Special Collections Introduces First Two Graduate Assistants Working with NHPRC Grant

News item published on: 2022-08-25 10:46:00

University Libraries Special Collections was recently awarded a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). The $135,828 grant will support processing, digitization, and development of finding aids for existing collections significant to the history and culture of Mississippi.

Photo of Zahoor looking through a box of items in the collection. The grant will fund a two-year project which, in addition to increasing access to the collections, will provide multiple opportunities for hands-on materials preservation and presentation experiences for Southern Miss Library and Information Sciences and Humanities graduate students. Abubaker Zahoor and Elizabeth Trueblood began working on project related to the grant during the summer, finishing their time in Special Collections on August 14.

Photo of Trublood looking through a box of items in the collection. Zahoor, a PhD student in creative writing, worked with the Oseola McCarty Collections. “Working on the Oseola McCarty collection gave me an inside look into Ms. McCarty’s pecuniary wisdom, humility, and discipline that paved the way for her magnificent gift to the University. It’s an exceptionally simple, beautiful, and inspiring story,” says Zahoor.

Trueblood, also a PhD student in creative writing, worked with the Harry Davis papers, which are part of the larger Tasha Tudor collection in the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection. “Having the opportunity to see how materials housed in Special collections are set up and organized was very beneficial. There are some interesting artifacts from the peak of Tasha Tudor's fame, including personal correspondence from Tudor to Davis, where she repeatedly referred to him as "her favorite nephew," though the two shared no blood relation. As a creative writer, there are many stories held in the materials that Davis saved from his time working with Tudor and seeing how those narratives can be pieced together through the artifacts was an experience that was at once enlightening and engaging,” says Trueblood.

The project is being led by Lorraine Stuart, Head of Special Collections/Curator of Historical Manuscripts and Archives.