Wednesday, February 29, 2012


February 29, 2012
1:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Week 3 Day 4

Stephen D. Lee High School Yearbooks

An examination of Volume XXII, of the 1971 Stephen D. Lee Maroon & White yearbook, revealed similar findings as the Volume I, of the 1971 Caldwell High School yearbook. The “Generals” of Stephen D. Lee High School defeated the Tuscaloosa Bears, 20 to 17 during Homecoming, October 30, 1970. The S.D. Lee High School homecoming court was presented along with the court of the Robert S. Caldwell High School.

Page 42 of the 1971 S.D. Lee High School yearbook noted the following: “The 1970 season for the Columbus Generals was the best ever recorded in the history of the school. This team—because of a late change in the city school organization—was able to combine players from both high schools to play under the same colors.” This statement confirms that the first year of integration of the Columbus Mississippi public schools, resulted in the creation of Caldwell High School, while the Stephen D. Lee High School remained a senior high school, as well. This contradicts what the newspaper articles stated, that S.D. Lee became Columbus High School, East Campus, for grades 9 -10. According to the yearbooks, S.D. Lee never ceased being a senior high school.

Another interesting finding was on page 38, where the formation of a Bi-racial Commission was explained: 
“The Commission was formed as a request of the principal, Mr. Carr. The Commission was composed of twenty-four students, six from each class, equally representing both blacks and whites. The Commission met several hours each day to resolve difference caused by student dissension. The major factor of the Commission’s success was due to the fact that for the first time blacks and whites were able to communicate on controversial matters that needed to be brought out in the open. Their proposals were submitted to the School Board of Education and approved." 

“The 1992-1993 school term will bring another change as Lee High and Caldwell will consolidate and become Columbus High School. The Lee High General will give way to a new mascot, the falcon. The grand old maroon & white will fade to new school colors purple and gold. To those past graduates, however, Lee High School, named for the Civil War general, Stephen D. Lee, will forever be that torch that lit their way, preparing them for the world. So, to you, dear Lee High, farewell.”

Student Journal Reflections

As suspected, research on the Archives’ collection of Stephen D. Lee High School yearbooks, did verify the information learned from the Caldwell High School yearbooks. These schools were definitely intertwined in their history, through the process of desegregation beginning in 1970, in Columbus Mississippi. All of the inconsistencies found in newspaper articles were cleared up and a factual “Historical Note” can be revised for the Caldwell High School Slide inventory. The results of the research will also help in identifying people and events in  the images that will be continue to be scanned from slides to photographs.

The photos included with this entry are the outside front cover of the last issue of the Columbus High School yearbook. The photograph used on the yearbook was a portion of a large mural that had hung in the Columbus High School, near the cafeteria. When the school ceased to be a high school, the mural was donated to the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library Billups-Garth Archives, where it hangs today. I have included a photo of that section of the mural, which depicts the early history of Columbus.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


February 28, 2012
1:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Week 3 Day 3

 Caldwell High School Yearbooks

Previously, research of newspaper clippings revealed that Caldwell High School began in the 1970-1971 school year, in Columbus, Mississippi. The Robert S. Caldwell school had been an all-white junior high school since 1963, and changed to an integrated high school after court ordered desegregation in 1970. At this time there was currently an all-white high school in Columbus, which had been in existence since 1918, called the Stephen D. Lee High School. Articles indicated that Caldwell became the Columbus West Campus high school, with grades 11 and 12 and the Stephen D. Lee became the integrated Columbus East Campus High School, with grades 9 and 10.

A search of Caldwell High School yearbooks in the collection of the Billups-Garth Archives, in the Local History department of the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library, told a slightly different story than the newspaper articles.

  "Brothers are we all
—the black and white—
The 1971 Excalibur yearbook began with a poem on page 4, of which the author was not given. A class poet was named on page 150, who was Cheryl Rappe. There was no indication found  verifying who wrote the following, which was on a page with a photograph of two arms reaching to touch in a peak over a church steeple in the background. The words were indicative of the circumstances of desegregation of the public schools in Columbus, Mississippi during this time.

  “Yesterday we said it wouldn’t happen.
Today it’s here.
  Brothers are we all—the black and white—together.
  We strive for the future, our future, a better future.
  Here we are, facing each other, opposing each other, working with each other.
The future…What does it hold?” (1971 Excalibur, p. 4)

The Homecoming festivities showed an all-white homecoming court, which was described as the first homecoming court for the new Caldwell High School, held on October 30. In fact, it was a double homecoming for both Caldwell and Stephen D. Lee High Schools. This year, the two schools combined football players and the “Generals” defeated the Tuscaloosa Black Bears 20 to 7. The 1970 football season had ended with a winning record of 9 and 0 (p. 25).

