The Fant Library on the campus of Mississippi University for Women will celebrate the publishing of the Mississippi Encyclopedia Monday, Sept. 11 at 5 p.m.
The Mississippi Encyclopedia is a collaboration that includes more than 1,600 entries, 1,451 pages and features more than 700 scholars who wrote entries on every county, every governor, numerous musicians, writers, artists and activists. This is the first encyclopedic treatment of the state since 1907.
“This new Mississippi Encyclopedia is an important resource for library collections, and we hope the community will join us in our celebration of its publication and The W’s ongoing contributions to the scholarly community,” said Amanda Clay Powers, dean of library services.
Ted Ownby, director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi and co-editor of the Mississippi Encyclopedia, will discuss the encyclopedia and moderate a panel of W professors including Drs. Amy Pardo, Bridget Pieschel and Melissa Smith who contributed to the encyclopedia.
The panel discussion will be followed by a question and answer session and book signing.
“We hope everyone who picks up the book will find surprises,” said Ownby. “Any good encyclopedia, and we think this one is exceptionally good, has detailed, thorough, smart information on topics people want to find. So, from a journalist or traveler to a scholar or teacher to a kid doing a school project, everyone should find ways to use the book.”
Development of the encyclopedia began in 2003 and is the result of numerous collaborations between the University Press of Mississippi, the Center for the Southern Culture, 30 topic editors and scholars from across the state. Charles Reagan Wilson served as co-editor of the encyclopedia while Ann Abadie, Odie Lindsey and James Thomas, Jr. were associate editors.
The encyclopedia offers solid and clear information contained in a single volume on a breadth of topics including archaeology, the civil rights movement, the Civil War, fiction, poetry, music, art, education and the environment.