Chloe Edwards, of the Government Records Section, brings us this post in an ongoing series chronicling the construction of the Charlotte Capers Archives and History Building. Many thanks to Ms. Edwards for her research.

Cameraman in foreground, with a speaker standing before seated guests. Information and Education Division, Series 1349, Box 5562. (MDAH).

Cameraman in foreground, with a speaker standing before seated guests. Information and Education Division, Series 1349, Box 5562. (MDAH).

 

After two years of construction, at an ultimate cost of $1.29 million ($7.8 million today), the building was dedicated on June 3, 1971, at 2:00 pm.  The date was a significant one: the Confederate Memorial, State Capitol, and Old Capitol Restoration were dedicated on that same date in 1891, 1903, and 1961, respectively, the same date that Jefferson Davis was born in 1808.  As president of the Board of Trustees, William F. Winter presided over the dedication. Governor John Bell Williams gave the main address, while former governor J.P. Coleman laid the cornerstone. Also present were former governors Ross Barnett and Paul B. Johnson, Lieutenant Governor Charles L. Sullivan, Secretary of State Heber Ladner, Director of the Building Commission Cecil Yarbro, and Speaker of the House John R. Junkin.  After the dedication, an open house allowed the public its first look at the new building, and periodic tours were conducted by the archives staff for some time afterwards.

Staff photograph of the Capers Building dedication ceremony.  Information and Education Division, Series 1349, Box 5526. (MDAH)

Staff photograph of the Capers Building dedication ceremony. Information and Education Division, Series 1349, Box 5526. (MDAH)

References:

Mississippi Department of Archives and History in-house workshop on giving building tours, June 10, 1971 audio transcript (http://mdah.state.ms.us/arrec/digital_archives/vault/projects/OHtranscripts/AU710_104014.pdf)

Series 1258: Charlotte Capers Building Files, 1928-1992. Box 4899.

Subject file: Archives and History Building, 1966-1970

Subject file: Archives and History Building, 1971 (dedication year)

A Building Survey for a New Archives Building, for the Board of Trustees, Department of Archives and History, prepared by William D. Morrison, Jr., 1966

Tauches, Karen. “The Fate of History: The Old Archives Building is Under Review.” Burnaway, published July 22, 2011. Accessed April 3, 2014 at http://burnaway.org/the-fate-of-history-the-old-archives-building-is-under-review/

CR&HM. Accessed April 3, 2014 at http://www.dalepartners.com/civic-corporate/wfm-archives-and-history/

WFM Archives and History. Accessed April 3, 2014 at http://www.dalepartners.com/civic-corporate/crhm/

Money conversions performed at http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl