2010 Annual Report
Grants Fund Innovative Programs at MDAH
Gathering on the Green Launched
This spring, the Old Capitol Museum held the inaugural "Gathering on the Green" event on the grounds of the Old Capitol. Funded completely by donations received through the Foundation for Mississippi History, the event offered a full day of entertaining activities for families throughout the metro area. It promoted civic responsibility and community interaction through the involvement of other community partners, as well as raising awareness of the Old Capitol Green, its historic sites, and the benefits they provide to downtown Jackson. We are grateful to lead sponsor Entergy and the other sponsors for supporting this educational family event.
Territorial Records Preserved
With a supplemental grant to the Mississippi Historical Records Advisory Board from the National Historical Records and Publications Commission, staff launched the year-long Territorial Records Inventory Project to assess and improve the preservation of pre-1820 original and microfilmed records in the fourteen territorial counties (Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Franklin, Greene, Hancock, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Marion, Pike, Warren, Wayne, and Wilkinson). Project staff made introductory visits to the counties, conducted multi-day on-site inventories in six counties, inspected 411 rolls of microfilm, and began compiling research and holdings information about each county.
Hardin Foundation Funds Exhibits at Welty Education and Visitors Center
Exhibits detailing the life and work of Eudora Welty have been installed at the Eudora Welty House Education and Visitors Center, completing the facilityís final phase of development. A ribbon-cutting was held on August 13, 2009, officially opening the visitors center.
The exhibits feature photographs of Welty from infancy to adulthood as well as artifacts such as her silver baby spoon, early manuscripts, her photographs, a typewriter used by Welty, favorite record albums, and much more.
One item on display for the first time is the Pulitzer Prize Welty won in 1973 for The Optimistís Daughter. Welty never displayed the award in her house. In fact, it was found where she kept it: in a box in a closet.
The exhibits were funded by the Phil Hardin Foundation.
MDAH Archivists Collaborate with Neighboring States
MDAH is participating in the Archival Training Collaborative, a project funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services to establish sustainable program of affordable archival training opportunities in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. MDAH hosted a meeting of the steering committee in July and a Train-the-Trainer Workshop in February, which three MDAH staff attended.
Billboard Directs Visitors to Winterville Mounds
Generous support from the Mississippi Development Authority enabled Winterville Mounds to erect a billboard on Highway 82 west directing travelers to the site. When they reach Winterville, they will see brand new interpretive signs around the site, erected with funding from another MDA grant.
Film Collections Processed for Public Use
Archivists worked throughout the year to preserve, organize, catalog, and improve access to numerous collections in all formats. Staff completed a $466,000 Save Americaís Treasures grant project to preserve 16mm film from the WLBT Newsfilm Collection. The National Film Preservation Foundation awarded another grant to the Image and Sound section to preserve a rare amateur film from World War II.
Donations Sustain Popular History Is Lunch Program
History Is Lunch, a lunchtime lecture series at the Winter Building, has been one of the departmentís most popular programs over the past few years. As of this year the program is funded almost completely by donations and grants received through the Foundation for Mississippi History. We are grateful to the Mississippi Humanities Council for its support, and we also thank the other generous donors and regular patrons of History Is Lunch.
Mississippi Timeline To Go Online January 2011
MDAH and the Mississippi Humanities Council are developing an online Mississippi Timeline. From the prehistoric era through the present, Mississippiís history will be divided into eight zones, each beginning with a major occurrence or change in the way people lived. Clicking on each zone, viewers will find entries about various aspects of life in Mississippi during that era, from politics to popular culture.
The timeline will showcase the departmentís collections, featuring photographs, artifacts, audiovisual materials, and oral histories. The Web site will also offer a bibliography and links to historical sites around the state and additional sources of information on Mississippi history and culture.
Completing the Mississippi Timeline is an important step toward developing exhibits for the forthcoming Museum of Mississippi History. The timeline, which is funded through grants and donations received through the Foundation for Mississippi History, will go online January 2011.
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