Student Curator Exhibit Opening on April 28

News item published on: 2023-04-06 11:36:00

University Libraries’ Special Collections invites the University and Hattiesburg communities to an exhibit opening on April 28 from 1 – 2 p.m. in McCain Library and Archives room 305 to highlight exhibits curated by three Southern Miss students.

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.

This year’s exhibits feature the work of an interior design undergraduate, a library science undergraduate, and a history/library science undergraduate.

USM Through the Ages is an exhibit curated by Robbie McDonald, a senior undergraduate in interior design. The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus originally started with five buildings but has since grown to become home to 108 buildings. This exhibit features images of nine buildings on campus that show the progression of architecture and design on the Hattiesburg campus. Along with the images, memorabilia from throughout USM's long history has been curated to accent the space and bring life to the display.

Ephemera’s Endurance: Paper Dolls Throughout History is an exhibit curated by Lily Martinez, an undergraduate in Library and Information Science. The exhibit explores the vast variety of paper dolls found in Special Collections, from antique dolls from the 1800s to modern dolls meant to educate or based on classic children’s books. Most of the dolls in the exhibit were cut out by hand in keeping with the intended form of the dolls. The exhibit ultimately seeks to highlight the rarely acknowledged history of paper dolls as both a children’s toy and ephemera.

Nuclear Energy in Mississippi by Emma Anderson, an undergraduate student in History and Information and Library Sciences. During the Cold War, the United States began advancing their knowledge in nuclear energy. Lamar County in Mississippi became one of the sites of testing nuclear bombs underground to test the size of detonations. This successful test encouraged the prospect of a second salt dome in Richton. One half of the exhibit shows the fears of citizens and medical officials about nuclear radiation. The other half displays the official documentation that was given to the Tatum family from the Atomic Energy Commission for the Tatum salt dome.

These exhibits will be on display on the third floor of McCain Library and Archives until March 2024. For more information or questions about the program or the exhibits on display, contact Jennifer Brannock at or 601.266.4347.