The examination of the remainder of the 1971 Excalibur Yearbook for the Caldwell High School specified that the mascots of the Caldwell basketball and baseball teams were the "Bobcats". The previous paragraph noted that the combined football team was called the “Generals”, which was the Stephen D. Lee High School mascot.

The 1972 Robert S. Caldwell High School yearbook (Volume II), noted that this was “Caldwell’s first Homecoming”, on October 22, 1971. The 1970 football season was featured in the 1971 Caldwell yearbook and the 1971 football season was in the 1972 yearbook. Although Caldwell’s first “combined” homecoming was in 1970, the next year was also considered a first homecoming, because it was not combined with Lee High School.

Eugene Bailey is on the left
Each consecutive yearbook was looked at for additional clues about Caldwell High School. The 1976 Excalibur featured an outdoor brick sign, with the name of R.S. Caldwell Senior High. Yearbooks continued to feature high school teams for football, basketball, baseball, etc. The 1977 Volume VII of Excalibur was dedicated to Mr. Eugene Bailey (p.3), who was described as a counselor, National Honor Society sponsor, and the Annual and Newspaper Staff photographer. Since the slides that are being accessioned into the Archives, are dated from 1975 – 1981, it is possible that Mr. Bailey could be the photographer responsible for the slides. Another probability is that some of the students on the slides could be from the Honor Society. So far, there has not been a connection made between the people in the slides and those in the yearbooks, but all of the slides have not been processed at this point.

1978 Excalibur yearbook
inside front and back cover
The 1978 Caldwell yearbook indicated that the name Excalibur described the Arthurian Legend, where the sword, Excalibur, was created to serve. The yearbook was created for “preserving memories of this past year”. This text was found inside the front and back covers of the 1978 yearbook. The R.S. Caldwell Gymnasium was also noted as being erected during this same year.

The Caldwell High School newspaper staff had an unusual group photo in the 1979 yearbook. It was a “Bonnie and Clyde” styled two-page photograph, with costumes, an old car, and guns (p. 120). Each yearbook featured some unique themes of photography for the staff of the newspaper, which was known as the      Kaleidoscope.

1979 Caldwell H.S. newspaper staff

There were twenty-one years that Robert S. Caldwell High School existed. The Billups-Garth Archives have all of their yearbooks from 1971 through 1992, with the exception of four years. The missing four years of Caldwell High School yearbooks are 1984, 1985, 1990, and 1991.

The 1992 Caldwell yearbook was the last yearbook of Caldwell High School, in Columbus Mississippi. Some additional notes were: their school colors were red and white, they were referred to as “Big Red” and “Topcats”. All of the other Caldwell High School yearbooks were prominently named Excalibur, but the last one was titled, “The Final Chapter.1992”. Excalibur was featured below that.
Student Journal Reflections

Researching the Archives’ collection of Caldwell High School yearbooks was a continuation in seeking information to complete the “Historical Note” section of the inventory for the Caldwell High School Slides. Previous information from newspaper articles was contradictory and confusing. The yearbooks were an excellent source for more specific and credible information about the history of the school. The next area of research will be the yearbooks for the Stephen D. Lee High School, which should verify the findings from the Caldwell High School yearbooks.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Screen photo of software
to convert slides to photographs


The Caldwell High School slides needed to be converted into a photograph format. Previously, the slides had been removed from the slide carousel in the original order they were found in. 

Each slide was inserted into archival slide notebook sleeves (See photo of slide notebook below). An archival marker pen was used to consecutively number each sleeve insert at the bottom-left corner.

Archival notebook
sleeves for slides
The box with the slide notebook and control file was opened and the slide notebook was removed. Each slide would need to be scanned and saved into a computer file. 

The scanner used for this purpose was an “Epson Perfection V500 Photo”. The scanner had a slide tray that could be placed upon the glass, which would hold up to four slides (See slide tray photo below). 

Only one slide at a time was scanned, due to the time needed to scan more, plus the file names and numbers would be easier to keep up with one. In addition, the insert attached to the inside of the lid had to be removed in order for the slide tray to work properly.

