Archives Digital Archives

Ice in Mississippi

Chloe Edwards, MDAH Electronic Records archivist, brings us this post in an ongoing series 

Before there were refrigerators there were icemen delivering blocks of ice on mule-drawn wagons or trucks to homes and businesses across the United States. It wasn’t until 1851 that John Gorrie of Florida patented the mechanical refrigeration device and 1868 that the world’s first commercial ice plant opened in New Orleans, Louisiana.

From Street scene, delivery man. Sysid 100880. Scanned as tiff in 2009/12/10 by MDAH. Credit: Courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History
Ice delivery man, photo by Luther M. Hamilton, Sr., from the Hamilton Photograph Collection, Call Number: PI/1994.0004

The story of man-made ice in Mississippi begins in the 1870s in Natchez, where the state’s first ice plant opened. To learn more about the fascinating history of ice-making in Mississippi, visit the Mississippi History Now webpage.

Digital Archives

Time and Tide: Waters Rise in Bay St. Louis

Ten years ago today Hurricane Katrina made land fall on the Mississippi-Louisiana state line as a category three hurricane. Waveland, Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian, and Long Beach, Mississippi, bore the brunt of Katrina’s force, though central Gulf Coast cities such as Gulfport, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, and Pascagoula, Mississippi, and New Orleans, Louisiana, received significant damage.

Bay St. Louis homeowner Katherine Mauffray narrates the intensifying winds and rising water on the morning of August 29, 2005, in this fifteen-minute video documenting the arrival of Hurricane Katrina. The Mauffray family survived the storm and in 2009 submitted the video to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s Historic Preservation Division as part of an application for grant funds to be used for repair of the home. The DVD was made available online as part of the MDAH archival collection.


The series consists of a video recording made at the then-residence of Conrad Lex Mauffray and family on Union Street in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, during the landfall of Hurricane Katrina on the morning of August 29, 2005. The video, with a running time of fifteen minutes and twenty-two seconds, was recorded by Katherine (Mrs. Conrad) Mauffray. Call Number: Series 2701: Hurricane Katrina/Mauffray Family Home Video, 2005 (MDAH)



Digital Archives Photographs

Time and Tide: Ten Years after Hurricane Katrina

Pass Christian, Harrison County, MS. Tuesday, September 27, 2005. Looking north, from U.S. Highway 90, at ruins of three-story building. Call Number: PI/2005.0024, Item 85 (MDAH)

This month marks the tenth anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina, the greatest natural disaster the United States has ever experienced. On August 29, 2005, the storm exploded into Mississippi, killing hundreds of people and forever changing the state’s cultural landscape. Hurricane Katrina devastated the historical fabric of the Gulf Coast and cut a swath of destruction 150 miles inland. Museums, libraries, government records, and historic buildings were all badly damaged.

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has been involved in recovery operations since the day after the hurricane made landfall. This blog series will explore the department’s role in recovery efforts and MDAH collections that document the storm.

Digital Archives Electronic Records Film

10/10: Electronic Records Day

Chloe Edwards, MDAH Electronic Records archivist, brings us the first post in a new series celebrating Electronic Records Day and Archives Month.

At left, Freedom Rider Helen Singleton is interviewed by host Bill Stoudt. (Credit:
At left, Freedom Rider Helen Singleton is interviewed by host Bill Stoudt. (Credit:

The City at Night

Call number: Disk 0007

Format: DVD

Run time: 48 minutes

In honor of Electronic Records Day, first celebrated on 10/10/10 (can you guess why?), a new blog series will highlight some of the newly available digital content from Electronic Archives: the disk collection. These disks have made their way to Electronic Archives from other sections of the department as well as from outside donors. It runs the gamut, from audio CDs of Mississippi recording artists like Dorothy Moore and Ora Reed, to documentaries on Mississippi history, to CDs containing genealogical resources.

Today we feature one disk in particular: Disk 0007, “The City at Night” is a reformatted copy of an episode of this weekly news program that aired on KTLA in Los Angeles from 1950 to 1960. What made “The City at Night” unique was its premise: the show was filmed live and its topic kept a secret from the host and camera crew until just hours before filming (although the topic was often leaked to audiences prior to broadcast). The show was predicated on the idea that viewers could experience aspects of their city to which they might not otherwise have been exposed. “The City at Night” featured a mix of programming that included university homecomings, Hollywood’s Fire Station 27, the Los Angeles Braille Institute, and in the late summer of 1961, the show covered a Freedom Riders training session. Men and women who participated in the 1961 Freedom Rides tested a recent Supreme Court ruling declaring segregated facilities in interstate transportation unconstitutional. Groups traveled by bus, plane, or train—integrating terminals, restaurants, and restrooms along the way.

MDAH is fortunate to hold a copy of this broadcast, which was donated to the department by Winston Fuller in 2011. The program can be divided into three sections. The first shows experienced Freedom Riders addressing an auditorium of potential volunteers, describing to them in detail what will happen when they are arrested and how they will be treated in the Hinds County Jail and the state penitentiary at Parchman. Then the training moves to a simulated sit-in, showing the kind of treatment volunteers could expect when they demonstrated at a segregated lunch counter. Finally, there are interviews, first with the Freedom Riders who participate in the skit (shown in image above/below), and then with volunteer (and future donor) Winston Fuller, who would go on to participate in his first Freedom Ride to Jackson shortly after the filming. Also included in the broadcast is footage showing the arrest of several Freedom Riders in the Jackson bus station on July 26, 1961.

The training captured by this broadcast is a powerful first-hand account of preparations for the Freedom Rides, as well as their treatment in the city.  Perhaps most importantly, it shows the Freedom Riders as individuals: as kids who could see the humor and horror in Parchman, and as men and women who were determined to act to change the segregated status quo.


To find out more about this disk, search our online catalogue for disk 0007. To browse the disk collection, navigate to the Advanced Search page, check the “Electronic Records” box, and type “disk” into the keyword search bar.

All catalogued disks are available to view in the Media Room; patrons should request disks from media staff using the four digit call number.


If you wish to view this disk, please be aware that there is no fast-forward or reverse capability on the DVD: it can only be watched from beginning to end, although playback can be stopped at any point.


Chambers, Stan. KTLA’s News at 10: Sixty Years with Stan Chambers. Behler Publications, 2008. Accessed on 10/03/2014 through Google Books.

Connor, Michan Andrew. “Creating Cities and Citizens: Municipal Boundaries, Place, Entrepreneurs, and the Production of Race in Los Angeles Count, 1926–1978.” Ph.D. diss., University of Southern California, 2008. Accessed 10/03/2014 at

Image: screenshot at 00:02:11 from

Digital Archives Photographs

Now Online: Historic Houses Collection

"Camellia Place, Built in 1841 by ?, Columbus." Call number: PI/HH/M57.7 (MDAH)
“Camellia Place, Built in 1841 by ?, Columbus.” Call number: PI/HH/M57.7 (MDAH)

The Mississippi Historic Houses Collection (PI/HH/M57.7) contains 488 photographic slides of historic houses in various cities and towns in Mississippi. There are exterior and interior views.

Click here to view the images.

More information is available in the catalog records. To view them, search for “PI HH M57 7” in the online catalog.