January 2024 Mississippi State Records Committee Meeting Information

How to Join this Public Meeting of the Mississippi State Records Committee Meeting

January 18, 2024 at 10:00 AM

The state records committee will review, approve, disapprove, amend or modify records control schedules for all state agencies, boards, and commissions. Once approved, schedules shall have the force of effect of law. Written comments must be presented no less than five (5) days before the scheduled meeting by mail or personal delivery to the attention of the Director of the Department of Archives and History at 200 North Street, Jackson MS 39201 following the information provided at

Join meeting via Zoom video from (PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android):

Meeting ID: 860 9651 4745

Passcode: 948342

Or Telephone: Dial: USA (312) 626-6799 (Chicago) Find local numbers:

Possum Ridge Model Train Exhibit Returns to Two Mississippi Museums swarnock Mon, 11/27/2023 - 10:02

On Friday, December 1, the Possum Ridge model train exhibit will open at the Two Mississippi Museums. There is no charge to view the exhibit, which is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 11 to 5 p.m. The Possum Ridge exhibit will be closed on December 25 and will end on December 31. 

For more than forty years, the model trains and town of Possum Ridge have been a holiday tradition delighting both children and adults. The site depicts a typical Mississippi railroad town of the 1940s. In its first year, it consisted of a single block of an electrified Main Street with ten buildings, including a bank, dry goods store, newspaper office, and restaurant. 

Today the trains circle a town that has grown to include a depot, church, bakery, barbershop, icehouse, sawmill, cotton gin, train yard, and much more. There are also houses located off Main Street, farmsteads, a small airport, and even a river baptism scene. 

For more information, call 601-576-6800 or email

Christmas by Candlelight Tour Returns Friday, Dec. 1   swarnock Fri, 11/17/2023 - 14:00

Friday, December 1, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) will host its annual Christmas by Candlelight Tour, a free, festive evening filled with live holiday music, holiday themed craft activities, sweet treats for all, and a photo opportunity with Santa Claus.  

Christmas by Candlelight Tour sites will include the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, Old Capitol Museum, Two Mississippi Museums, and Mississippi State Capitol.  

“Christmas by Candlelight is one of our most cherished nights of the year at MDAH,” said Katie Blount, MDAH director. “So many happy memories are made among families and friends while experiencing the festive atmosphere and beauty of the Old Capitol Museum, Mississippi State Capitol, Two Mississippi Museums, and Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, all brilliantly adorned in holiday decor.” 

Visitors can take advantage of free shuttle buses running between MDAH tour sites, walk or drive, and come and go. Parking is free at the Two Mississippi Museums visitor parking garage and the Mississippi State Capitol parking lot. Street parking is also free at each location.  

The Mississippi Museum Store at the Two Mississippi Museums will be open during Christmas by Candlelight for holiday shopping fun and a 15 percent discount will be available on all merchandise.

The Christmas by Candlelight Tour is presented in participation with the City with Soul and Downtown Jackson Partners' Capital City Lights, featuring family-friendly activities, shopping, tours, food vendors, the City of Jackson Christmas tree lighting ceremony at City Hall, and much more.

Christmas by Candlelight Tour

Two Mississippi Museums  

5 p.m. Johnson Elementary School Choir 

6 p.m. Jim Hill High School Choir 

7 p.m. Germantown High School Choir 

* Model trains and town of Possum Ridge on second floor * Shop at the Mississippi Museum Store * Holiday craft activities  

Governor’s Mansion  

* Photos with Santa Claus * Trackless train rides * Hot cocoa and cookies * Self-guided tours of the historic mansion and East Garden  

State Capitol  

5–8 p.m. Sessions Jazz Ensemble  

* Chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives are open for all to enter. * Offices of the Speaker of the House and the Governor are available for viewing. * Stop by the Capitol Gift Shop for that special Christmas gift.  

Old Capitol Museum  

4-8 p.m. 41st Army Band

6-6:45 p.m. Holmes County Central High School Singers  

* Enjoy festive holiday lighting, traditional decorations, and faux snow on the grounds. * Eudora Welty House & Garden staff will offer holiday ornament crafts in the North corridor.  

For more information about the Christmas by Candlelight Tour, call 601-576-6850 or email

MDAH Accepting Applications for 2024 Research Fellowships swarnock Tue, 10/10/2023 - 11:24

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) is accepting applications for the 2024 Eudora Welty Research Fellowship, 2024 Medgar and Myrlie Evers Research Fellowship, and inaugural Religion in Mississippi History Fellowship. The competitive scholarships may be used for research at MDAH for a minimum of two weeks during the summer of 2024.  

