Message from the Dean

Dear Friends,

In this issue, there are two stories that reflect important investments of library resources. The first is our library website. The new website represents our first major overhaul of the website in five years. While we are always making small changes and improvements, this represents significant effort by our webmaster, Debra Riley-Huff; our Web resources librarian, Jing Jing Wu; and a number of other library staff. We hope you will find the new website attractive and easy to navigate. It has been designed so that it can be used on any type of device. We urge you to have a look and would love to hear your comments.

A second exciting development involves the Friends of the Library. As many know, Dr. John Pilkington and Dr. Chuck Noyes led Friends of the Library for years. With the passing of both gentlemen, the task of keeping the organization fell to three Friends board members, Dr. Gerald Walton, Dr. Ann Abadie and Mary Ann Frugé. With their help, we have now convened a new board. Dr. Stephen Monroe, an assistant dean in the College of Liberal Arts, has agreed to be interim president. Dr. Jennifer Ford, head of archives and special collections, has agreed to serve as secretary, and Dr. Joe Ward, chair and professor of history, has agreed to serve as treasurer. Committees are being formed to address membership, bylaws and communications. The group is especially interested in ideas for celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Friends organization in 2015. So please, stay tuned for more developments and announcements from this group.


Julia Rholes

Dean of University Libraries


Original and rare Faulkner material showcased


Martin Dain Collection

The Faulkner Room in the J.D. Williams Library is displaying the many facets of Nobel Prize-winning writer William Faulkner’s career. “William Faulkner’s Books: A Bibliographic Exhibit” features 20 cases of work by Faulkner, focusing on the writing, publication and dissemination of the author’s books. Items on display include early manuscript drafts, first editions and limited editions.

This display marks the first full-room Faulkner exhibit since 1997, when “A Faulkner 100” was set up to celebrate the 100th birthday of the famous author.

The collection includes Faulkner’s most famous pieces of works, such as Intruder in the Dust and As I Lay Dying. The display shows the few changes made to Faulkner’s original holograph manuscript of the latter.

A first edition copy of The Sound and the Fury is just one of the many special items on display. The introduction to this book was thought to be lost but was later found in the Rowan Oak Papers.

“In this handwritten draft, Faulkner discusses the very personal act of writing and the importance of leaving ‘something behind you when you die, but it’s better still to have made something that you yourself can die with: Much better,’” said Lauren Rogers, library specialist.

Read the story …

Friends of the Library focuses on future

Stephen Monroe

Stephen Monroe

Friends of the Library, the volunteer organization that works to increase library resources of the University of Mississippi, is undergoing reorganization and looking ahead.

Stephen Monroe, UM assistant dean and instructional assistant professor in the College of Liberal Arts, has assumed the position of interim president of the group’s board. The position had been vacant since the death of longtime president John Pilkington in 2012.

Friends is in the process of updating membership fees, which have ranged from $15 to $1,000 for a lifetime membership. The board has an endowment, where funds collected through membership fees are used each year to purchase books and necessities for the library’s advancement.

The Friends’ board is also looking to increase membership and celebrate the upcoming 75th anniversary of the Friends group. To accomplish its goals, the board wants to bring fresh faces and new ideas, and heighten its use of social media to publicize new facets of the library. “We don’t want to change the board but add to it,” said Angela Barlow, development officer for the library.

Read the story …

Library website gets new look

New library website

The new library website is expected to go live in June.

UM’s J.D. Williams Library is showing off a new website designed to better suit users’ needs. The new website is intended to be more user-friendly and boost academic research.

Debra Riley-Huff, head of Web services for the library, said the UM library website was updated so that people could use it on all kinds of mobile devices. She said the new website is an example of responsive design that allows for easy navigation.

Julia Rholes, dean of University Libraries, said updating the library website is important because “the website is our virtual face to the world.”

“We are very excited about the new site,” Rholes said. “We think this is going to be very popular. It is prettier, and we think people are going to enjoy using it because it will be easier for them to find things.”

