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Special Collections Blog

Working with  Colley-Lee's collection are (clockwise from left) Mattie Abraham, Coordinator  for Special Collections' Manuscripts Division, MSU Libraries; Gerald Chaudron,  Manuscripts faculty member, MSU Libraries; Donisha Smiley, Manuscripts library  assistant, MSU Libraries; Howarth; and Colley-Lee. Photo credit: Jim Tomlinson/MSU  Libraries.

Working with Colley-Lee’s collection are (clockwise from left) Mattie Abraham, Coordinator for Special Collections’ Manuscripts Division, MSU Libraries; Gerald Chaudron, Manuscripts faculty member, MSU Libraries; Donisha Smiley, Manuscripts library assistant, MSU Libraries; Howarth; and Colley-Lee. Photo credit: Jim Tomlinson/MSU Libraries.

Shirley Reiff Howarth – director of the Montreal, Quebec-based Humanities Exchange – and Mississippi costumer and designer Myrna Colley-Lee are special guests of MSU Libraries this week as Ms. Howarth researches the Myrna Colley-Lee Collection at Mitchell Memorial Library.

Founded in 1981, The Humanities Exchange is devoted to the international exchange and touring of  museum exhibitions and to encouraging understanding and mutual respect among cultures around the world. Ms. Howarth, an art historian and former museum director and curator who has worked with museums for over 35 years, is researching Colley-Lee’s work in preparation for a book and a major exhibition.

Donated to MSU Libraries in 2006, the Myrna Colley-Lee Collection, housed in Mitchell Memorial Library’s Special Collections department, consists of scripts, photographs, costuming breakdowns, rehearsal notes from directors, research, playbills, newspaper articles, and thank-you notes from cast members and production crews, as well as other novelties.

For more information about the Myrna Colley-Lee Collection, please contact Mattie Abraham, Coordinator of Special Collections, at 662-325-3848. For more information on MSU Libraries, please visit http://library.msstate.edu/.

Posted @ 11:03 am | Filed under: Manuscripts,Special Collections |

'Eudora Welty: Mississippi Daughter' exhibit in Mitchell Memorial Library. Photo credit: Jim Tomlinson/MSU Libraries.

“Eudora Welty: Mississippi Daughter,” an exhibit in conjunction with Mississippi State University’s Maroon Edition, is on display on Mitchell Memorial Library’s 2nd and 3rd floors through December 2011 and highlights the literary career of Mississippi’s much-honored author.

Historian and author Hunter McElva Cole of Brandon, Miss., collected thousands of Welty items, beginning with his early work on a Welty bibliography, and through that work Cole and Welty developed a friendship that continued through their association at Millsaps College. This new MSU Libraries exhibit showcases letters, manuscripts, photographs, interviews, speeches, published works, articles, and memorabilia collected by Cole. Included are personal and revealing Welty letters to Cole concerning her use of the name “McElva” for the character “Judge McElva” in The Optimist’s Daughter, first published in The New Yorker in 1969.

As Executive Director of the Mississippi Writer’s Association, Jo Barksdale of Jackson, Miss., planned and carried out a Eudora Welty Festival in 1995 and also spearheaded an effort to purchase Welty’s childhood home on Congress Street and make it into a writer’s center. Photographs and other materials concerning the Welty celebrations in Jackson from the Barksdale Papers are also represented in the exhibit.

The collection of Dr. Noel Polk of Starkville, professor and author of the most comprehensive bibliography of Welty works, contains many unique Welty works, including autographed books, journals, programs, interviews, and other memorabilia. On exhibit are selected Polk Collection items, including foreign language editions of Welty works.

The Maroon Edition Committee is particularly pleased to include exhibit materials documenting Welty’s connections with MSU. A program and clippings document the selection of Welty as Outstanding Mississippi Woman by the President’s Commission on the Status of Women in 1983. Also loaned to this exhibit by Dr. Nancy Hargrove are photographs and an autographed volume of short stories from Welty’s 1987 MSU visit for a symposium sponsored by the Giles Distinguished Professors.

As part of the exhibit, MSU Libraries’ Special Collections Department, located on Mitchell Memorial Library’s third floor, features a “Browse Eudora Welty Editions” shelf. “We want visitors to be able to handle and appreciate some of the beautiful printed Eudora Welty items, such as greeting cards, keepsake editions, and special editions of Welty photographs and writings,” said Manuscripts Coordinator Mattie Abraham. Visitors to Special Collections can also “Listen to Eudora Welty” via audiotapes of The Optimist’s Daughter, several short stories and interviews, and videotapes of Welty readings and special occasions.

For additional information on the Welty exhibit, please contact Mattie Abraham at 325-3848. For hours of operation and more information on MSU Libraries, please visit http://library.msstate.edu/.

Posted @ 10:12 am | Filed under: Manuscripts,Mississippiana & Rare Books,Special Collections |

Emma Folwell, researcher from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom, is pictured working in Mississippi State University Libraries' Special Collections   Department. Folwell is visiting to conduct research in the Hodding Carter III,   Gilbert Carmichael, Pat Derian, Mississippi Republican Party, John C. Stennis,   and other political collections for her dissertation concerning the failure of   Community Action Programs in Mississippi, the evolution of massive resistance   after 1965, and the rise of modern Conservatism.

Emma Folwell, researcher from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom, is pictured working in Mississippi State University Libraries’ Special Collections Department. Folwell is visiting to conduct research in the Hodding Carter III, Gilbert Carmichael, Pat Derian, Mississippi Republican Party, John C. Stennis, and other political collections for her dissertation concerning the failure of Community Action Programs in Mississippi, the evolution of massive resistance after 1965, and the rise of modern Conservatism. Photo credit: MSU Libraries/Jim Tomlinson.

Pictured here  during the July 18th ceremony are (l to r) Gregory Hatcher, Vice  President, Grand Opera House of Mississippi, Inc.; Frances Coleman, Dean of  Libraries; Mitchell; Harold “Nick” Nichols, Retired Dean, MSU-Meridian;  Margaret Remy, President, Grand Opera House of Mississippi, Inc.; and Mark  Keenum, President, MSU. Photo credit: Jim  Tomlinson/MSU Libraries.

Pictured here during the July 18th ceremony are (l to r) Gregory Hatcher, Vice President, Grand Opera House of Mississippi, Inc.; Frances Coleman, Dean of Libraries; Mitchell; Harold “Nick” Nichols, Retired Dean, MSU-Meridian; Margaret Remy, President, Grand Opera House of Mississippi, Inc.; and Mark Keenum, President, MSU. Photo credit: Jim Tomlinson/MSU Libraries.

Historic papers chronicling turn-of-the-century theatre and a hometown business recently became the newest collections at Mississippi State University Libraries.

The Grand Opera House of Mississippi, Inc., and the Marks Rothenberg Department Store papers – two collections donated to the University in a ceremony on July 18, 2011, at Meridian’s Riley Center – will be a useful tool for historians of American theatre and business, as well.

“The collection analyzes national trends in theatre between 1890 and 1927 and traces the decline of theatre and the rise of movies in America,” says Dr. Dennis Mitchell, Professor of history at MSU-Meridian. “Historians studying business will find the Marks Rothenberg records of family management a rich resource and can use them to chronicle the evolution of corporate practices.”

Additionally, shared Mitchell, researchers interested in urban history can use the collection to study dramatic changes in some of Meridian’s most historic buildings and their various utilizations over time.

For more information on these new collections at MSU Libraries, please contact Dr. Mike Ballard, University Archivist, at 662-325-7680. For more information on MSU Libraries, please visit http://library.msstate.edu/.

Posted @ 8:31 am | Filed under: Special Collections,University Archives |

A portion of “Selections  from the Dominic J. Cunetto Collection: Mississippi State University Theatre  Productions” showcases productions of The  Matchmaker.

The spotlight is shining on a new exhibit at MSU Libraries.

“Selections from the Dominic J. Cunetto Collection: Mississippi State University Theatre Productions” is on display throughout the month of July in Mitchell Memorial Library’s Information Mall. Featuring photographs, scrapbooks, news clippings, and program covers, this new exhibit highlights the work of the late Dr. Dominic J. Cunetto, professor emeritus and founder of the MSU theatre program.

Dr. Cunetto retired in 1991 after having positively influenced hundreds of students through a very strong theatre program. During his 28 years at MSU, he taught courses in theatre and directed over 80 productions. In addition, much of the major building project for the University Theatre in McComas Hall can be attributed to Dr. Cunetto’s diligent work toward the creation of a true academic theatre on MSU’s campus.

