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University of Mississippi’s J.D. Williams Library celebrates state bicentennial

By Christina Steube

University of Mississippi

The Department of Archives and Special Collections in the University of Mississippi’s J.D. William Library will celebrate a historic anniversary of the state with the exhibit “Mississippi: 200 Years of Statehood.”

Mississippi was admitted as the 20th state on Dec. 10, 1817. The library will commemorate that recognition with an ongoing exhibit focusing on the history and culture of Mississippi, opening Monday.

“The Department of Archives and Special Collections has pulled together some of our rarest items documenting the state’s 200-year history,” said Jennifer Ford, head of special collections. “Commemorating this bicentennial year has been the focus of the department’s faculty and staff for several months.”

Unique exhibit

The exhibit will feature a wide variety of items that helped define the state, including 18th century maps of the South by European cartographers, historical Mississippi textbooks, early territorial documents, materials related to the women’s suffrage movement and the civil rights movement in Mississippi, sound recordings, photographs of the state through the years and Mississippi-themed sheet music.

The archives will showcase various items from the display in a monthly video series through the end of the exhibit on Dec. 11, 2017. The department also will host several brown bag lectures and events throughout the year.

Patrons are invited to check the J.D. Williams Library website, as well as the university’s events calendar, during the year for details.

“We are very pleased to be able to reach out to those interested in the history and culture of the state through a physical display, the video project, online media, lectures held in the Faulkner Room throughout the year, instruction, as well as through other programming,” Ford said. “We invite all the public to come experience what our collections have to offer during this seminal year.”

The Department of Archives and Special Collections is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, except for university holidays. For more information, contact Jennifer Ford at 662-915-7408.