Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Caldwell High School becomes Columbus High School - East, and the
Stephen D. Lee High School becomes Columbus High School - West.
The  mascots of the Bobcats and the Generals change to the  Falcons.
Title: Caldwell High School Slides
Collection Number: MS 451
Inclusive Dates: 1975 - 1981 1973 - 1984
Creator(s): Unknown
Cubic Feet: .1 cu. ft.
Extent: 1 item, 1 folder


Caldwell High School originated
during the 1970 -1971 school year in Columbus, Mississippi, as a result of desegregation. Previous history of the schools in Columbus indicated that blacks and whites had separate and distinct schools prior to the 1970 changes. At the same time, the Stephen D. Lee High School, established in 1918, continued to remain a high school in Columbus (Morgan, 1992, July 3, Columbus Dispatch).

The former Robert Stewart Caldwell Junior High School had opened in 1963 as an all-white junior high school for Columbus, located at 820 North Browder. The junior high school became an integrated high school during the 1970 -1971 school years, and was then named the Robert S. Caldwell Senior High School, also known as Caldwell High School (Morgan, 1996, August 18, Columbus Dispatch, pp. 1A, 5A).

The former Stephen D. Lee High School began in 1918 on Seventh Street and Third Avenue North (at the present Columbus-Lowndes Public Library site, in the city of Columbus MS), and a new Stephen D. Lee High School was built on 1815 Military Road in 1953. (The old Stephen D. Lee building housed grades 7-8, until it burned in 1959.) The Stephen D. Lee High School was an all-white high school for Columbus MS until 1970, and remained the Stephen D. Lee High School after desegregation (Lee Yearbook, 1992 pp. 4, 12).

The last year of Caldwell High School was in 1992.
The two schools gradually took measures to become more unified, leading to new mascots and school colors. For example, the Caldwell High School mascot, the Bobcat, was painted over in 1992. The General, (which looked like the former controversial Ole Miss Rebel mascot) was the Stephen D. Lee High School mascot, with school colors of maroon and white. The decision was made for both campuses of Columbus High School to be changed to the Falcons as a mascot, with the school colors becoming purple and gold (Morgan, 1992, July 3 Columbus Dispatch).
The last year of the Stephen D. Lee
High School was in 1992.

In the 1992-1993 school years, the two high schools ceased to be named Caldwell High School and Stephen D. Lee High School, and both became known as Columbus High School. The Caldwell location was called the East Campus and the Lee location was called the West Campus of Columbus High   School. Each campus of Columbus High School retained a senior high school status (Lee Yearbook, 1992, p.2).

On July 1, 1996, the Caldwell - East Campus of Columbus High School, and the Stephen D. Lee - West Campus combined into one newly-constructed building, known as Columbus High School, housing grades 9 -12. The new Columbus High School was located at 215 Hemlock Street (CHS Yearbook 1997, p. 1). “The official dedication ceremony to present the new school building to the city of Columbus was held on Sunday, September 29, 1996.” (CHS Yearbook, 1997, p. 6)

The new and unified campus of Columbus High School 
 was dedicated on September 29, 1996. 


The collection consists of 137 slides of Caldwell High School activities, with inclusive dates of 1973-1984. Various activities are pictured, such as: the JR ROTC students in basketball, a space museum field trip, the Drill Team, Flag Corps, and Color Guard.

The collection also includes 137 photographs produced from the original slides. A list of the slides in ascending chronological order is found in the container list at the end of this accession record. Each slide number is recorded with a date, which was stamped on the slide, and a description of the slide photograph.


This collection is arranged in ascending chronological order, starting with slide 1 and ending with slide 137, including dates stamped on the slides, and a description of each slide.

The last constructed building
 of Stephen D. Lee High School
 was in 1953.





No further accruals are expected.


Open to research


The first person to examine this collection was Mona K. Vance on                                     .  Donna S. Ballard created the accession record, finding aid, and re-packaged the collection.


Lowndes County (Miss.)-History



Student Journal Reflections:

After the scanning of all 137 slides into a JPEG format and saving on a computer, I took the time to go back and update the historical summary. The original inclusive dates were revised from 1975 - 1981 through 1973 - 1984. The additional dates were evident after examining all of the slides for a date stamp. The dates assigned in the beginning were an estimate before the project was begun. The dates do not necessarily depict the actual day the photo was taken, but rather when the slides were developed, which is likely close to the actual occurrence of the events pictured.

In addition, the history of Caldwell High School and Lee High School was more apparent, after further study of the yearbooks and a related vertical file which had some newspaper clippings. I was able to verify the answers to some questions that I had that were confusing. I could not always depend on the facts in the newspaper articles to be totally correct, but there was more reliability in the yearbooks. This indicates the importance of yearbooks in local history archives.

Another issue of determining which groups of people were in the slides, was answered after all of the slides were examined. I am sure that all of the photos are from the JR ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) at Caldwell High School, from the years of  1973 - 1984.

The format of this posting is the same as the one used to write the collection summary. Red print indicates an item that possibly needs to be added or changed, before completing the project. The collection summary can be compared to the inventory or register of a collection. This is discussed in Chapter 6 (Description), in the textbook, Developing and Maintaining Practical Archives, by Gregory S. Hunter (2003, pp. 132-156).

The Hunter textbook indicates that inventories are more detailed and in addition to "content"; inventories bring out the "context" of a collection. Seven sections of a typical inventory are listed: Preface, Introduction, Biographical Sketch or Agency History, Scope and Content Note, Series Description, Container Listing, and Index or Item Listing.

In comparison, the format used in the Local History Department of the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library is as follows: Historical Note, Scope and Content, System of Arrangement, Conditions Governing Access, Source of Acquisition, Accruals, Access and Restrictions, Processing History, Subjects, Related Archival Materials, and Notes.

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