Student Curator Exhibit Opening on April 16

News item published on: 2024-04-05 14:29:42

University Libraries’ Special Collections invites the University and Hattiesburg communities to an exhibit opening and reception on April 16 from 4-5 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 a library and information science undergraduate, a library and information science graduate student, and a history graduate student.

Susan Sojourner: Greetings from the Past is an exhibit curated by Abigail Bowers, a junior in the School of Library and Information Science. Susan Sojourner is best known for her photographs and writings on the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and activism in the feminist and LGBTQ+ movements. However, her activism is only one aspect of her identity. This exhibit explores the less well-known sides of Susan Sojourner through greeting cards sent to her by friends and family.

The Impact of the New Deal on MS is an exhibit curated by Andy Sims, a graduate student in the School of Library and Information Science. Between 1933 and 1938, the Roosevelt administration implemented a series of programs directed toward financial reforms, public work projects, and various relief programs under the label The New Deal. During those years, Mississippi Congressman William Colmer served the 6th congressional district and worked with President Roosevelt in ensuring the Magnolia State received its fair share of the federal appropriations directed to programs such as the Works Progress Administration, the Public Works Administration, the National Youth Administration, and others. Within the exhibit is a selection of William Colmer’s personal and professional papers that illustrate the impact of the New Deal in Mississippi.

The 103d Infantry Division: Training and Combat Experiences at Home and in Europe by Sarah Anne Hogue, a PhD student studying history, focuses on the training and combat experience of the 103d Infantry Division during World War II. The exhibit traces their training at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana and Camp Howze, Texas under the leadership of Major General Charles Haffner (November 1942-October 1944) and their time spent in combat (October 1944-May 1945). It includes various documents and military records from the division's training, including the division's Standard Operating Procedure's manual cover, various military training reports, and administrative letters concerned with the purchase of military band drums. It also includes a photograph, map, and the Stars & Stripes newspaper all from the 103d's time in France, Germany, and Austria displaying their time spent in combat. This narrative highlights how intensive training for deployment was for the division and demonstrates the grueling difficulties that these soldiers faced in combat.

These exhibits will be on display on the third floor of McCain Library and Archives until March 2025. For more information or questions about the program or the exhibits on display, contact Jennifer Brannock at or 601.266.4347.