Eudora Welty Research Fellowship 

Offered in partnership with the Eudora Welty Foundation, the annual Eudora Welty Research Fellowship awards a $5,000 stipend to one graduate student to conduct research using the Eudora Welty Collection at MDAH for at least two weeks during the summer.   

The Eudora Welty Collection is the world’s finest collection of materials related to Welty and one of the most varied literary collections in the United States. The collection is divided over forty-five series and includes manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, drawings, essays, family papers, and audio and visual material that spans Welty’s entire life.   

Medgar and Myrlie Evers Research Fellowship  

The Medgar and Myrlie Evers Research Fellowship is offered in partnership with the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute and awards a $5,000 stipend to one graduate student or faculty member within the first five years of their academic career to conduct research using the Medgar Wiley and Myrlie Beasley Evers Papers at MDAH for at least two weeks during the summer.   

The Medgar Wiley and Myrlie Beasley Evers Papers at MDAH include Evers and Beasley family papers dating from the early 1900s to around July 1964, when Myrlie Evers and her children moved to Claremont, CA. The papers are divided into four subgroups: the papers of Medgar Evers as Mississippi field secretary of the NAACP; family papers of Medgar Evers; family papers of Myrlie Evers; and records relating to the case of the State of Mississippi v. Byron De La Beckwith.   

Religion in Mississippi History Fellowship  

MDAH is delighted to announce the new Religion in Mississippi History Fellowship to encourage and support the use of the many archival collections concerning religious history in Mississippi held by the department.  This fellowship is part of MDAH's Religion Initiative, which is made possible by funding from Lilly Endowment Inc.

This competitive fellowship opportunity offers a $5,000 stipend to a student enrolled in a graduate or doctoral program at an accredited college or university with an interest in conducting primary source research in the wealth of archival materials concerning religious history in Mississippi and related materials at MDAH.   

The recipient of each fellowship is expected to conduct research in residence at the archives for a minimum of two weeks in Jackson during the summer of 2024, during the period of May to September.  

The deadline for all 2024 fellowship applications is March 1, 2024. Additional information, including the application forms for the individual fellowships can be found at

For additional information and questions about the Eudora Welty Fellowship, e-mail Lis Cambonga at   

For additional information and questions about the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Fellowship and Religion in Mississippi History Fellowship, email Laura Heller at      

MDAH to Hold Community Engagement Meeting at Alcorn State University About Windsor Ruins Project swarnock Mon, 10/02/2023 - 15:19

On Thursday, October 5, from 5 p.m.–6:30 p.m., Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) staff will provide an update regarding plans for re-opening the Windsor Ruins site, the historic site of the Daniell Plantation. The meeting will be held in the Clinton Bristow Hall at Alcorn State University.

MDAH staff will discuss the status of the column stabilization project that is near completion at Windsor Ruins and engage with meeting attendees to discuss how to enhance interpretation and stories about Windsor Ruins. This valued public input will assist MDAH’s ongoing research and development for new signage at the site, marketing materials, and more. No registration is required to attend the meeting. Port Gibson residents who attended a previous meeting in July helped researchers by asking questions and suggesting angles to explore.

“We invite people in the community to give us input on how MDAH should tell the stories that Windsor evokes—the wealth generated through cotton production, enslavement, the Civil War, and Reconstruction,” said Michael Morris, director of the Two Mississippi Museums. “Among the new stories we will share are the results of genealogy research connecting enslaved people with descendants currently living in Claiborne County and across the country.” 

Windsor Plantation, one of the largest private residences in the state, was built for Smith Coffee Daniell II in 1861. It was constructed near the town of Bruinsburg, where Union soldiers crossed the Mississippi River to begin their quest to capture Vicksburg. It was destroyed by fire in 1890. 

More than a century of exposure to the elements has caused erosion to the 45-foot-tall masonry columns and fracturing of the cast iron capitals. In 2016, MDAH commissioned an architectural conservator to study the site.  

MDAH was founded in 1902 to collect, preserve, and provide access to the archival resources of the state.  

Community meeting information: 

Thursday, October 5, 2023 

Clinton Bristow Dining Hall

Alcorn State University Campus 

Lorman, MS 

5 p.m.–6:30 p.m. 

Foundation for Mississippi History Receives $250K from Entergy Mississippi for Historic Jefferson College swarnock Wed, 09/27/2023 - 13:29

Entergy Mississippi’s grant of $250,000 to the Foundation for Mississippi History will support the restoration of Raymond Hall as part of a new initiative by the Mississippi Department of Archives at History (MDAH) on the campus of Historic Jefferson College in Washington.

