Everything old is new again…

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Everything old is new again…
By Emily Jones, university archivist

The new year brings hopes of fulfilling resolutions, mercifully forgiving yourself for having broken every one of them within the first 48 hours, and a reality check that a year has positively flown by! Each one of us has the same number of hours in a day — how we use them is completely up to us. If I could have a few minutes of your time, I hope to encourage you to embrace the moments this year by reflecting a bit on some things that have been given to the archives over the past year and what we have learned from them. We call them donations in this world, except they don’t have anything to do with money but everything to do with connecting our past to our present, often in deeply meaningful ways.

Let’s stop procrastinating and address the clutter of things around us that may be hexing our feng shui. Can’t you just think clearer when drawers are neatly organized and everything is in its place? The Archives thrives when history walks through the door, finds its place among the shelves and connects with a researcher or ties a story together for a student. The orderliness of it is an absolute thrill. The Archives benefited from several organizations and individuals becoming tidier over the past year:

  • 010/M102 – Jack Gunn collection accretion; manuscript materials related to the Hold, Brown & Wafford families.
  • 011/M37 – Pete Walker photograph collection accretion; photographs, proof sheets and negatives taken by Pete Walker; subjects include schools, roads, agriculture, river scenes, rural life, etc. with dates of subject material extending from circa 1970’s – 1990’s. Detailed information on each image is not always available; some identifying information is on most images.
  • 019/M382 – Fong Pang collection; two Webb High School Wildcats football letterman’s jackets
    Drew High School jackets donated to the museum by brothers Fun and Fon Pang.

    Drew High School jackets donated to the museum by brothers Fun and Fon Pang.

  • 021/M385 – Wilson-Fisher collection; approximately 36 reels of 8mm film (home movies) taken by Joe Wilson; rare footage of Delta State, Cleveland and Lake Bolivar as well as family vacations and holiday celebrations; each canister is labeled but does not always mean that that is the only footage on that film; the dates range from 1960’s – 1970’s.
  • 022/M386 – Adelson-Strong collection; memorabilia related to Maurice Benard Adelson given by his daughter, Linda Strong; one certificate of promotion to Merigold, MS high school, 27 May 1921; one Merigold Consolidated High School diploma, 4 June 1925; one pair of track shoes worn while in high school; one photograph of Pauline Fink Adelson at the train depot in Merigold, MS.
  • 025/M389 – Richard Wong collection; one tapestry of General Chiang Kai-shek; on permanent display in the MS Delta Chinese Heritage Museum.
  • 028/M391 – Fun Pang collection; one Order of the Arrow sash and one badge sash given to Fun Pang who is considered the first Chinese American in Mississippi to have received this special award through the Boy Scouts; two Eagle badges, one earned while at Camp Tallaha (June – July 1948); set of Boy Scout badges; one Webb School Letterman’s jacket; one black and white photograph of the Webb High School football team, 1945 Delta A Champions.
  • 037/M158 – Cleveland Woman’s Club accretion; 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 Cleveland Woman’s Club scrapbooks
  • 038/M393 – Dunn Family collection; manuscript and artifact memorabilia related to the J.W. Dunn family grocery store which had been in Pace, MS before the family moved to Memphis, TN. Some items do relate to the family’s activities and store business conducted in Memphis. Other items in this collection also include a small portion of objects that had belonged to the previous owner of the grocery store, Mr. K.C. Lou.
  • 039/M394 – Tonymon collection; this collection consists of much of the supplies and materials needed to run a fully operational pharmacy; Oscar Tonymon was a pharmacist as a profession; from his obituary: Funeral services for Oscar Tonymon, 82, of Dallas, TX will be at 12:00 p.m., Saturday, June 28, 2014 at Boone Funeral Home, Greenville. He died Monday, June 23, 2014 at Charlton Methodist in Dallas, TX. Burial will be in Greenville Chinese Cemetery under the direction of Boone Funeral Home, Greenville. Mr. Tonymon was born on August 3, 1931 in Marvell, AR, one of six siblings and the youngest son of the late Robert and Helen Tonymon. He graduated from Marvell High School and then the University of Arkansas School of Pharmacy in 1958, graduating Magna Cum Laude. For many years he owned and operated Tonymon’s Fairfield Pharmacy in Shreveport, LA. In a career move, Oscar became a pharmacist with the Department of Veteran Affairs and moved to Dallas, TX where he was lead pharmacist in the Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy. Oscar married Marolyn Pang in 1959 and they were married almost 50 years before she preceded in him death in 2008. He will be buried next to her in Greenville. He is survived by a brother, Daniel Tonymon and sister, Frances Pang. A host of nieces and nephews, Jimmy, Raymond, David and Emerald Jean Dunn of Memphis; Darlene Ming Jang, Hawkins Ming, Dorothy Ming Wood, and Betty Ming Lacasellal of CA and Hawaii; Kenneth and Phyllis Tonymon of AR and TX; Rocky and Rusty Pang of TN and AR; Toni Dame of PA, and Curtis and Steve Fong of OR.
  • 041/M85 – Clark Family collection; campaign buttons, coin and name badges from Dr. Charles Clark’s years of professional career.

