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Group projects are hard in the best of times. The COVID-19 pandemic presents even more challenges of access to archival collections for patrons and researchers, as well as for the archivists and librarians who process and facilitate access to historical materials. In 2020, a hybrid team of both on-site and remote archivists, librarians, historians, and students began working to digitize, describe, transcribe, and annotate more than 20,000 documents for the Civil War & Reconstruction Governors of Mississippi Project (CWRGM). A collaboration between the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the Mississippi Digital Library, CWRGM provides free online access to the papers sent to and from Mississippi’s governors’ offices from 1859 to 1882. These records represent a diverse array of historical voices across categories of race, class, gender, and political allegiance.

This session will outline the CWRGM project and the varied materials to which it provides access. The presenters will discuss the project’s workflow from metadata creation and review to file upload and transcription. Their presentation will highlight the technology used to create CWRGM and share how the team effectively communicates and stays organized virtually during the pandemic.


Presented at the 2021 Mississippi Library Association Annual Conference