Southern Miss Special Collections Displays Student Curated Exhibits

Special Collections at the University of Southern Mississippi hosted an exhibit opening April 25 in McCain Library room 305 to highlight three exhibits curated by Southern Miss students.

Two years ago, Special Collections created an exhibits program that allows students the opportunity to curate mini-exhibits, featuring materials from the library’s collections.  Students learn how to select items for display, install the materials, write label and exhibit text, and how to publicize the exhibit.  This year’s exhibits feature the work of two undergraduate history majors and an English doctoral student.

To learn more about the exhibits, go to the exhibit publicity page.  If you have questions about the program or the exhibits on display, contact Jennifer Brannock at or 601.266.4347.

Special Collections Presents Summer Bicentennial Lecture Series

University Libraries’ Special Collections at The University of Southern Mississippi is continuing its celebration of Mississippi’s Bicentennial with two summer lectures that will examine Mississippi’s film industry and Mississippi as a landscape for literature. The summer series will begin June 7 with Nina Parikh, Deputy Director of the Mississippi Film Office and conclude on July 12 with Margaret McMullan, an award-winning author and Mississippi native.

In her lecture, “Film Mississippi: 1914-2017,” Parikh will discuss the state’s cinematic history as well as its future in the film industry. Scheduled to coincide with the Festival South Film Expo Festival (FSFX), Parikh’s lecture will take place Wednesday, June 7 from 1 – 3 p.m. at the Little Building in downtown Hattiesburg.

Mississippi’s film history is rich with stories inspired by Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, John Grisham, and many more. Mississippi is also the birth place of some of the most recognizable names in the industry, such as Morgan Freeman, James Earl Jones, Parker Posey, Gerald McRaney,, Jim Henson, Elvis, and Oprah Winfrey. Mississippi is also the location of a number of notable films that include A Time to KillThe HelpO, Brother Where Art Thou?, and My Dog Skip.

McMullan, the author of seven award-winning novels, will present “Mississippi as Landscape” on July 12 at 6:30 p.m. at The Library of Hattiesburg. McMullan is the author of When Warhol Was Still AliveIn My Mother’s House, How I Found the StrongWhen I Crossed No-Bob, and Cashay.In 2015, she and Phillip Lopate curated Every Father’s Daughter, an anthology of essays about fathers by great women writers such as Alice Munro, Ann Hood, and Jane Smiley.

McMullan has been the recipient of various honors and award. She was the recipient of a NEA Fellowship in literature, a Fulbright at the University of Pécs in Pécs, Hungary, and the National Author Winner of the 2011 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award. In 1007, she was the Eudora Welty Visiting Writer at Millsaps College in Jackson. She was the Melvin Peterson Endowed Chair in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Evansville, where she taught for 25 years. She writes full time now in Pass Christian, Mississippi.

This official bicentennial project was made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council, through support from the Mississippi Development Authority.

For additional information, contact Lorraine Stuart at or 601.266.4117.

The Columbus-Lowndes Public Library Hosts Edible Book Festival

The Columbus-Lowndes Public Library System hosted its first Edible Book Festival at the Columbus Public Library on Thursday, April 13 at 10 a.m. as part of the library’s celebration of National Library Week.

Since its inception in 1999, the International Edible Book Festival is held annually on or around April 1st – the birthday of Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755 – 1826), the French author of a witty book on food entitled Physiologie du goût. Dozens of libraries and cultural organizations around the world have held their own festivals to celebrate his work.

Festival organizers accepted submissions from the general public, local bakeries, and restaurants for the festival. Certificates were given for the Best in Show and Most Creative submissions.

To read more about the event, check out the story in The Dispatch at

If you  have any questions about the festival, contact Mona Vance-Ali at 662.329.5304 or

Grants for DPOE Workshop

SMA will cover the attendance fee (worth $500) for two archival professionals to attend the Deep South Digital Preservation Outreach and Education (DPOE) workshop at the Mississippi Dept. of Archives and History in Jackson from September 20-23, 2016. There is one slot available for someone from an academic institution and one slot for someone from a non-academic institution. The recipients will receive training to conduct a digital preservation workshop of their own within six months of training. Attendees will need to cover their own travel, accommodations, and some meals.

Applicants for the grant should be archival professionals who are members of the Society of Mississippi Archivists (SMA)* and are employed currently by a Mississippi institution. Information about eligibility, selection criteria, and limitations is available on the reverse side of the application form. Application packages must be received by 5:00 p.m., August 8th, 2016. Recipients will be notified by August 12th, 2016.

 *If you are not a current member of SMA, you may join or renew membership by visiting the SMA Web site. Membership will be verified as part of evaluation of applications. If you are paying by check rather than by PayPal, please do so well before August 8.

