MSU Libraries launches Citizens' Council Radio Forum digital collection

April 13, 2019 9:59:06 PM

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Mississippi State University Libraries is launching a new digital collection of Citizens' Council Radio Forum recordings, along with corresponding transcripts. 

 

MSU Libraries produces, preserves and provides access to digital collections that support teaching, service and research by providing greater access to rare holdings. These include sheet music, diaries, correspondence, ledgers, photographs, transcripts, publications and other materials, all through the MSU Libraries' Digital Collections. 

 

A $25,000 digitization grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources' Recordings at Risk program provided funds for 269 original Citizens' Council Forum shows to be preserved and made available online. 

 

The audio recordings are accompanied by transcripts, provided by MSU doctoral graduate and Millsaps College Associate Professor of History Stephanie Rolph, who transcribed the Forum recordings as part of her dissertation and donated them to MSU Special Collections upon completion of her research. Rolph also published a book on the Citizens' Council last year titled "Resisting Equality: The Citizens' Council, 1954-1989" (LSU Press). 

 

MSU Libraries is a destination for researchers studying Civil Rights and the Jim Crow era, of which the Citizens' Council played a powerful role. The recordings span 1957-1966 and cover a variety of topics, including the Supreme Court, education, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts, and communism. 

 

According to University Archivist Jessica Perkins Smith, who wrote the CLIR grant and has worked extensively with the collection, "Researchers have used the transcripts of the Forum recordings frequently over the years. The tapes themselves were in danger of being lost due to their age and condition. Digitizing the recordings provides the benefit of long-term preservation, but also gives researchers a chance to hear the voices of segregationist politicians and Citizens' Council leaders. We are pleased to be able to increase accessibility of our collections to patrons who may not be able to travel to Mississippi State." 

 

For more information, contact Perkins Smith at [email protected] To access the collection, visit lib.msstate.edu/digitalcollections/citizenscouncil/. 

 

Learn more about MSU Libraries and available resources at lib.msstate.edu.