Information Possibly Outdated
The information presented on this page was originally released on February 10, 2005. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
Museum seeks 4-H memorabilia
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- More than 100 years of 4-H activities ranging from cattle to computers to Mississippi's youth created a lot of keepsakes. There's now a home for memorabilia associated with the organization.
The Pete Frierson Mississippi 4-H Museum, located on the grounds of the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson, was dedicated just before Christmas 2004. The 2,000-square-foot facility now is ready for exhibits to be put into place.
"We have some materials, but we need help in collecting items that will tell the complete story of 4-H in Mississippi," said 4-H Foundation officer Morris Houston. "To do this, we need a variety of materials, especially those from significant events such as the first state Club Congress or the first statewide livestock show."
Collection of items for the 4-H museum is being coordinated through Mississippi State University's Mitchell Memorial Library as part of the Consortium for the History of Agricultural and Rural Mississippi project.
"Several of the collections that have been recently donated to the CHARM project contain photographs and other items related to 4-H," said manuscripts librarian Mattie Sink. "We're especially interested in correspondence related to significant events in 4-H history and photographs, especially those in which the persons and events pictured can be identified."
The MSU library also has additional resources related to 4-H.
"The library's Special Collections Department has a significant collection of photographs, Extension records and other materials that chronicle the history of 4-H," said University Archives assistant Betty Self.
While space and other limitations make it impossible to accept some items, Morris said Mississippians who have participated in the 4-H program are encouraged to check their attics for the types of materials that can help tell the organization's story to future generations.
"Former 4-H'ers may have lots of county fair ribbons put away, but we're really interested in letters they may have received from project sponsors, county program notes and project books," he said. "Each county Extension office in the state has forms available for individuals who wish to donate items to the museum, or they may contact Special Collections at the MSU library."
Historic displays will be an important part of the museum, but the facility will be more than a place to see where 4-H has been.
"The museum will have interactive displays that will involve visitors in 4-H's rich history and introduce them to today's programs," said Susan Holder, state 4-H leader with MSU's Extension Service. "Today, the majority of 4-H'ers are involved with leadership projects and skill development activities, and these will be showcased at the museum."
The museum is named in honor of Jackson businessman Pete Frierson, founder of Frierson Building Supply Co. In the 1930s, a 4-H livestock project earned him a scholarship to the University of Florida, and he has been a strong supporter of the organization ever since.
For additional information on the museum, contact the county Extension office or MSU's Special Collections at (662) 325-3848.