Volunteers needed for Governors’ Letters Project at Southern Miss

Pine Belt

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – A documentary project, led by a history professor at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), will digitize more than 20,000 letters written to Mississippi governors during the Civil Warn and Reconstruction periods. So far, the first 2,000 documents are available online.

The project is also seeking volunteers for assistance with transcription of original documents. The Civil War & Reconstruction Governors of Mississippi project (CWRGM) is housing these papers at CWRGM.org.

The project is organized and led by USM history professor Dr. Susannah Ural, who has received more than $500,000 in private and federal grant funding for the project.

“We created CWRGM for diverse audiences, which is a challenging but important goal,” Ural said. “Our users come from secondary classrooms and genealogical societies, from universities and the interested public. We invite and welcome feedback, which will strengthen the project, and we hope visitors of our website find CWRGM informative and useful, as well as inspiring — though what will be found will not always inspire hope. Often history does the opposite. But it is through an honest exploration of the past that we can build a better informed and more hopeful future.”

Those who are interested in volunteering can do so under the “Get Involved” tab at the project website CWRGM.org. The only skills needed are the ability to read cursive and an eye for detail.

Ural will be featured at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History “History is Lunch” event on July 21, where she will demonstrate how to transcribe for interested volunteers. The event will be both in-person in the Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium of the Two Mississippi Museums building in Jackson, and live-streamed on MDAH’s Facebook page.

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