The application form is available at:

Information about the workshop available at:

For further information, contact Derek Webb at 662-241-7601 or by email at

Accommodations for SMA Conference

*The Society of Mississippi Archivists Conference does not have an official conference hotel.  Hotel room rates listed below are averages.  This is a sampling of hotels in the area.  Other hotels may be found at the Harrison County Tourism Commission website for the Gulf Coast –  To get accurate rates, please contact the hotels directly.  You may also want to try websites like Expedia (, Travelocity (, or Priceline ( for cheaper rates. 
Wingate by Wyndham (average $120/night)
4302 West Beach Blvd., Gulfport, MS 39501
1.5 miles from USM Gulf Coast
Holiday Inn Express (average $130/night)
300 West Beach Blvd., Long Beach, MS 39560
Less than 2 miles from USM Gulf Coast
Island View Casino (average $174/night)
3300 West Beach Blvd, Gulfport, MS 39501
3 miles from USM Gulf Coast
Courtyard by Marriott (average $149/night)
1600 East Beach Blvd, Gulfport, MS 39501
4 miles from USM Gulf Coast
Hampton Inn (average $119/night)
9445 Hwy 49, Gulfport, MS 39503
6.7 miles from USM Gulf Coast
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriot (average $101/night)
15151 Turkey Creek Drive, Gulfport, MS 39503
7 miles from USM Gulf Coast
Treasure Bay (average $77/night)
1980 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39531
11 miles from USM Gulf Coast
Beau Rivage (average $129/night)
875 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39530
15 miles from USM Gulf Coast
Hard Rock Hotel/Casino (average $120/night)
777 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39530
15 miles from USM Gulf Coast
IP Casino Resort (average $90/night)
850 Bayview Avenue, Biloxi, MS 39530
22 miles from USM Gulf Coast

Questions?  Contact Jennifer Brannock at or 601.266.4347.

2015 SMA Call for Papers and Posters!

DATE: APRIL 15-17, 2015 
In preparation of the 2015 Society of Mississippi Archivists Conference in Long Beach, MS, the Society of Mississippi Archivists seeks paper and poster proposals on a variety of topics that can include, but are not limited to:
Panels are typically 45 minutes to 1 hour in length and include 3 papers/presentations. For panel proposals please include title, brief description, and the names of the organizer and each presenter with affiliation and contact information. For individual papers and posters please submit the same information listed above. Panels will be created from submitted individual papers.
We also seek proposals for panels that will include paper presentations by library science students featuring their research and or panels that includes paper presentations by students who have used archival collections in their research. We also encourage students to create posters on research projects or activities for a poster session and display.
Please submit session and individual proposals to Ryan Semmes 
( by February 15, 2015

2015 Awards for Excellence

The Mississippi Historical Records Advisory Board will present its 2015 Awards for Excellence, honoring individuals and organizations that identify, preserve, and provide access to Mississippi’s historical records, at the Society of Mississippi Archivists’ Biennial Meeting in April. The four award categories are Archival Program Development, Documenting Mississippi’s History,Using Historical Records in Grades K-12, and Using Historical Records in Higher Education. Nomination forms, awards criteria and eligibility information are available at Nominations will be accepted from October 1 to December 19, 2014. Questions may be directed to Forrest Galey at 601-576-6872 or

The Basics of Processing Archival Records Workshop

The Mississippi Historical Records Advisory Board will join SMA and the Archival Training Collaborative (ATC) in sponsoring one workshop this fall. The Basics of Processing Archival Records, a workshop introducing participants to the methods and best practices archivists use to arrange, preserve, and create usable finding aids for collections of all shapes and sizes, will be presented by Mona Vance-Ali (Columbus-Lowndes Public Library) and Derek Webb (Mississippi University for Women) in Jackson on October 20, 2014. Participants will engage in hands-on activities and come away with a practical knowledge base to begin processing archival records. To receive a registration form or more information, visit the SMA Web site at or contact Derek Webb at 662-241-7601.

Archives Month

Each October the nation celebrates our country’s rich historical collections. The Mississippi Historical Records Advisory Board (MHRAB) and the Society of Mississippi Archivists (SMA) are co-sponsoring a poster entitled Mississippi: Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary to promote Mississippi Archives Month 2014. The poster features archival items related to the events of 1964 and encourages all Mississippians to learn more about the civil rights movement in Mississippi by visiting local archives, libraries, museums, and historical societies. Several Mississippi institutions will present events commemorating Archives Month. For information about events during Archives Month throughout Mississippi, please visit For information about celebrations nationwide, visit