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Digitized records of the defunct Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, which functioned as the state's official counter civil rights agency from 1956 to 1973. The collection consists of approximately 133,000 pages of material that were processed, scanned, indexed, and made available to the public by MDAH in three stages between 1998 and 2001, pursuant to American Civil Liberties Union v. Fordice, 969 F.Supp.403 (S.D.Miss.1994). The digitized collection comprises the scanned originals with court-approved redactions requested by individuals named in the records along with additional information submitted by individuals named in the records who chose to file a rebuttal. The collection also includes the court-specified personal name index and links between rebuttal records and Commission records in which rebuttal submitters are mentioned.
Made available to the public pursuant to American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") v. Fordice, 969 F.Supp.403 (S.D.Miss.1994).
Two audio recordings are contained within the collection: an April 28, 1960, conference with Dr. Felix Dunn of Harrison County concerning integration of Gulf Coast beaches, and a March 30, 1971, news conference with members of the Republic of New Africa. Use copies of the two audio recordings have been made and are available only in the MDAH Library.
The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission was established by the legislature in 1956 and functioned as the state's primary counter civil rights agency until its appropriation was vetoed in 1973. The Commission was officially disbanded by the Legislature in 1977, at which time its records were sealed until 2027, prompting a protracted legal battle to gain access.
Suggested bibliographic citation. Cite images according to the following structure: Original Creator, "Title," Original creation date (if known), Unique Resource Identifier of image, Series Number and Title, Archival Repository, date of last web page revision, image location/URL, (image viewed on date).
Indexed Original scans searchable by unique resource identifier (URI), personal name, folder title, and folder number; photograph re-scans searchable by URI, keyword, or geographic location.
On March 4 and 7, 1977, in accordance with provisions of the act to disband the Sovereignty Commission, its records were transferred to MDAH, Charlotte Capers building, by the Secretary of State to remain sealed until 2027. The ACLU/Mississippi initiated a protracted legal battle to open the records, which remained sealed in the MDAH vault for the duration of the case. Litigants were not granted access to the records for the purpose of discovery until 1984. In 1988 the U.S. Justice Dept. was also granted access as part of a judicial redistricting case. In 1994, MDAH began processing and scanning the records to meet the court's privacy and disclosure requirements. In 1997, in accordance with the court's disclosure procedure, MDAH managed a selective public privacy review of the records. Based on the requests of privacy respondents that were adjudicated by the court, MDAH processed and opened the records in three stages between 1998 and 2001. The records were made available in-house in electronic format and included court-approved redactions and rebuttals with personal-name and folder indexes. In 2001, to facilitate public orders, copy negatives were made of the larger group of photographs. In 2002-2003 the proprietary, in-house version was converted to an open-source, web-accessible version. Subsequently, photographs with non-court-ordered redactions were re-scanned, individually described, and made available online in 2006.
Forms part of: Records of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission (formerly RG 42).