As a part of my fellowship and the Archival Training Collaborative workshops I attended, I am working on some public programs. At the moment, I am working on three programs; a basic photo preservation workshop, a basic exhibit design and interpretation workshop, and a public event that will be hosted in Tuskegee, Alabama.
The exhibit design workshop, entitled “Giving the World a Glimpse of…” : the basic ins and outs of exhibit design and interpretation, will be held on January 27, 2012. This workshop will provide participants with hands on experience in developing a basic interpretative plan and poster exhibit. I am really excited about this workshop because it allows me to share my love for interpretation and exhibit design with people who normally would not see the use for it. In my world, everything is an exhibit because everything conveys or reinforces the ideas of its creator(s) or society as a whole. I am also really excited about the photo preservation workshop! I am working with one of the other archivist here and we will be talking to local genealogical societies about the best way to preserve their family photographs for longevity. This is something that most people seem to have an interest in, so I think we will have a good turn out.
While I love all three topics that I am working on, I am most excited about the Tuskegee public program, which is entitled “What they captured and what we remember.” The purpose of this program, which will be hosted in March of 2012, is to gather more information about photographs taken by Jim Peppler for the Southern Courier by taking the pictures back into the communities that served as his photographic muse. These communities provided so much information to the Southern Courier while it was in publication, and they can still provide information to the repositories that house these photographs. I feel like this particular workshop is helpful for the community because it gives them a chance to have a say in how the photographs are described, and it is helpful for the archive because it provides a valuable opportunity to gather information that will be helpful to researchers in the future. If all goes according to plan, I hope to have a collection of pictures that contain names of people, exact locations, and a brief description of the purpose of the gathering or event.
A little background information about the Southern Courier: The Southern Courier was an integrated newspaper that ran from 1965 through 1968 with the purpose of covering the Civil Rights Movement in the Deep South. This paper published around 176 issues that chronicled the daily lives and race relations in southern Black and White Communities. The paper was the brain child of Harvard students, but most of its reporters were from the south. The paper hired reporters and photographers in the cities that witnessed the most Civil Rights events, Montgomery, Jackson (Miss.), Birmingham and Tuskegee. The paper and its staff prided itself on reporting factual stories and disseminating honest and truthful information about the Civil Rights Movement and race relations in the South. This paper wrote stories on all the key players involved in any racial protest or altercation, which helped develop a wealth of information and insight about the thought process behind the race movements of the mid to late 60s.