MDAH is developing the Natchez Center for American History (NCAH) at Historic Jefferson College. The $20 million project will include two components: a preservation field school and an interpretive center.

Raymond Hall will be restored and equipped with modern building systems to provide classroom space and housing for what will become the region’s first preservation field school. MDAH preservation professionals and faculty from regional universities will provide hands-on, in-the-field learning to develop the next generation of the preservation workforce.

The restoration project at Historic Jefferson College is a prime example of Mississippians working to better our communities and create opportunities for the next generation,” said Haley Fisackerly, president and CEO, of Entergy Mississippi. “We’re thrilled to partner with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History to develop an institution that will prepare Mississippians for employment in a sector that is woefully short of meeting demand. Not only is it a beautiful site that will play an important role in southwest Mississippi’s tourism, but this effort will also cultivate a strong workforce with diverse skills critical to helping Mississippi’s economy thrive.

The campus is an 80-acre site with eight main buildings and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural significance. The first building at the college was completed in 1820 as the cotton economy built on slavery was expanding and generating vast wealth.

Restoration and development of Historic Jefferson College are key components of MDAH’s strategic plan for southwest Mississippi, where it operates two other historic sites—the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians in Natchez and Windsor Ruins near Port Gibson.

Historic Jefferson College will one day be a gateway for visitors, sharing the powerful stories of the Native American experience, conflicts among Colonial powers, westward expansion, statehood, slavery, Civil War, and Reconstruction, said Katie Blount, director of MDAH. We will bring visitors to Jefferson College and then send them out across the region to see the places where history happened.

Historic Jefferson College was Mississippi’s first institution of higher learning and the birthplace of statehood, where delegates gathered to write the state’s first constitution. Jefferson College operated for many years as a preparatory school and later as Jefferson Military College. It served briefly as a Freedmen’s Bureau after the Civil War.

In addition to the grant from Entergy Mississippi, MDAH has secured state and federal funds to support the project. The Foundation for Mississippi History will continue to seek private support.

Entergy Mississippi has generously supported other MDAH projects including the Two Mississippi Museums and the William and Elise Winter Education Endowment.


Remembering Hollis Watkins, Veteran of Mississippi Civil Rights Movement  swarnock Thu, 09/21/2023 - 18:42

A native of Mississippi, Hollis Watkins, was born in 1941 and grew up on a small farm in Chisholm Mission and became one of the first young Mississippians to commit to full-time work with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Watkins also served as founder and president of the Pike County Nonviolent Direct Action Committee, field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and a county organizer in the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project.

Inspired by civil rights leader Bob Moses, Watkins began organizing local voter registration drives within the Pike County community. He organized one of the first sit-ins in McComb at a Woolworth’s lunch counter with fellow activist Curtis Hayes and was arrested and jailed multiple times for participating in various demonstrations.

Watkins was known for his use of freedom songs as an inspiration to encourage others to join the movement. He traveled across the state and worked on voter registration campaigns with other civil rights leaders such as Vernon Dahmer. Watkins was also involved in the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party that challenged the state’s all-white delegation at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

“Hollis Watkins dedicated his entire life to improving the lives of Black Mississippians,” said Michael Morris, director of the Two Mississippi Museums. “He was heavily involved in the creation of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, lending his voice to the museum’s central gallery. Museum staff are disheartened to learn of his death, but his legacy continues to inspire us.”

In 1989, Watkins co-founded Southern Echo, a community organization which works to develop leaders and empower local residents in support of the welfare of African American communities throughout Mississippi. He also served as chair of the Veteran of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement. Watkins was honored with a Fannie Lou Hamer Humanitarian Award from Jackson State University in 2011 and received an honorary doctorate from Tougaloo College in 2015.

Watkins died on September 20, 2023, at the age of 82.

Two Mississippi Museums to Host Community Solidarity Day cmckenzie Wed, 09/13/2023 - 09:47

Join us at the Two Mississippi Museums on Sunday, September 17, from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. for Community Solidarity Day to coincide with the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit Solidarity Now! 1968 Poor People's Campaign.  Inspired by the mission of the Poor People’s Campaign and Resurrection City of 1968, Community Solidarity Day will provide visitors with an afternoon of free health, wellness, and family-friendly activities.   

Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center will host a health fair in the Nancy and Ray Neilsen Hall of History, offering services and screenings including COVID vaccines, blood pressure and glucose level checks, dental education, HIV testing and eye exams. Staff from the Healthy Start program will be available to offer health information for parents and kids. They will also have a mobile unit parked outside on North Street.   

