Museums

New Garden Audio Tour & Exhibit Opens at Eudora Welty House April 13 mmorris Mon, 04/12/2021 - 15:06

EWHG exhibitThe Eudora Welty House & Garden will launch a new outdoor audio tour on Tuesday, April 13, in recognition of Eudora Welty’s birthday. The Welty Garden Audio Tour interprets the history of Welty’s garden and its influence on her writing.

“We are excited to offer our visitors an audio tour of the Welty garden,” said Katie Blount, director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH). “To hear Mary Alice Welty White read her aunt’s words about the flowers she and her mother nurtured adds an intimacy to the garden tour, which is closer now to the experience of walking through her house.”

The twenty-minute tour includes music, nature sounds, and narration read by retired Welty Garden curator Susan Haltom. The audio tour is available for listeners online at https://welty.mdah.ms.gov/visit/audiotour.

The new exhibit A Parade of Bloom: Stories From the Welty Garden is now open to visitors at the Eudora Welty House & Garden Visitor Center and highlights the importance of gardening in Eudora Welty’s family and social life as well as her literature. The exhibit includes photographs of Welty’s family in the garden, artifacts, garden maps, flower sketches, and journals. Visitors also can learn about featured camellias in the garden and their importance in several of Welty’s friendships. The Visitor Center is free and open to the public Tuesday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. and Saturday 12:30–4 p.m.

The Eudora Welty House & Garden interprets the life of the internationally acclaimed author. Tours are by reservation Tuesday–Friday, 9 & 11 a.m. and 1 & 3 p.m. and Saturday, 1 & 3 p.m. To reserve a tour, email info@eudoraweltyhouse.com or call 601-353-7762. The Eudora Welty House & Garden is located at 1119 Pinehurst Street in Jackson and is operated by MDAH.

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New NAGPRA Website Launched mmorris Mon, 04/12/2021 - 08:37

Chickasaw_berriesThe Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) has created a new website that prioritizes the repatriation of human remains and cultural items in the department’s archaeological collection. The website will inform the public about the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and serve as a virtual platform for consultation with the department’s federally-recognized Tribal partners.

The website features NAGPRA collections updates, policies and procedures, and links to more information about the department’s Tribal partners. An interactive map shows the status of ongoing repatriations in Mississippi counties across the state. MDAH completed its first repatriation earlier this year.

The Choctaw Nation, Chickasaw Nation, and Muscogee (Creek) Nation generously provided images featured on the website. The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana provided additional content.

“Our goal is to engage the public in NAGPRA and to provide information about our collections in a way that hasn’t been done before,” says Meg Cook, director of archaeology collections. “The most important part is remembering that these remains are people, and their families want to see that they are reburied.”

The website will feature internship opportunities, Tribal stories, collections updates, and repatriation progress. For more information visit the website at http://nagpra.mdah.ms.gov/.

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Mississippi Governor’s Mansion Reopens for Tours April 1 mmorris Mon, 03/22/2021 - 08:53

On Thursday, April 1, the historic section of the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion will reopen to the public for guided tours. Free guided tours will be offered Tuesday through Thursday at 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., and 10:30 a.m. Reservations are mandatory and must be made at least seventy-two hours in advance.

“After a long year filled with many challenges, we are so excited to resume tours at the Governor’s Mansion,” said First Lady Elee Reeves. “We look forward to seeing everyone who comes to visit Mississippi’s home! It is our hope that each of you will come learn more about this historic home, and grow to love it as much as we do.”

To make a reservation, email the curator at mansiontours@mdah.ms.gov or call 601-359-6421. As a precaution, a maximum of ten visitors per time slot will be allowed in the mansion and face coverings will be required.

The Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, a National Historic Landmark, is administered by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. First occupied in 1842, the Governor's Mansion is the second-oldest continuously occupied governor's residence in the United States.

The Greek Revival building was designed by William Nichols, an English-born architect who also designed the Old Capitol. The mansion was renovated in 1908–09, then underwent a renovation and restoration in the 1970s that included the acquisition of appropriate antique furniture and accessories to furnish the historic interior.

For more information email mansiontours@mdah.ms.gov.

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MDAH Completes Largest Repatriation of Native American Ancestors in State History mmorris Thu, 03/18/2021 - 08:33

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) has transferred the remains of 403 Native Americans and eighty-three lots of burial objects to the Chickasaw Nation. This is the largest return of human remains in Mississippi history, and the first for MDAH.

"This repatriation is a huge milestone for our institution and our Tribal partners," said MDAH director Katie Blount. "We are committed to the repatriation of human remains and cultural objects in the department’s archaeological collections."

Since the nineteenth century, archaeological excavations have unearthed hundreds of the ancestral remains of people who once inhabited the state and whose cultures continue today. The passage of the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) gave Native populations the right to claim ancestors and cultural objects in the care of institutions receiving federal funds.

Working closely with Tribal representatives and the National NAGPRA Program, the transfer of these human remains took place over the course of more than two years. MDAH sought guidance in preparing the remains for reburial, which will take place this year.

"The Chickasaw Nation has developed a strong working relationship with MDAH as a result of this repatriation," said Amber Hood, Director of Historic Preservation & Repatriation, The Chickasaw Nation. "Caring for our ancestors is extremely important to us, and we appreciate the dedication and transparency their staff has shown throughout the consultation process."

"It is important to remember that these are people, buried with items with strong cultural ties to their communities, the same way that people today might be laid to rest wearing a wedding band,"  said Meg Cook, MDAH director of archaeology collections. "While these artifacts inform the archaeological record, it is our ethical and legal obligation to see that they are returned."

MDAH is thankful for its volunteers, who hand sewed muslin bags that were used to carefully wrap each individual with their belongings. This material was purchased partly with funds from a National NAGRA Program grant.

For more information email info@mdah.ms.gov. Learn more about NAGPRA at  www.nps.gov/nagpra and nagpra.mdah.ms.gov.

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Equal Protection Under the Law: MUW v. Hogan

At 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 25, join us for a discussion of the local and national impact of the ground-breaking case Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan in 1982. This pivotal decision not only opened the door to admitting men to the first public women’s college in the United States, but also set an important precedent in future gender discrimination cases that led to the admission of women to the Virginia Military Institute in 1996. 

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