Through the power of Facebook, we no longer have to commit important dates to memory. However, what happens when an anniversary of an event that isn’t listed on Facebook or any calendar rolls around and we forget it until the day is half gone? How awful do we feel about letting something that was so important almost slip by? Share the responsibility of remembering important dates by making a donation to the Archives. Gifts made to the Archives this past year that will help us all remember important dates (because they’ll have finding aids on the web site and be on permanent display):

  • 026/M390 – Bramuchi collection; one American flag flown over the United States Capitol on 9 June 2010 at the request of the Honorable Bennie G. Thompson to commemorate Joe and Margie Bramuchi’s 60th wedding anniversary on 20 August 2010; on permanent display in the Veteran’s Atrium in Jobe Hall.
  • 029/M392 – George R. Frisbee collection; one scale model of “The Three Soldiers” commemorating the Vietnam War; on permanent display in the Veteran’s Atrium, Jobe Hall.
  • Gwen Gong signs her WWII book.

    Gwen Gong signs her WWII book.

    047/M398 – Gong-Powers WWII MS Chinese Veterans collection; this collection is in digital format; consisting of a final manuscript as well as the digital files of all of the images included in the final book; this gift has been published and is now available for purchase through the University Archives and other retailers. Contact the University Archives for your copy (archives@deltastate.edu).

Perhaps the new year ignites the desire to be more community oriented, volunteer time and expertise, or perhaps develop a deeper appreciation for the arts, culture, music, etc. The Archives is made richer in cultural resources by the donations we receive. Sometimes we have to create the purpose for farming out the information from our community. One of our favorite ways to encourage history sharing is through oral history projects. One oral history project was made possible through an extremely generous gift from the American Legion Post #1776, and another project was the result of one young man’s desire to document a piece of Cleveland history because he saw it disappearing. Is there a way you can use your talents to give back to your community? Is there a piece of history inspiring you to dig deeper and learn more? May I encourage you to act on your talents and inspirations? You might never know how you could improve the world around you through them.

  • 001 – 2015.009: Veteran Oral History Project sponsored by the American Legion Post #1776. The oral histories have been collected and deposited in the oral history collections within the DSU Archives.
    1. Joe Bramuchi (OH442)
    2. Cecil Barnett (OH 443)
    3. Nancy Gerard (OH 444)
    4. DiTieshay White (OH 445)
    5. Al Cummins (OH 446)
    6. Davlon Miller (OH 447)
    7. James Bowen, Jr. (OH 448)
    8. James Breland (OH 449)
    9. Kent Wyatt (OH 450)
  • 050 – 2015.053/ Oral Histories of the Cleveland Airport conducted by Eagle Scout candidate Marshall Jones:
    1. Nevin Sledge (OH 455)
    2. Ray Meeks (OH 456)
    3. Andy Jones (OH 457)
    4. Kell Lyons (OH 458)

Perhaps one of the most significant collections received by the Archives this year was that of Professor Emeritus Dorothy Shawhan. Someone who gave daily for dozens of years to students, colleagues, neighbors and her family, Shawhan’s collection is an enduring statement of her volunteerism, strong faith in the goodness of her community, and well-deserved pride in her family, along with a healthy admiration of Elvis.

  • 044/M396 – Dorothy Sample-Shawhan collection; established to honor and remember long-time professor of English at Delta State University, this collection consists primarily of Ms. Shawhan’s personal library, manuscript and photograph materials related to her friends and family, scrapbooks, news clippings on topics of interest to Ms. Shawhan, unpublished manuscript pieces as well as portions of manuscripts which eventually were published, U.S. presidential campaign buttons, memorabilia related to her time as a student and as an alumni of MS University for Women; 2,000 copies of her book, Lizzie.

De-clutter, donate, volunteer, organize, remember and just get going on those resolutions to make a difference, offer a helping hand, wrest yourself from the weight of worry over what to do with great-grandmother’s portrait. Dig deeper into the culture and history that is the Mississippi Delta because though our treasures be old, they are new to every eye that sees, ear that hears, and heart that beats a little bit faster because of them.

