into local life during the late Victorian Era and touch on topics such as social activity, romance, family dynamics, religion, friendship, health, and more.

Genie was born in 1873 in Columbus to John D. and Mary Couch Morgan. Her paternal Aunt, Eugenia Morgan Moore owned Camellia Place. Genie attended Judson College in Marion, Alabama, but became sick in 1889 and returned home to recover. It was during this time of recovery that Genie’s letters were written.

The bulk of the letters are to her second cousin, William Jemison Prowell, Jr. of Birmingham, Alabama with whom she had a romantic relationship. The relationship was complicated by other suiters, however, including Charles Dashiell and William Coleman. Genie mentions local dances called “Germans” as well as attending revivals in Aberdeen led by prominent Methodist preacher Samuel Porter Jones. At one point, Genie writes from Asheville, North Carolina where she assists her father in his recovery from an illness. Later, she returns to Judson College where she writes about events, students, and teachers. Genie Morgan died on December 30, 1894 when she was 21 years old and is buried in Friendship Cemetery.

The letters along with their transcriptions are accessible on the MDL at http://www.msdiglib.org/about/partners/columbus. The MDL is hosted by the University of Southern Mississippi and provides a free online space to search and explore the wealth of materials available in Mississippi.

For more information contact Mona Vance-Ali at 662-329-5304.