Example of Excel files with slide number, date, & photo description:
Slide 1:
1978 May
Basketball players (Males-10) standing in front of charter buses. Some names/initials on front of caps, including: RJJ, JOHNNY, ROY, AL, & KENNY.
Slide 2:
1978 Mar
Basketball players (Males) on court during game
Slide 3:
1978 Mar
Basketball players (Males) on court during game, while making a free-throw shot
Slide 4:
1978 May
Basketball players (Males-7) standing in front of charter buses. One is on the shoulders of two others, & holding a trophy

An Excel file was used to keep notes about each slide, such as number (a total of 137), date, and a photo description. This was printed and kept nearby to write details as each slide was scanned. The Epson Scan application was opened on a computer connected to the scanner. The settings used to scan each slide were the following:

Photo of scanner
with slide attachment
and slide ready to be scanned
Mode – Home
Document Type – Positive Film
Image Type – Color
Destination – Printer
Target – 4 x 6 in.
Image – Color Restoration, Backlight Correction, and Digital ICE Technology

Before a slide was inserted, a date stamp was looked for on the slide. If there was a date given, it was written down on the printed Excel sheet for that particular slide. The direction the slide was placed into the frame did not matter, but after you do a few of them, you know which direction to place the slide, in order to skip adjusting the frame 
                                                         direction during the "Preview". 

After the scan for preview is completed, you can double-click on the photo to enlarge it. If you need to adjust the frame direction, it can be done at this step. There are also options to reverse or mirror the photo direction. The need for this can be determined by looking at any signs or lettering in the photo, to see if it is reversed. Once any adjustments are completed, you click on the "Scan" tab. This scan usually takes several minutes to complete. (The “dpi” can be set to the number desired during an advanced setup.) While this is occurring, notes can be made upon the Excel page about the dates and details noticed about the photo. This will become a finding aid for the collection once the scans, from slides to photographs, are completed.

When each scan is completed, you save and name the file. The slides were saved as JPEG image format, in a file titled CHS Slides to Photographs. Each slide was renamed with the prefix Caldwell Slide, the number of the slide, and the processed file name. For example, the file would be named: Caldwell Slide 15_MS 451.jpg

After a number of slides had been scanned and saved, each was emailed to the archivist, Mona Vance. Only two slides were sent with each email, since each took several seconds to load. This work was being done on another worker’s computer. The email was sent from my personal email account, which also enabled working on the finding aid at a later time, because the images were accessible through the sent mail settings regardless of location or computer. The archivist could study the images and possibly load some onto the library’s local history blog, to inquire about knowledge of the content, from patrons.

Student Journal Reflections

This stage of the project has revealed how much time is spent preparing a finding aid. In addition to the preliminary time the archivist had already instilled in creating the control file; as a practicum worker, I have accumulated almost 20 hours on-site with the project, and still have a lot or work to do. Also, many hours have been spent off-site in further research. 

I can see the value of the information that has been learned about the slides. There is very little information about Caldwell High School to be found. The newspaper articles from the Archives’ vertical file was a good starting point, but further research proved that there were some mistakes in them. So far, the yearbooks in the Archives have been the most revealing about the history of the school. 

Now that the research for the historical description is completed, the progress on the "slides to photographs" scans can proceed without interruption. As further details are derived from the photos, it may be possible to identify more specific information, which may lead to the public bringing in more items related to Caldwell High School.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


The University of Southern Mississippi

Student:  Donna S. Ballard
Instructor:  Dr. Teresa S. Welsh, Associate Professor
Course:  LIS 648 Archival Practicum, Spring 2012

Site Supervisor:  Mona K. Vance, Archivist                                      
                  Local History Archives
                  314 North Seventh Street
                  Columbus, Ms 39701     
  Mona K. Vance, Archivist

Day 1
Saturday, February 18, 2012
10:00 a.m. –  4:00 p.m.


The Folder is named by year, consecutive number of item, and a descriptive title which represents the vast majority of the collection. The order of accession is determined by situation.

Example: 2008-77: Caldwell High School Slides

Insert originals only, if possible, such as Deed of Gift, Accession Record, Publicity and Copies of Letters.

Control file numbers on the file tab will change when the item is completely processed (Example: 2008-77 will become MS-401), where MS indicates Manuscripts, and the next available consecutive number. The location of the Control File will change from Accessions to Processed.

Control File in Accessions

2008-77: Caldwell High School Slides, 1975-1981        

Control File in Processed
  MS-451       Caldwell High School Slides, 1975-1981 


Processing procedures were discussed and demonstrated in a Control File, such as: Deed of Gift, Accession Record, De-accession, Arrangement, Description, Estimated Processing Time, and a Descriptive Summary for Finding Aids.

The machine for encapsulation used by the CLPL Archives was invented by Bill Minter, a book conservator from Pennsylvania. CLPL-Columbus is the only site in Mississippi with the system. An ultrasonic generator and motor control seals polyester (mylar), instead of using archival tape. Tape will eventually lose its hold and allow air into the item and cause brittle, torn pieces to shift into the tape.

The Minter Encapsulation System in the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library-Local History Archives is shown in the photo on the left. 

At the top-center of the photograph on the right, a piece of paper has moved into the area that was encapsulated with archival tape. This would not have occurred in a properly-sealed document with a Minter weld around the edges. The Minter method would also prevent moisture from entering.

