Government Records

Mississippi State Department of Health Photograph Album, ca. 1930s

Mississippi State Department of Health Photograph Album, ca. 1930s. Call Number: Series 2167 (MDAH Collection)

Series 2176 – Mississippi State Department of Health Photograph Album, ca. 1930s – is now available on Flickr, as well as our Digital Archives.

The series contains a photograph album of sixty-eight black and white 5 x 7 inch prints depicting general health activities throughout Mississippi. The prints are arranged by subject: State Tuberculosis Sanatorium, County Health Camp for Tuberculous Patients, Medical and Popular Health Education, Sanitation, Malaria, Child Health Conferences, Dental Hygiene, Maternity Center, Midwifery, Protection against Communicable Disease, Child Health Day Program, and Home Visits by Public Health Nurse. Most of the photographs are not dated but are believed to have been taken in the 1930s.

Mississippi State Department of Health Photograph Album, ca. 1930s

Mississippi State Department of Health Photograph Album, ca. 1930s. Call Number: Series 2167 (MDAH Collection)

 

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The BAWI and Conflict

On January 22, 2013, in Archives, Government Records, by Dorian Randall
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Chloe Edwards, of the Government Records Section, brings us this post in an ongoing series about Mississippi Advertising Commission posters. Many thanks to Ms. Edwards for sharing these fun artifacts.

A Mississippi Advertising Commission poster depicting the state's industries. Series 552, MDAH.

A Mississippi Advertising Commission poster depicting the state’s industries. Series 552, MDAH.

The unspoken assumption of the program was that white Mississippians would get new industrial jobs, while the African-American population remained the backbone of the state’s agricultural system. Mississippi’s new industrial workers were not offered legal protection in the form of minimum wages, unions, or worker’s compensation laws. In fact, the cheapness and compliance of the Mississippi workforce was touted as an advantage for companies seeking to escape heavily unionized Northern states. Some companies abused the training programs. Most notably was the Vertex Hosiery Company in Ellisville, where groups of students were rotated through unpaid “training programs” at the plant and then told they could not be hired, while the items they manufactured were sold.

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The Balance Agriculture with Industry Program

On January 15, 2013, in Archives, Government Records, by Dorian Randall
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Chloe Edwards, of the Government Records Section, brings us this post in an ongoing series about Mississippi Advertising Commission posters. Many thanks to Ms. Edwards for sharing these fun artifacts.

A Mississippi Advertising Commission poster championing the program. Series 552, MDAH.

A Mississippi Advertising Commission poster championing the program. Series 552, MDAH.

A Mississippi version of the New Deal, the BAWI program sponsored local industrial initiatives that would be mostly financed and wholly administered by the local authorities. Before it could be passed, BAWI had to overcome a hurdle. The 1890 Constitution forbade state investment in private companies. The authors of the BAWI bill appealed to the constitution’s general welfare clause on the recommendation of Jackson lawyers. They argued that the bill was a “necessity to protect [the] people” in the midst of the Great Depression. The bill passed in a special session in late 1936.

Source:

Connie L. Lester, “Balancing Agriculture with Industry: Capital, Labor and the Public Good in Mississippi’s Homegrown New Deal,” Journal of Mississippi History 70, no. 3 (2008).

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Electronic Records Day 10.10

Electronic Records Day


Although we usually use this space to showcase physical works from our archives, we’d like to take this day, deemed Electronic Records Day 10.10 by the Council of State Archivists, to highlight an equally vital part of what we do here: managing and providing access to government records – and more frequently these days, born-digital government records.

Born-digital records are records that originated in digital form – on a computer. Increasingly, this is becoming the dominant mode of records creation for government agencies.

What’s coming to the State Archives these days in born-digital form?

  • Election records
  • Correspondence – often email – of government officials
  • Health statistics
  • Audit reports
  • Agency publications
  • Photographs

These are just a few examples of archival records that often exist only in electronic form and that MDAH must safeguard, process and maintain.

Government E-Records Tips

  • Consult Your Records Retention Schedule: Know what retention periods have been approved (both minimum and maximum) and take appropriate actions (e.g. transfer to the State Archives, destroy, etc.) when the retention period for your records has been met.
  • You’ve Got to Have Standards: Ensure you have a trusted system and that your records are authentic (see ISO 15489, ISO 16363, DoD5015.02, metadata standards, etc).
  • Organization is key: Who’s in charge of the shared file? Are people using email as a filing cabinet rather than a communication tool? Which copy is the record copy?
  • Make the Rules: Naming conventions, file organization, and disposition strategies all help now and in the long term. Make the rules known and follow them.
  • Do You Have Backup? Does your backup system work? How well will it actually restore your e-records? Can you retrieve individual items? Consider off-site storage.
  • Understand Metadata: It’s data about your data (and helps your records live long and prosper).
  • Keep the content, context, and structure: How can you keep all three of these characteristics viable for your records? Hint: metadata helps!
  • Do you have built-in strategies? Can you migrate your e-records? Transfer them to the archives?
  • Does delete mean delete? E-records proliferate easily. Do you have a plan to manage deletion of all copies that should be deleted? E-discovery will include all files.
  • Think before you scan: Standards, worthiness, naming conventions, storage, and retrieval (among other things) should be considered before you turn that scanner on for the most efficient and useful results.

 

 

 
Circular, Jas. Monroe to secretary of Mississippi Territory. Call Number: Series 499, doc number 5 (MDAH)

Circular, Jas. Monroe to secretary of Mississippi Territory. Call Number: Series 499, doc number 5 (MDAH)

Series 499: Alien Enemies Documents (War of 1812), 1812-1815, contains documents relating to the monitoring of British subjects in the Mississippi Territory during the period when the U.S. was engaged in the War of 1812. A circular dated July 11, 1812, and signed by U.S. Secretary of State James Monroe declared that “all subjects of His Britannic Majesty, residing within the United States, have become alien enemies…” (See document # 5 above). As such, British subjects were compelled by law to report to their respective territorial secretaries, who in turn reported to the U.S. Department of State. The following information was required in the reporting process: age, length of time in the U.S., family description, place of residence, occupation, and whether or not application for naturalization had been made.

The documents include copies of the pertinent acts and instructions transmitted to and throughout the territories, individual reports of British subjects (many of which include place of birth – Great Britain, Ireland, and Scotland), and returns of county officials reporting in summary to the territorial secretary. Also included are a number of related documents such as accompanying cover letters and communications with the U.S. Secretary of State.

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