Soul Center art activities for youth and their families will also be set up in the Hall of History, including activities based on elements of Solidarity Now! 1968 Poor People's Campaign exhibit.  

All day: Soul Center craft activities–Nancy and Ray Neilsen Hall of History 

11:00 a.m.: Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health–Nancy and Ray Neilsen Hall of History. 

1:00 p.m.: Guided tour of Solidarity Now exhibit–Medgar and Myrlie Evers Exhibition Hall 

1:30 p.m.: Freedom Songs from Johnson Elementary–Lobby 

2:00 p.m.: Cooking demonstration with Nick Wallace–Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium  

2:30 p.m.: Dance performance by Montage–Mezzanine level 

3:00 p.m.: Guided tour of Solidarity Now exhibit–Medgar and Myrlie Evers Exhibition Hall  

3:30 p.m.: Yoga with Maya Morris–Craig H. Neilsen auditorium 

Solidarity Now! 1968 Poor People's Campaign traveling exhibit, on view through September 24, explores a pivotal grassroots movement of the civil rights era: the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968. The exhibition examines the six-week protest community in Washington D.C. that called the nation’s attention to the effects of poverty on millions of Americans.   

For more information call, 610-576-6580, visit the MDAH Facebook page, or email             

Community Heritage Preservation Grant Program Accepting Applications swarnock Thu, 08/31/2023 - 15:01

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) is accepting grant applications for preservation projects across the state. The 2023 Mississippi Legislature has provided funding for the Community Heritage Preservation Grant program (CHPG) and the Mississippi Historic Site Preservation Grant program (HSPG).


The Community Heritage Preservation Grant program helps preserve, restore, rehabilitate, and interpret Mississippi courthouses and schools across the state. In communities that participate in the Certified Local Government (CLG) program, buildings other than courthouses and schools are also eligible, if they have been designated as Mississippi Landmarks.

There are currently over fifty Certified Local Government communities in Mississippi. State agencies, county or municipal governments, school districts, and nonprofit organizations granted 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status may submit applications. A cash match of at least twenty percent is required, and grants will be paid on a reimbursable basis upon successful completion of the project. To learn which communities have Certified Local Government designation click here.


The Historic Site Preservation Grant program offers grants for the acquisition of sites related to Civil War battles, Native American archaeology, and civil rights history. Grants, which require a one-to-one match, can be used for land acquisition and property preservation costs. Colleges and universities, historical societies, state agencies, local governments, and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply.

Guidelines and applications may be downloaded for both opportunities from the MDAH website under the Grant Programs section of the Preservation Planning and Development page. The deadline to submit completed applications is September 29, 2023, before 5 p.m.

The MDAH Board of Trustees will award the grants at its quarterly meeting in January 2024. For more information call 601-576-6940 or email

MDAH Awarded $187,059 by National Endowment for the Humanities for 2024 Teacher Workshops on Civil Rights Movement  swarnock Fri, 08/25/2023 - 16:52

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) has been awarded $187,059 by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to present two workshops on teaching civil rights history. 

This MDAH project was awarded as part of the National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of History and Culture Grant program, and it will mark the 60th anniversary of a pivotal event in American history, 1964’s Freedom Summer. MDAH will partner with National History Day to coordinate and lead the program. 

Seventy teachers from across the nation will have the opportunity to attend one of two weeklong workshops starting at the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson, and then traveling to specific locations in the state that were central to the historic events of Freedom Summer. 

“This grant is an incredible opportunity for us to show how this landmark event goes beyond Mississippi history; it's truly a national event,” said Al Wheat, MDAH director of education. “Bringing teachers from across the country to Mississippi to see our sites, analyze our primary sources, and visit locations where the history actually happened will make a positive impact not just on workshop attendees, but on their students." 

Teachers will learn about the civil rights events in 1964 that changed Mississippi and the nation. The workshops, which will run from July 8–12, 2024, and July 22–26, 2024, will consist of two different groups of K-12 teachers, with 35 per group, who will gather at the Two Mississippi Museums and the MDAH archives to interact with historians, Civil Rights Movement veterans, educators, and museum professionals. Teachers will collaborate to develop inquiry-based classroom activities and lessons about Freedom Summer using primary sources found in MDAH’s archives and experiential, site-based learning at the Two Mississippi Museums and key civil rights sites across Mississippi.  

The Landmarks of American History and Culture program supports a series of one-week residential, virtual, and combined format workshops across the nation that enhance and strengthen how K-12 educators, higher education faculty, and humanities professionals study sites, areas, or regions of historic and cultural significance and incorporate place-based teaching and learning in the humanities. 

National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at



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