University of Southern Mississippi will administer a $463,322 grant
awarded to USM Libraries for a collaborative project that will result
in the world's largest online educational resource on the African-American
civil rights movement.
In a collaboration
with Delta State University, Jackson State University, Tougaloo
College, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and
the University of Mississippi, the Mississippi Digital Library Program
will result in the digitization of at least 10,000 pages/images
over two years of production.
funded with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services
(IMLS), will create research-quality digital collections of letters,
diaries, photographs, state and organizational records, oral histories,
and other primary sources that provide firsthand documentation of
one of the most far-reaching social movements in United States history
in a state that became a focal point in the struggle over America's
more extensive collaboration among some of the state's academic
institutions gives us an opportunity to form lasting partnerships
that will pave the way for an expansion of access to other cultural
materials as well," said Diane DeCesare Ross, digitization
librarian at Southern Miss.
collections of civil rights materials in Mississippi are dispersed
in archives separated by as much as 250 miles. Digital technology
offers Mississippi an opportunity to bring these important resources
together in a statewide digital archive to support education and
research in Mississippi's K-12 schools, community colleges, and
universities as well as on a global scale.
plans to deliver digital reproductions of original documents to
classrooms, libraries, and desktops via the Internet and will create
the raw material from which educators can build lesson plans and
activities, college and university students can research term papers,
and citizens in Mississippi and elsewhere may engage in lifelong
learning in more informal settings. The finding aid component of
the project will provide comprehensive intellectual control for
Mississippi's civil rights collections for the first time.
is another example of our library staff's ingenuity," said
Southern Miss Hattiesburg Provost Dr. Tim Hudson. "The digitization
of these resources will ultimately enhance the ability of educators
and students to access information and conduct research on an important
aspect of Mississippi history."
builds on the success of the Civil Rights in Mississippi Digital
Archive project at Southern Miss (supported by IMLS in 2001) and
the Civil Rights Era in Mississippi digital audio preservation project,
a collaboration among the Mississippi Department of Archives and
History, Tougaloo College, and the Southern Miss Center for Oral
History and Cultural Heritage. "These projects have already
shown us that there is a large, potentially global, audience for
Mississippi's civil rights materials," Ross said.
The Civil Rights
in Mississippi Digital Archive can be accessed online at http://www.lib.usm.edu/~spcol/crda/index.html.