Student-Curated Exhibits Featured in Special Collections

News item published on: 2022-04-18 14:31:00

University Libraries’ Special Collections is currently displaying exhibits curated by three Southern Miss students. This year’s exhibits feature the work of an English graduate student, a history graduate student, and an undergraduate English student.

A Civil War Time Capsule – The U.S.S. Cairo is an exhibit curated by Brian Valimont, a PhD student in U.S. History. Catastrophically sunk in 1862, the Cairo was rediscovered and salvaged one hundred years later. This exhibit contains early printed books and a series of black-and-white photographs which document the history, rediscovery, raising and preservation of the only surviving Civil War era gunboat. The U.S.S. Cairo and its contents represent a significant resource encapsulating the heritage of both Mississippi and the United States.

Madeleine L’Engle: References and Influences of Theology and the Christian Church, curated by undergraduate English major Rebecca Fish, analyzes the works of Madeleine L’Engle with an emphasis on her religious influences. Madeleine L’Engle is known for her sci-fi children’s book A Wrinkle in Time; however, religion plays a much larger role in her books. Through this exhibit, one will see the different ways in which religious characteristics from love to death are interpreted in L'Engle's books, manuscripts, and letters.

Fifty Years of Mississippi Review, curated by Creative Writing doctoral student Corinne Dekkers, explores the first five decades of the literary magazine, Mississippi Review. First printed in 1972 and published continuously out of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers, the journal has presented innovative works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from established and new writers alike. Featuring original documents, proofs, and correspondence spanning the last half century, the exhibit showcases the production of one of the country’s premier literary publications and highlights the personal, eclectic, and editorial modes involved across fifty years.

The Special Collections student curator program provides students with the opportunity to curate one-case exhibits featuring materials from the collections. Students learn how to select items for display, install the materials, write label and exhibit text, and publicize the exhibit.

The exhibits will be on display on the third floor of McCain Library and Archives in room 305 through March 2023. If you have questions about the program or the exhibits on display, contact at or 601.266.4347.