Archives

Looking Back: Hurricane Katrina

On August 29, 2014, in Archives, by Amanda
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“Bay St. Louis, Hancock County, MS. Monday, September 19, 2005. Looking southwest, from Main Street, at Hancock County Courthouse.” Call number: PI/2005.0024, item 53 (MDAH)

Images from the Hurricane Katrina Photographs collection (PI/2005.0024) document the devastation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In the weeks after Katrina, MDAH staff traveled to the Coast to assist property owners and help libraries, museums, and courthouses salvage and preserve collections damaged by the storm.

“Pascagoula, Jackson County, MS. Friday September 16, 2005. Pascagoula Public Library. Workers stack books on floor in preparation to remove shelving in the law library section.” Call number: 2005.0024, item 16 (MDAH)

“Biloxi, Harrison County, MS. Monday, September 19, 2005. Museum artifacts recovered from debris on grounds of Beauvoir.” Call number: PI/2005.0024, item 62 (MDAH)

 

The Archives and History Building: The Winter Building

On July 9, 2014, in Archives, by Dorian Randall
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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.

William F. Winter Archives and History Building Dedication in 2003.

William F. Winter Archives and History Building Dedication in 2003.

The Department of Archives and History called the Capers Building home from 1971 to 2003, when the archives and library functions of the department moved to the newly-constructed William F. Winter Archives and History Building. In contrast to the Capers Building, the Winter Building cost approximately $23.5 million and has more than triple the floor space of the Capers Building. The Winter Building, at five stories and 140,575 square feet, offers state-of-the-art archival facilities for Mississippi’s historical documents and artifacts. The library, located on the first floor, houses books, ledgers, and several computer search stations to assist patrons in historical research. The library also houses two reading rooms, which accommodate up to 160 researchers and a media room with a collection of microfiche and microfilm files ranging from marriage licenses to newspaper articles. The first floor also has an orientation room where presentations and meetings are held. The second floor serves as the central hub of Archives and Records Division processing and cataloguing, while the third floor houses the administrative offices. Two additional floors serve as stack and basement space.

The Winter Building also serves as an exhibit space with the first floor hosting the Winter Holidays exhibition of Possum Ridge model trains, period toys, and Christmas trees. The lobby is used as a temporary space for exhibits such as “Stand Up!:” Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964, which is currently on display.

As the department looks to the future, it is undertaking the construction of the 2 Mississippi Museums in honor of the state’s bicentennial in 2017. The Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum will be located north of the Winter Building.

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

 

The Archives and History Building Dedication

On June 19, 2014, in Archives, Photographs, by Dorian Randall
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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

 

 

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The Archives and History Building Construction

On June 3, 2014, in Archives, by Dorian Randall
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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.

Construction site of the Capers Building. Information and Education Division, Series 1349, Box 5562. (MDAH)

Construction site of the Capers Building. Information and Education Division, Series 1349, Box 5562. (MDAH)

The Archives and History Building ultimately retained many of the features originally sketched out by William Morrison in his 1966 building survey. (It was named for Charlotte Capers after her retirement in 1984.) While the Capers Building has four floors instead of five, the foundations were poured to support the construction of two additional floors in later years (although these floors were never added). The first floor housed the public areas, such as the search room, reference library and microfilm rooms, in addition to stack space off limits to the public. The second floor held offices and more stack space, while the third floor was entirely devoted to the stacks. The basement contained the archivists’ work area, with spaces for receiving new collections, processing, fumigation, photoduplication, and storage. The staff lounge was also located in the basement.

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

 

 

 

 

 

The Archives and History Building Groundbreaking

On May 12, 2014, in Archives, by Dorian Randall
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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.

Charlotte Capers Archives and History Building groundbreaking, Information and Education Division, Series 1349, Box 5562. (MDAH)

The Archives and History Building groundbreaking, Information and Education Division, Series 1349, Box 5562. (MDAH)

After securing a resolution from the department’s Board of Trustees urging a $1.5 million appropriation (approximately $11 million today) for a new building, Capers worked with architect William D. Morrison, Jr. to draw up a preliminary building plan and cost estimate to present to the legislature. Morrison envisioned a five story building on the corner of North and Amite Streets with a central stack space flanked by public areas, administrative offices, and processing space. The plan also called for a foundation strong enough to add two floors if needed. The building contained forty thousand square feet of floor space and would cost approximately $1.1 million. Capers requested $1.2 million, but the appropriation bill languished through several legislative sessions before Governor Paul B. Johnson offered his support.  Consequently, House Bill 7 earmarked $1.12 million for the construction of a new home for MDAH in 1967, Mississippi’s sesquicentennial year.

After two years of planning with architectural firm Overstreet, Ware, Ware, and Lewis and consultation with other state archives, the groundbreaking ceremony was held on December 3, 1969. In attendance were former governors Paul B. Johnson, Ross Barnett, and J.P. Coleman, Lieutenant Governor Charles L. Sullivan, Secretary of State Heber Ladner, department trustee and future governor William F. Winter, Dr. R.A. McLemore (the new department director), and of course, Charlotte Capers.

Although the Board of Trustees preferred the site on the corner of North and Amite streets, where the Winter Building is now located, the Building Commission opted for the lot just south of the Old Capitol for the opportunity to create a historical complex on Capitol Green. The building would complement the War Memorial and Old Capitol Buildings without duplicating the former architecturally or overshadowing the latter. The 1891 Confederate Memorial would retain pride of place in front of the archives building.

Sources:

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