Collections Blog

trent lott

“U.S. Senator Trent Lott.” 199-. Call Number: PI/2010.0002, Series 7, Image 2629

Series VII of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Collection (PI/2010.0002) consists of 3,269 black-and-white and color prints of general photographs located in the files of Farm Bureau Public Affairs staff Austin McMurchy and Ed Blake. This series contains an assortment of photographs on a variety of topics over several decades including: civic and social activities; crops, farms and farm enterprises; county co-ops; local, state and national politicians; and safety training initiatives.

 

Jarrett Zeman, MDAH Museum Division cataloger, brings us this post in an ongoing series about his work on the IMLS project to catalog, photograph, and create digital object records for MDAH’s Museum Division artifacts.

When Welty was ready to turn ideas to prose, she sat herself before the typewriter.  Welty preferred using a manual typewriter, like the ones she played with as a child in her father’s office.  However, as she aged, arthritis forced her to go electric.  Welty used this Smith-Corona Coronomatic 8000 to write The Optimist’s Daughter, though often begrudgingly. Its constant humming made her feel it was “waiting on you to do something.”  Welty never used a computer to compose her stories.

Welty used this electric typewriter to compose The Optimist’s Daughter, a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Welty used this electric typewriter to compose The Optimist’s Daughter, a Pulitzer Prize winner.

To edit a day’s work, Welty retreated downstairs and marked pages in blue pen, as seen here. She often used this gray metal copyholder, a common companion to typewriters, when she needed to retype her edited pages.  By lifting the top latch, Welty placed a page into the holder and replaced the latch, which held the paper in place and freed up her hands.

Welty used this metal copyholder to more easily edit drafts.

Welty used this metal copyholder to more easily edit drafts.

When it came time to edit whole chapters, Welty had a unique technique: she physically cut the pages of her manuscripts apart by paragraphs or sentences, rearranged them in a desired order, and pinned the pieces back together.  By using pins instead of staples, she could move the pieces around as much as she liked.  In the dining room, visitors can touch reproductions of these unusual pages.

Example of Welty’s unique editing technique, the “cut-and-pin.”

Example of Welty’s unique editing technique, the “cut-and-pin.”

These artifacts provide a glimpse into Welty’s writing process.  The craft of writing is a much larger and nuanced process, but without these tools of the trade, Leota would never sit in her beauty parlor; Daniel Ponder would never give away his fortune; Tom Harris would never buy dinner for hobos; nor would we know the other rich characters created by Eudora Welty.

Jarrett Zeman, MDAH Museum Division cataloger, brings us this post in an ongoing series about his work on the IMLS project to catalog, photograph, and create digital object records for MDAH’s Museum Division artifacts.

Every painter has their palette; every sculptor has their clay.  Eudora Welty had a typewriter, and a number of other tools to help her stories take shape.  How did Welty remember her ideas, create a space to develop them, and edit them down to the most effective expressions of her soul?  To find the answer, we must enter her bedroom at the Welty House.

Just off the second floor landing, the bedroom features a small wooden desk, set in a corner by white cotton curtains.  Welty wrote nearly all of her major works in this room, including the Pulitzer Prize winner The Optimist’s Daughter in the 1970s.  Working as history detectives, we can use the objects on this desk to piece together her writing process.

Welty understood that ideas strike us at inconvenient times: in the supermarket, on the freeway, or in countless other places where fleshing out an idea proves impossible.  She often scribbled down character, plot or setting notes on whatever she had handy—receipts, checkbooks, or small notebooks that fit in a purse.  Welty used the back of this checkbook to remember plot ideas, while she used this black datebook to record a series of names, some real (“Sondra and Wondra—twins”) and some fictional (“Booster” “Celida”, “Willette”).

Welty used checkbooks like this one to jot down story ideas when they came to her in public (reproduction).

Welty used checkbooks like this one to jot down story ideas when they came to her in public (reproduction).

With these ideas in mind, Welty needed the proper writing space to develop them.  Her desk sits before three large windows, where she could view the buildings of Belhaven University, framed between a pair of towering oak trees.  While Welty did not face the windows, she liked to sit sideways where she could see outside, “because I like to be aware of life going on…I couldn’t write with a blank wall in front of me.”  Pinehurst Street provided its fair share of sights, from cars to joggers to neighbors walking their dogs.  The quiet of suburban Belhaven allowed Welty to escape the hustle-and-bustle of city life, and focus on her craft.  In our next entry, we’ll explore how Welty turned words into prose.

View of Welty’s office.  The Belhaven neighborhood is visible behind the desk.

View of Welty’s office. The Belhaven neighborhood is visible behind the desk.

10/10: Two Musical Disks

On October 16, 2015, in Electronic Records, by Timothy
0

October 10, 2015, was Electronic Records Day. MDAH Electronic Records staff including Chloe Edwards and Alanna Patrick prepared the posts in this series about recent additions to the disk collection at MDAH.

F

Pete Seeger seated on stage, playing banjo. Item #: 9-37-0-2-48-1-1ph: Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission Records Online, 1994-2006.

