Final Volumes of New Encyclopedia Printed

Reception in Washington celebrates completion of landmark project

OXFORD, Miss. – A May 21 reception in Washington, D.C., celebrated the completion of the 24-volume New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, edited and produced by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi and published by University of North Carolina Press.

The reception was held in the pavilion area of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. The 150 invitees included friends and supporters of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and UNC Press, as well as some congressional delegations.

Speakers included Chancellor Dan Jones; general editor Charles Reagan Wilson; Mark Simpson-Vos, editorial director of the University of North Carolina Press; Ted Ownby, director of the center; and Natasha Trethewey, U.S. poet laureate. The host was Ralph Eubanks, director of the publishing at Library of Congress and a UM graduate.

When the Center for the Study of Southern Culture joined with the University of North Carolina Press to publish the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture in 1989, a pioneering reference work was born. The first reference book to deal exclusively with an American regional culture, the encyclopedia has served as a model for many similar projects at the state and regional levels. In the years since the encyclopedia was published, globalization, economic transformations and other cultural shifts have profoundly changed the South.

The center and the press have collaborated again to publish the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, a thoroughly revised and updated edition of the original reference that reflects these changes and the newest scholarship about the region. Jimmy Thomas, the center’s associate director for publications, is managing editor of the series, and Ann Abadie, associate director emerita of the center, is the associate editor.

This edition has been published in a series of 24 individual volumes, beginning with “Religion” in 2006 and concluding with the final two volumes, “Folk Art” and “Race,” published on May 21.

The volumes are available for purchase at