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.

Mississippi Historical Society annual meeting registration

Registration is now open for the MHS annual meeting in Cleveland, MS on March 5-6. The agenda includes a “Preservation Roadshow” sponsored by SMA:

Ask an Archivist: Preservation Roadshow (E.R. Jobe Hall Auditorium)
Preservation professionals from the Society of Mississippi Archivists will give five-minute lightning talks followed by an open Q&A providing advice on preserving records, objects, and other materials.  Attendees are encouraged to bring items in need of preservation.

  • Jennifer Brannock, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Jenifer Ishee, Mississippi State University
  • Emily Jones, Delta State University of Mississippi
  • Jessica Perkins-Smith, Mississippi State University
  • Mona Vance-Ali, Columbus-Lowndes County Public Library
  • Derek Webb, Mississippi University for Women

Women’s suffrage exhibit at MSU

Jenifer Ishee, SMA board member and digital archivist at Mississippi State, curated an exhibit on women’s suffrage. On display in the Old Main Academic Center until winter break, the exhibit will be displayed again at the library in August. Click here for more information.

Below, Ishee stands beside her poster on women’s suffrage at the 2019 SMA annual meeting.


Fall board meeting

Our fall board meeting was held in Jackson on November 22. The main topics of discussion were our upcoming annual meeting, which will be held in April at the Margaret Walker Center (details to come!); website updates; and increasing our membership. The next board meeting will be held on January 24, and any SMA member is invited to attend.

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

-Jennifer McGillan