 

A Place Called the South

Call no.: Disk 0180

Format: CD

Running Time: 58 minutes

This disk of twenty-seven songs was originally published as part of the music issue of the journal Southern Cultures (vol. 13, no. 3, Fall 2007). The songs were selected by Southern Cultures Music Editor Josh Guthman to highlight southern music genres and include selections from Bill Monroe & the Blue Grass Boys, Sonny Boy Williams, the Spiritualaires, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops. The songs are stitched together with clips taken from a 1989 interview conducted with Pete Seeger. These excerpts illustrate Seeger’s love for the South and its music. A transcript of the full interview, conducted by William R. Ferris and Michael K. Honey, is featured in the print issue of the journal.

The CD came to MDAH as part of the Winter (William F.) and Family Papers, call no. Z/2285.000.

MORE INFORMATION:

To find out more about this disk, search our online catalogue for Disk 0180. To browse the disk collection, navigate to the advanced search page, check the “Electronic Records” box, and type “disk” into the keyword search bar.

All catalogued disks are available to view or listen to in the Media Room; patrons should request disks from media staff using the four digit call number.

References:

Southern Cultures. Accessed on September 24, 2015 at http://southerncultures.org/

 

Staff favorite: Come to Me, Look at Me: Songs Most Loved in Russia

Disk no.: 0189

Format: CD

Running time:

Russian singer, actress, writer, and playwright Lisa Monde released this CD in 2007. A particular favorite of MDAH’s electronic records staff, this CD contains twelve Russian songs translated into English and French and provides an interesting glimpse of traditional Russian thought and culture.

The CD came to the archives as part of the Winter (William F.) and Family Papers, call no. Z/2285.000.

MORE INFORMATION:

To find out more about this disk, search our online catalogue for Disk 0189. To browse the disk collection, navigate to the advanced search page, check the “Electronic Records” box, and type “disk” into the keyword search bar.

All catalogued disks are available to view or listen to in the Media Room; patrons should request disks from media staff using the four digit call number.

References:

“Lisa Monde.” Accessed September 23, 2015 http://lisa-monde.com/

 

10/10: Continuing Electronic Records Day

On October 14, 2015, in Electronic Records, by Timothy
0

October 10, 2015, was Electronic Records Day. MDAH Electronic Records staff including Chloe Edwards and Alanna Patrick prepared the posts in this series about recent additions to the disk collection at MDAH.

Governor Cliff Finch eating lunch with schoolchildren, 1976. From Finch, Charles C. Cliff Gov. of MS, PI/STA/F56.3 (MDAH).

Governor Cliff Finch eating lunch with schoolchildren in 1976, twenty years before the passage of the Mississippi Adequate Education Act. Charles C. Cliff Gov. of MS, PI/STA/F56.3 (MDAH).

 

Grey Ferris: A Lasting Legacy

Call no.: Disk 0169

Format: DVD

Running Time: 9 minutes, 33 seconds

This video honors two-term Mississippi Senator Grey Flowers Ferris of Vicksburg, posthumous recipient of the Winter-Reed Partnership Award. Ferris, a former chairman of the Senate Education Committee, was instrumental in the creation of the Mississippi Alliance for Gaining New Opportunities through Library Information Access (MAGNOLIA) and the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP). MAGNOLIA is a state-funded consortium that provides free access to online research databases for publicly funded K-12 schools, public libraries, and community college and university libraries in Mississippi. The databases are an invaluable resource for students. The MAEP, created by the Mississippi Adequate Education Act, provides a formula that produces a base amount required to provide each student an adequate education in a Mississippi school, regardless of the school or community’s economic situation.

The DVD came to MDAH as part of the Winter (William F.) and Family Papers, call no. Z/2285.000.

MORE INFORMATION:

To find out more about this disk, search our online catalogue for Disk 0169. To browse the disk collection, navigate to the advanced search page, check the “Electronic Records” box, and type “disk” into the keyword search bar.

All catalogued disks are available to view or listen to in the Media Room; patrons should request disks from media staff using the four digit call number.

References:

“About MAGNOLIA.” Accessed September 23, 2015 at http://magnolia.msstate.edu/about/about.asp

“Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP).” Accessed September 24, 1015 at

http://www.msparentscampaign.org/education-funding/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=34

“In Memoriam: Grey Ferris.” Accessed on September 24, 2015 at http://winterinstitute.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/08/grey-ferris-memorial.pdf

 

F

Ole Miss at the Cotton Bowl, Dallas, January 2, 1962. Call Number: PI/COL/1981.0066(MDAH)

 

Ghosts of Ole Miss

­Call no.: Disk 0171

Format: DVD

Running Time: 56 minutes, 56 seconds

Written and narrated by ESPN.com senior writer and Clarksdale native Wright Thompson, the film explores the 1962 Ole Miss football team and its winning season, set against the backdrop of James Meredith’s admission into the university and the riot that followed. Using interviews with members of the team and former students; newsfilm and game footage; and excerpts of phone conversations between United States Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, United States President John F. Kennedy, and Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett; the film provides insight into a difficult time in the state’s history.

The CD came to MDAH as part of the Winter (William F.) and Family Papers, call no. Z/2285.000.

MORE INFORMATION:

To find out more about this disk, search our online catalogue for Disk 0171. To browse the disk collection, navigate to the advanced search page, check the “Electronic Records” box, and type “disk” into the keyword search bar.

All catalogued disks are available to view or listen to in the Media Room; patrons should request disks from media staff using the four digit call number.

References:

“Ghosts of Mississippi.” Accessed on September 24, 2015 at http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=mississippi62

Tagged with: