Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The digital archives of civil rights history

A Freedom Summer worker and an African American Child; September 1964
The USM digital archive has a detailed document and pictorial history of the long struggle for civil rights in this state. From Civil war letters to 1960's era photograph of civil rights workers, the collection allows a person to understand the scope of the struggle. Visit to browse the collection.

Mississippi digital library

In research for this blogging project, I came across the Mississippi digital collections that are accessible through the USM library site. This collection is of pictures of the Katrina aftermath. These pictures are of the Cox library pre and post Katrina respectively. Check these out at:,A,1;title,A,1;descri,A,0;none,A,0;none,A,0;20;title,data,none,none,none&CISOBIB=title,A,1,N;descri,A,0,N;none,200,0,N;none,A,0,N;none,A,0,N;20;title,data,none,none,none&CISOTHUMB=20%20(4x5);title,none,none,none,none&CISOTITLE=20;title,none,none,none,none&CISOHIERA=20;title,creato,data,none,none&CISOSUPPRESS=1&CISOTYPE=browse&CISOROOT=/katrina&CISOSTART=1,21

Cox Library; 2003
Cox Library; 2005.

The Editorial Cartoon's digital collection

...As in veto; [n.d.]
As a political science major I got a kick out of the digital collection of editorial cartoons that are available to view. This one is called "As In Veto" by cartoonist John Riedell. The entire collection is available to view at the following address:

The Payne Center

Honestly, the only non class facility that I ever really have time to visit is the Payne Center. It is a really great resource if you work out on a regular basis. Having access to the exercise track and equipment right on campus is really nice. Check it out on the site:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Civil rights exhibit

Pete Seeger and a Freedom School class in 1964

The Digital Archive that chronicles the history of the struggle for civil rights in Mississippi can be found at It displays an amazing diversity of artifacts. The images alone are stunning, but one should also check out some of the oral histories, as well as books, diaries,letters and other documents of historical significance.

The Centennial exhibit

treasured past

I decided to visit the centennial exhibit on display in the Cook library. I really enjoyed the pictures of the campus in its early days. I am stunned by not just how much the school’s appearance has changed but also how much of the surrounding area has transformed in the century since USM began. The old issues of the student printz were interesting because I have always enjoyed looking at old documents. Knowing history is different than actually touching something that existed at the time.

I was looking at a large picture of the Friendship Oak when I overheard a few ladies in the exhibit actually discussing the live oaks in the area. As an interesting coincidence, I told them a story about how I was recently visited at my home by some people from a local organization that is studying live oak trees in the southern United States. These individuals are trying to catalog all of the large live oaks in the area. I happen to have a large 150-200 year old live oak in my front yard, and they added it to their online database. Personally, I had no idea about any of the history of the Friendship Oak concerning the university but I found it an interesting piece of the local history.

These exhibits are important to our history as a reminder of the societal realities of students in past times. For me, it is easy to forget in these tough times how much progress has been made in our community. It is very easy to only acknowledge the bad things that happen. The centennial exhibit showed how the university rose from a couple of buildings in a field to a culturally, ethnically, and economically diverse institution that has grown immensely. This exhibit both helped me to appreciate where we started from as a university and also reminded me of the progress that the university and the community at large have achieved. Visit the exhibit online at