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 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.


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.

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