This new exhibit is viewable during regular Libraries hours, and the complete Dominic J. Cunetto Collection may be researched by contacting MSU Libraries’ University Archives at 662-325-7680. For more information on MSU Libraries, please visit http://library.msstate.edu/.

Ryan P. Semmes, Assistant Archivist in the Congressional and Political Research Center and the Ulysses S. Grant Collection at Mitchell Memorial Library, has been selected to participate in the 2011 Summer Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents.

This Institute, popularly known as “Camp Edit,” will take place from August 8-12, 2011, at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston. Only 18 individuals are selected annually for the Institute, and 39 applicants from universities and historical societies around the nation applied.

The Institute is funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission through a grant to the Association for Documentary Editing. All registration, housing and travel are provided to participants in the Institute. The faculty is a who’s who of the nation’s leading documentary editors.

“Ryan Semmes is an outstanding archivist and played a major role in the Grant Association’s move to MSU and the opening of the Collection to scholars and students,” said John F. Marszalek, Executive Director of the Grant Association. “His acceptance to the Institute on Editing against formidable competition once again indicates his talents. The fact that he and Elizabeth Coggins, Grant Collection library associate who attended the Institute in 2010, have been accepted to the Institute demonstrates again the high quality of MSU Libraries faculty and staff.”

For more information on the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Collection at MSU Libraries, please visit http://library.msstate.edu/USGrant/.

Sid Salter

Mississippi State University Libraries Journalist-in-Residence Sid Salter has launched a new Web page and blog on the MSU Libraries Web site at http://library.msstate.edu.

Salter’s page and blog on the site at http://blogs.library.msstate.edu/sidsalter/ will feature his twice-weekly newspaper columns, his blog on politics, the media, public policy and the ongoing programs of the MSU Libraries in addition to other unique content. Future content will include the programming of the Morris W.H. (Bill) Collins Speaker Series and ongoing development news from Special Collections and from the Congressional & Political Research Center.

Opinions expressed in Salter’s columns and blog are solely those of the journalist and should not be interpreted to reflect the opinions of Mississippi State University or the MSU Libraries.

For more information, contact Salter at 662-325-2506 or ssalter@library.msstate.edu.

MSU Libraries' exhibit  committee members (from left) Elizabeth Pickle and  Amanda Carlock install the new exhibit  commemorating MSU's 133rd birthday. Photo by Jim Tomlinson/MSU Libraries.

At left: MSU Libraries’ exhibit committee members (from left) Elizabeth Pickle and Amanda Carlock install the new exhibit commemorating MSU’s 133rd birthday. Photo by Jim Tomlinson/MSU Libraries.

A new exhibit in Mitchell Memorial Library takes part in wishing Mississippi State University a happy 133rd birthday this month.

Through March 20th, display cases along the Library’s 2nd floor Information Mall are showcasing MSU’s presidents Lee to Keenum, yearbooks, MSU apparel, and more MSU memorabilia. Students, staff, faculty, and Starkville community members are invited to stop by and view the exhibit.

For more information on MSU Libraries, please visit http://library.msstate.edu/.

Sid Salter

This article originally appeared in the Mississippi State University news.

Sidney L. "Sid" Salter, a Mississippi State graduate and longtime syndicated columnist, returns to his alma mater March 1 as journalist-in-residence.

Reporting to Dean of Libraries Frances N. Coleman, the new position is designed to strengthen MSU’s existing collections and to help develop a speaker series and other initiatives to enable MSU students to interact with leading U.S. journalists. Classroom instruction primarily for communication and political science majors will be among other duties.

(more…)

Mississippi Civil War 150

Mississippi State University Libraries have teamed up with the Mississippi Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission to promote events, sites, and educational materials relating to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

The Instructional Media Center designed a logo for the Commission, and the Web Services Department built a website to help distribute information about Mississippi’s role in the Civil War and about Sesquicentennial commemorative events. The website includes a photo gallery, videos, an extensive timeline of the Civil War in Mississippi, and maps of important battlefields and cemeteries. Visitors can submit events to be displayed in an interactive calendar. Visit the website at http://www.mscivilwar150.com.

The Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War begins in January 2011 and will continue through 2015. Check the website often to find out what’s happening in your region!

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