Yearlong Territorial Records Survey Underway

The MDAH Local Government Records Office (LGRO) has inventoried the courthouse records in nearly half of the state’s oldest counties as part of its yearlong project to help preserve these invaluable historical resources. In January the department received a grant of nearly $50,000 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission through the Mississippi Historical Records Advisory Board to identify and inventory historical records in Mississippi’s fourteen territorial counties.

“There are gems hidden among the records that people may not even know about,” said LGRO director Tim Barnard. “We recently found a Confederate soldier roster tucked in a deed book and the minutes of a former town with the cover of another book on it. If it weren’t for the inventory, these treasures could be lost forever.”

MDAH staff has visited Amite, Claiborne, Franklin, Lawrence, Warren, and Wayne counties. Inventory of the remaining eight counties—Adams, Greene, Hancock, Jackson, Jefferson, Marion, Pike, and Wilkinson—will continue into early September. After completion of the inventory, staff will make recommendations to each of the counties about how to preserve, manage, and improve access to their historical records. A free records management workshop will be offered in November for officials and staff.

The mission of the Local Government Records Office includes advising and assisting counties, municipalities, school districts, libraries, and all other local government entities in Mississippi in managing their records. For more information contact Tim Barnard by email or at 601-576-6894.

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