October Is American Archives Month!


Mississippi Celebrates Archives Month all across the state

For the month of October, archives and repositories across Mississippi will host various events and activities in celebration of Archives Month. Mississippi’s statewide participation, coordinated by the Society of Mississippi Archivists, is an extension of the national celebration of American Archives Month sponsored by the Society of American Archivists.  Archives Month is a way to raise public awareness by calling attention to the role various organizations play in preserving historical and cultural records. 

This year’s theme, “Faces of Mississippi,” allows archives to showcase their multifaceted collections that represent a rich and diverse state.  Organizations are participating in a variety of ways from hosting exhibits to conducting tours.  Listed below are just some of the events across the state planned for Archives Month.

Archives are locations were collections and records of historical value are maintained, preserved, and made accessible to the public. They may be located in historic societies, academic or public libraries, court houses, corporations, or governmental entities. The first celebration of Archives Week can be traced to the Archives Round Table of Metropolitan New York in New York City in 1989.  More information on archivists and American Archives Month can be found at the Society of American Archivists website at www.archivists.org

For more information, contact Ben Petersen, vice-president of the Society of Mississippi Archivists and director of the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library at (662) 329-5300 or Joyce Dixon-Lawson with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History at (601) 576-6876.

Visit www.msarchivists.org or www.archivists.org or www.statearchivists.org for more information.

Archives Month Events:

Mississippi Department of Archives and History (Jackson)

  • History is Lunch series hosted at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building that will include various topics and presenters.  ALL EVENTS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.  PLEASE BRING YOUR LUCH TO THE NOON DAY EVENTS.  The schedule is as follows:
    • October 3 at 12pm - Keith Baca speaking on “Native American Place Names in Mississippi”
    • October 10 at 12pm - David Weaver on “Black Diva of the Thirties:  The Life of African American Operatic Soprano Ruby Elzy”
    • October 15 at 12pm - Randy Kwan speaking on the “Chinese in Mississippi”
    • October 24 at 12pm - J. M. Mehta speaking on “Native American Ritual Architecture”
  • A presentation by Barnett Taylor on “Tracing Your African American Ancestors” - October 25 at 5:30 p.m.  REFRESHMENTS PROVIDED.
  • An exhibit in the William Winter Lobby celebrating National Archives Month, featuring photographs from its collection highlighting Mississippi’s rich diversity—the many faces of Mississippi.

For more information regarding any of these events contact Joyce Dixon-Lawson at (601) 576-6837.

Columbus-Lowndes Public Library (Columbus)

  • An exhibit titled “Now Playing: Tennessee Williams” that follows the playwright’s career spanning over 30 years through the use of posters and playbills. For more information contact Mona Vance at 662-329-5304.

Lauren Rodgers Museum of Art Library and Archives (Laurel)

  • A photograph exhibit titled "Labor Pains: Hard Work Builds a Community". The exhibit will include images of Laurel's workforce from 1890-1930. The exhibit will run through the entire month of October. For more information contact Donnelle Conklin at 601-649-6374.

University of Mississippi Department of Archives & Special Collections (Oxford)

  • Hosting “Preserving Your Family Memories” where members of the department will speak briefly about preservation issues and take questions on protecting your family memories. The event lasts from 12-1pm on October 5 in the Faulkner Room, third floor of the J. D. Williams Library. You are encouraged to bring examples of photo albums, scrapbooks, or other items for staff to inspect.  Bring a bag lunch as well.  For more information contact Greg Johnson at 662-915-7753. 

University of Southern Mississippi’s McCain Library and Archives (Hattiesburg)

  • A talk presented by Dr. Gilbert H. Hoffman on “Sawmills and Logging Railroads of Forrest and Lamar Counties” on Tuesday, October 16, at 4:00 p.m.  Dr. Hoffman’s is the author of Dummy Lines Through the Longleaf and the 2-volume Steam Whistles in the Piney Woods.  For more information call Diane DeCesare Ross at 601-266-5592.

Yazoo Library Association – B.S. Ricks Memorial Library (Yazoo City)

  • “Creating a County Archives” is a workshop where participants can learn first hand from experienced archivists what is involved with preserving county records in Mississippi from laws governing records to basic archives management.  This workshop is sponsored by the Federation of Mississippi Historical Societies, the Mississippi State Historical Records Advisory Board, and the Mississippi Dept. of Archives and History.  For more information, contact Cindy Gardner at 601-576-6901.

Contact: Ben Petersen              or         Joyce Dixon-Lawson
(662) 329-5300                                   (601) 576-6876



Sponsored by The Mississippi State Historical Records Advisory Board