Minter encapsulation is used for items that are deteriorating, that you do not want people to touch, and when other archival storage is not practical.

Two unusual items (See photos below)  were seen that did not fit within the regular scope of the mission of the CLPL-Columbus Local History Archives, which is to collect local history of Lowndes County, Mississippi. 

One item was an 1892 map of Cuba and the West Indies on one side and a world map, on the other. The second item was an August 4, 1887 copy of the National Tribune, a Washington D.C. newspaper.


Two carousel trays filled with a total of 147 slides from Caldwell High School were donated to the Local History archives of the CLPL. Processing was begun by starting at slide one, then removing and inserting each slide into archival slide notebook sleeves. 

The original order of the slides was kept. An archival pen marker was used to consecutively number each sleeve insert at the bottom-left corner. The carousel slide trays were in small carousel boxes, which were then stored in an archival box, with the following label, placed on the upper-left side of the box:

147 Slides 1975-1981

Billups-Garth Archives

Caldwell High School Slides, 1975-1981

Box 1 of 1

The archival box will be reused for something else. The carousel trays and individual boxes will be discarded. Information from research found about Caldwell High School will be applied to building the finding aid. An initial look at the slides had revealed dates from 1975-1981, of Caldwell High School, which included slide photos of sports, band, color guard, flag corps and a helicopter. The slides will be looked at in more detail after researching Caldwell High School.  

The Archives is fortunate to have a large vault area (See photo above) that is temperature-controlled. The Vertical Files, Minter System, Yearbooks, Shelving, etc. is located there.There are some yearbooks from Caldwell High School in the archives, which will be looked at another day. There was a file on Caldwell High School in the archives’ Vertical Files. This was found through an index on the CLPL Local History website. The file contained newspaper clippings about Caldwell High School. Notes from the file are below:

            Morgan, K. (1996, August 18). Columbus schools enter a new era. Columbus Dispatch, pp. 1A, 5A.
The U.S. Justice Department had filed suit against the city of Columbus, MS, in 1968, for the purpose of desegregation.  The city fought this for two years and lost in the 5th District Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Afterward, they were given one year to get ready to integrate the school system.

“In 1971, Lee High and Caldwell were made the city’s high schools. Caldwell had served as a junior high school since its construction in 1963. ‘After the ruling, Hunt High School became a middle school and Caldwell a high school, because of its location and larger facilities, enabling it to become a high school and accommodate the high school students’, said Shields Sims who served as school board attorney from 1969-1989.”

            Morgan, K. and Imes, B. (1992, July 03). 2 campuses taking on CHS images. Columbus   Dispatch.
Previous history of the schools indicated that blacks and whites had separate and distinct schools.  In the 1970 integration changes, Stephen D. Lee High School became the West Campus of Columbus High School (grades 9-10) and Robert Stewart Caldwell Junior School became the East Campus of Columbus High School (grades 11-12).

Caldwell had opened in 1963 as an all-white junior high school for Columbus MS. Caldwell became an integrated high school in 1970, as a result of desegregation.

S.D. Lee High School began in 1918 on Seventh Street and Third Avenue North (at the present CLPL site) and was moved after a fire, to Military Road, in 1953. It was an all-white high school until 1970, due to desegregation, and became S.D. Lee High School, West Campus (grades 9-10).

The schools took measures to become more unified, leading to new mascots and school colors. The Caldwell, East Campus mascot of the Bobcat, was painted over in 1992. The General, (which looked like the former controversial Ole Miss Rebel mascot) was the S.D. Lee, West Campus mascot, with school colors of maroon and white. The decision was made for both campuses of the Columbus high schools to be changed to the Falcons as a mascot, with the school colors becoming purple and gold.

On July 1, 1996, S.D. Lee, East Campus and R.S. Caldwell, West Campus, combined into one new building, as Columbus High School, housing grades 9-12.

Student Journal Reflections

As a librarian who is near the completion of a graduate certificate in Archives and Special Collections, I was familiar with much of the terminology discussed on the first day of the Practicum. The Minter machine was not something I had learned about before, although I have been taught the encapsulating method of using archival tape to seal polyester film.

The specific methods involved in creating and maintaining a Control File were very helpful and something I will implement in building an EMCC Libraries Archives, Digital and Special Collection at my current place of employment. In addition, Ms. Vance has given me a Processing Manual she has developed from her experience, which will be valuable in standardizing East Mississippi Community College Libraries (EMCC) archival records.

During the initial accession and processing of the Caldwell High School Slides, I have seen why previous course studies indicated the importance of provenance and original order, as well as the importance of forms for Deed of Gift, Accessions, and De-Accessions.