Museum of Mississippi History
The Museum of Mississippi History continues to plan for the construction of its new home in Jackson. For decades the Museum of Mississippi History was located in the historic Old Capitol, Mississippi’s statehouse from 1839 to 1903. But the grand setting provided by the Old Capitol was offset by severe moisture problems and a lack of adequate space for exhibits, artifact storage, classrooms, and offices. A new building was being designed when Hurricane Katrina severely damaged the Old Capitol in August 2005, forcing the museum to close immediately.
The 2006 Legislature fully funded the restoration of the Old Capitol. It will reopen in 2009 as a museum separate from the Museum of Mississippi History, focusing on the history of the building, with exhibits on government in action, the importance of historic preservation, and the state’s different capital cities.
The Museum of Mississippi History will move into a new facility to be constructed just to the north of the William F. Winter Archives and History Building. Architectural designs of the new Museum of Mississippi History have been completed and new exhibits are now being planned. In this state-of-the-art facility, the museum will tell Mississippi’s history from the earliest times to the present, exploring all aspects of the state’s rich cultural heritage.
MDAH will ask the 2008 Legislature to fund construction of the new museum. The Foundation for Mississippi History, a nonprofit organization, has set as its goal raising $10 million to meet exhibit costs, such as artifact conservation and reproduction, exhibit fabrication and installation, and interactive components.
Although it has no space to display its collection, the Museum of Mississippi History continues to offer outreach services, from workshops to traveling exhibits and presentations for school and civic groups.
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