The national tour of the Broadway musical "Annie" plays at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on Feb. 2. Tickets are available at 662-846-4626.

Annie to make national tour stop at BPAC

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Delta State University is proud to announce the national tour of the Broadway musical “Annie,” now in its second smash year. The show will play one night only on Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin for the 19th time, this production of “Annie” is a brand new physical incarnation of the iconic Tony Award®-winning original. The performance is locally sponsored by Planters Bank and Trust.

Annie has a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin. All three authors received 1977 Tony Awards® for their work. Choreography is by Liza Gennaro, who has incorporated selections from her father Peter Gennaro’s 1977 Tony Award®-winning choreography.

The celebrated design team includes scenic design by Tony Award® winner Beowulf Boritt (Act One, The Scottsboro Boys, Rock of Ages), costume design by Costume Designer’s Guild Award winner Suzy Benzinger (Blue Jasmine, Movin’ Out, Miss Saigon), lighting design by Tony Award® winner Ken Billington (Chicago, Annie, White Christmas) and sound design by Tony Award® nominee Peter Hylenski (Rocky, Bullets Over Broadway, Motown). The lovable mutt Sandy is once again trained by Tony Award® Honoree William Berloni (Annie, A Christmas Story, Legally Blonde). Musical supervision and additional orchestrations are by Keith Levenson (Annie, She Loves Me, Dreamgirls). Casting is by Joy Dewing CSA, Joy Dewing Casting (Soul Doctor, Wonderland). The tour is produced by TROIKA Entertainment, LLC.

The production features a 25-member company. In the title role of Annie is Heidi Gray, an 11-year-old actress from the Augusta, Georgia area, making her tour debut. Gilgamesh Taggett stars as Oliver Warbucks. In the role of Miss Hannigan is Lynn Andrews. Also starring in the tour are Chloe Tiso as Grace, Garrett Deagon as Rooster, Lucy Werner as Lily and Jeffrey B. Duncan as FDR. Macy and Sunny, rescue terriers, star as Sandy.

The orphans are Sage Bentley as Tessie, Bridget Carly Marsh as July, Molly Rose Meredith as Pepper, Emily Moreland as Kate, Annabelle Wachtel as Molly and Casey Watkins as Duffy.

The original production of “Annie” opened April 21, 1977 at the Alvin Theatre and went on to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, seven Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the Grammy for Best Cast Show Album and seven Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, Best Book (Thomas Meehan) and Best Score (Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin). The show remains one of the biggest Broadway musical hits ever. It ran for 2,377 performances after it first opened, and has been performed in 28 languages and has been running somewhere around the world for 37 years.

The beloved score for ANNIE includes “Maybe,” “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You” and the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”

For tickets and information, visit:
-www.bolognapac.com
-www.anniethemusical.com
-@ANNIEonTour
-www.facebook.com/AnnieTheMusical

Children in attendance must be at least four years old to attend the performance. For more information or to purchase tickets, stop by the BPAC Ticket Office open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Or call 662-846-4626 or go online at www.bolognapac.com.

"Napoleon’s Wallpaper," by Candace Hicks, opens at the Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery on Thursday from 5-7 p.m.

Art gallerly launches 2016 season Thursday

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Delta State University’s Fielding Wright Art Center’s first exhibition of the year, “Napoleon’s Wallpaper,” by Candace Hicks, opens the season with a public reception Thursday from 5- 7 p.m.

Hicks is a printmaker and book artist based in Nacogdoches, Texas. “Napoleon’s Wallpaper” treats the gallery as a puzzle box to be solved by the viewer — a combination of prints that reveal secret messages when viewed through special colored glasses; kinetic sculptures that reveal clues; puzzles that can be manipulated physically to reveal hidden compartments; and wall texts that guide the viewer from one station to the next —  the exhibition operates like a game.

Hicks uses her background as a book artist to produce the exhibition of objects that look like art, but are actually part of an interrelated narrative puzzle. Books take for granted that viewer participation is necessary to complete the work, and “Napoleon’s Wallpaper” combines a storybook, interactive puzzle, and art exhibit into a room-sized installation. The viewer experiences the immersive quality of reading a mystery novel and solving the clues. It includes many moving parts that invite interaction. It resurrects forms of spectacle from the past — optical illusions and early animation devices — and these forms are employed holistically to present a cohesive story that can only be solved with viewer participation.

