Collections Blog

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Winter Building, at five stories and 140,575 square feet, offers state-of-the-art archival facilities for Mississippi’s historical documents and artifacts.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

 

Railroad Crossing Signal Photograph

On July 2, 2014, in Photographs, by Amanda
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'Stop Death Stop' railroad crossing in Grenada, from  unprocessed collection of Sidney T. Roebuck,, Highway Commissioner of the Central District (MDAH)

‘Stop Death Stop’ railroad crossing in Grenada, from unprocessed collection of Sidney T. Roebuck,, Highway Commissioner of the Central District (MDAH)

MDAH archivist Ashley Koostra unearthed this intriguing photograph in the unprocessed collection of Sidney T. Roebuck, Highway Commissioner of the Central District. It shows a railroad crossing signal built at an Illinois Central crossing near Grenada around 1940. W.A. Billups designed the signal, “embodying an appeal to the sense of hearing through piercing sirens and an appeal to the sense of sight through the illumination of neon signs depicting the word ‘Death,’ ‘Stop,’ and the skull and crossbones.” The arrows indicated the direction of the train.

See the signal in action in a simulation posted to YouTube, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGhFHKtDhns.

Sources:

Winona Times, October 4, 1940

Illinois Central Magazine (April 1941), page 22

 

1972 Ole Miss World Series Photograph

On June 20, 2014, in Photographs, by Amanda
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Ole Miss v. Texas game at 1972 College World Series. Call number: PI/SPO/1982.0126 (MDAH)

Ole Miss v. Texas game at 1972 College World Series. Call number: PI/SPO/1982.0126 (MDAH)

MDAH archivists found this photograph from the 1972 College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, showing the University of Mississippi versus the University of Texas.

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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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Artifacts: Lowe Handpress

On June 18, 2014, in Artifacts, by Amanda
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Nan Prince, assistant director of collections, brings us this post about interesting artifacts in the Museum Division collection.

Lowe handpress. Accession number: 1981.12.1 (Museum Division collection, MDAH)

Lowe handpress. Accession number: 1981.12.1 (Museum Division collection, MDAH)

This Lowe handpress belonged to Mr. Harry Kersting, who was probably the last professional wood engraver in Jackson. He moved to Mississippi in 1955, at the age of eighty-one, from Cincinnati, Ohio, to be near his daughter and her family.

The Lowe press was patented by Samuel Lowe of Philadelphia in 1856. It was a small, amateur press that was first exhibited at the Fair of the American Institute at the Crystal Palace in New York in 1857, where it was awarded a prize for being inexpensive and easy to use.