While the previous website was useful, it needed an update. Riley-Huff said the library followed the lead provided by the Ole Miss website, which has been recently updated to reflect a more modern look and provide improved functionality.

Read the story …

Civil rights films screened for local community

The University of Mississippi Libraries and Center for the Study of Southern Culture have partnered with the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation and the Lafayette County and Oxford Public Library to present a set of four films based on the history of the civil rights movement in America.

Two of the four documentaries shown this semester were “The Loving Story” and “Freedom Riders.” The other films, “The Abolitionists” and “Slavery by Another Name,” will be shown in the fall.

The films are made possible by a National Endowment for the Humanities initiative called “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle.” NEH has partnered with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to provide the materials for 473 sites in the U.S. to show the films.

In Oxford, the public library and the J.D. Williams Library are presenting the films to the public at no cost. The screenings are meant to foster discussion, so panel discussions that explore the theme of each film are planned for each screening.

Read the story …

Library lecture examines civil rights-era judge’s career, influence


Claude Clayton Jr. recently discussed his father’s legacy.

Archives & Special Collections at the University of Mississippi hosted a program on April 17 to commemorate Judge Claude F. Clayton and mark the opening of his case files and other papers to researchers.

Clayton, a graduate of the UM School of Law, served as a judge on the U.S. District Court of Northern Mississippi from 1958 to 1967, and on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 1967 until his death in 1969. The collection includes case files from Clayton’s tenure, such as chamber papers, case notes, draft memoranda, and opinions and research. Of particular interest to researchers will be the many rulings Clayton issued on civil rights cases.

Read the story …

Recent donations enhance literature, accountancy, Southern history collections

sos_bookplate2Three recent donations to the J.D. Williams Library will enrich the literature, accountancy and Southern history collections. The Shakespeare Oxford Society, Gary Previts and the late Carolyn Ross made these generous donations.

The Shakespeare Oxford Society (SOS), a nonprofit, educational organization, gave the library more than 300 items, each bearing the society’s custom bookplate.

“When we add the approved texts to our collection, it will represent a significant step forward in the number of volumes we have covering this important era in history, and we will have given students more tools to help them think critically and draw informed conclusions about Elizabethan theatre and life,” said Alex Watson, UM senior humanities librarian.

The books range from scholarly books about Elizabethan theatre to historical texts on the lives of major figures from the era. This donation includes many items that are rarely seen in libraries.

Read the story …

Thank you for supporting our future

Angela Barlow. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss CommunicationsThank you. We will never have enough opportunities to say thank you for your support of the University Libraries. You help strengthen not only the libraries but also our beloved university as a whole. Each and every student and faculty member needs the resources offered under our roof, which you help make available.

Many of you support the growth of our collections through your commitment and membership to the Friends of the Library organization. Others support specific areas such as facility improvements (more student study space), technology (electronic databases, computers and e-books) and archives. Some even provide support by donating collections that benefit many individuals (students, faculty, scholars and community members) in their research.

Read the story …

University Libraries 2013 Donors

We express our gratitude for the numerous ways you support the University Libraries. For more information about becoming involved, please contact Angela Barlow, development director, at 662-915-3181 or the story …

Two UM librarians complete leadership program


Melissa Dennis and Judy Greenwood

Twenty-six students participated in the yearlong Mississippi Library Leadership Institute, designed to develop the next generation of library leaders in Mississippi. Of those participants, two were librarians from the University of Mississippi Libraries: Melissa Dennis and Judy Greenwood.

The Mississippi Library Leadership Institute is a transformational experience requiring participants to attend four three-day training sessions, study leadership theory between sessions and undertake a community project.

Participants represented 21 different institutions from across the state, including K-12 schools, public libraries, community colleges, private colleges, four-year universities, archives and state agencies.

“Participating in the Leadership Institute was at times fun, demanding, exciting and challenging; I thoroughly enjoyed the experience,” said Judy Greenwood, UM interlibrary loan librarian. “The institute’s leadership training provided me with the toolset needed to be an effective and confident leader. It provided the opportunity to grow personally and professionally, establishing connections with librarians across Mississippi.”

Read the story …