“Napoleon’s Wallpaper” refers to an anecdote regarding the cause of Napoleon’s death. According to Hicks, he supposedly died from exposure to arsenic in the dyes used to print his wallpaper. Hicks once read three accounts of this story in the same week and felt like she was receiving a secret, albeit meaningless message from the universe.

Hicks is an assistant professor at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. “Napoleon’s Wallpaper” has recently been installed in Houston, Texas. Her work has also been shown in Rochester, New York; Ashville, North Carolina; Decatur, Georgia; Denver, Colorado; New York City; Moscow, Russia; Vilnius, Lithuania; Budapest, Hungary; and more.

The exhibit will run from Jan. 14 through Feb. 26.

The FWACG is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed weekends, holidays and during semester breaks.

For more information on the Department of Art, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/art/or contact 662-846-4720. For updates and announcements of upcoming events, follow Delta State Art Department on Facebook, or join the email list.

Elaine Lambert, left, and Sandra Baggett, visited the University Archives Department to explore the  Jack Shults collection, a series of digitized negatives.

First 2016 researchers visit archives

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Childhood friends Sandra Baggett and Elaine Lambert recently stopped by the Delta State University Archives Department to visit with old friends found in the Jack Shults collection, a series of digitized negatives.

Originally on loan to the University Archives in 2006, Mary Dayle Shutls McCormick shared her father’s collection of negatives in an effort to preserve the fragile negatives. Through donations and over almost a year’s work, the negatives were transferred to a cold storage and stabilized. Carefully, stable negatives were scanned and reviewed by McCormick along with her mother, Mrs. Jack Shults. Thanks to their work, a description inventory was created.

Within the collection, Baggett and Lambert, Rolling Fork natives, recognized homes of other childhood friends, parades and church events they recalled, and a particularly stern high school principal’s portrait.  Never the recipient of more than a cursory glance and cordial query after family, the ladies had many stories to share about some of their male classmates who earned quality time in the principal’s office. Their stories suddenly transformed the ladies into the high school girls they had been.

As Lambert scrolled through the images, Baggett would offer bits of stories and descriptive information on the subject of the image. Debating on whether an image featured the Moore House, or perhaps another family, both ladies provided another layer of identification and interest to the images.

“Their visit solidified that everything, even damaged negatives, are worth the time and energy spent to collect and preserve them,” said Emily Jones, university archivist. “While the donor, Mary Dayle Shults McCormick, treasured the negatives because they were created by her father, she recognized their importance to a community. Instead of holding them in her home where she could look at them at her leisure, she decided to entrust them to our care. Her trust and our collaboration to identify the images resulted in a meaningful experience for Mrs. Lambert and Mrs. Baggett.”

With the collection’s descriptions and quality scans, a small database was created and once hosted on the University Archives’ webpage. The page is now being reconstructed and will soon be available online through the Mississippi Digital Library.

Learn more about University Archives at http://www.deltastate.edu/academics/libraries/university-archives-museum.

MDNHA

MDNHA to provide grant workshops

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The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area is a cultural heritage partnership between the people of the Mississippi Delta and the National Park Service. The program is led by Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University.

This year, in fulfillment of its management plan, the MDNHA is launching a new grants program. A series of regional workshops will be held to educate and inform the people of the Mississippi Delta on how to apply for these grants.

The dates, times and locations for the workshops are:

(all workshops are scheduled to take place from 1:30-4 p.m.)

*Jan. 14, 2016
Clarksdale/Coahoma County Tourism
326 Blues Alley, Clarksdale, MS

*Jan. 19, 2016
Mississippi Valley State University
Auditorium 103, first floor of William Sutton Administration Building
14000 HWY 82 W, Itta Bena, MS

*Jan. 26, 2016
Sharkey-Issaquena County Library
116 East China Street, Rolling Fork, MS

*Jan. 28, 2016
The Capps Center, Room 101
920 US-82, Indianola, MS

For more information, contact The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at 662-846-4311, or email hmiller@deltastate.edu.

The MDNHA includes 18 counties that contain land located in the alluvial floodplain of the Mississippi Delta: Bolivar, Carroll, Coahoma, DeSoto, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Leflore, Panola, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tunica, Warren, Washington and Yazoo. The MDNHA was designated by U.S. Congress in 2009 and is governed by a board of directors representing agencies and organizations defined in the congressional legislation. More information about the MDNHA, including the complete approved management plan, is available at www.msdeltaheritage.com.

The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of Mississippi Delta culture and history and its significance to the world through education, partnerships and community engagement. The Delta Center serves as the management entity of the MDNHA and is the home of the International Delta Blues Project. For more information, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/academics/delta-center-for-culture-and-learning/.