The Mississippi State University Libraries, in collaboration with the Mississippi Political Collections (MPC), proudly announces the inaugural G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Research Fellowship and Lecture Program, scheduled to take place on Friday, November 17 at 2pm in the John Grisham Room of Mitchell Memorial Library.
Dr. Tim Galsworthy, 2023 Montgomery Fellow and a lecturer in History and Military History at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, England, will be the featured speaker. Galsworthy's talk, "Not Your Grandfather's Republican Party: Civil War Memory, Civil Rights and the Rise of the Modern Mississippi GOP," will provide engaging and thought-provoking discussion on the evolution of the political landscape, particularly focusing on the intersection of Civil War memory, civil rights, and the emergence of the contemporary Mississippi GOP.
Organized by Kate Gregory, Assistant Professor and Director, Mississippi Political Collections, the event was inspired by other congressional centers around the country as a way to highlight the Libraries' collections, especially those of Congressman Montgomery and Senator John C. Stennis.
"The Mississippi Political Collection should be a destination for political researchers," Gregory said. "In addition to the expansive Montgomery collection, the Stennis collection is one of the largest congressional collections in the country. This lecture series will draw attention to our collections and encourage researchers to use these valuable resources."
Gregory said she was inspired by similar programs at other congressional archives. She reached out to the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Foundation with her idea and, as always, they supported what the MPC wanted to create.
"In 2023, the Montgomery Foundation made a generous contribution to establish an annual research fellowship and lecture series," she said. "Congressman Montgomery's 2,500 cubic foot collection of papers is a testament to his remarkable legacy and forms a cornerstone of the library's archival holdings, representing one of the largest congressional collections in the United States."
Gregory said the late congressman was a constant advocate for the State of Mississippi and his alma mater, Mississippi State University.
"I am always amazed at, and appreciative of, the support the congressman gave the Mississippi Political Collection (and this university) during his life, and now, how his legacy continues through the support of the foundation."
Gregory said the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Research Fellowship is designed to foster high-quality academic and professional study, offering an annual award of up to $5,000 to support travel expenses for scholars and other interested patrons. This funding aims to facilitate research within the extensive archival collections of the Mississippi Political Collection, enhancing access to valuable resources and contributing to a deeper understanding of Mississippi's political history.
Each year scholars will be able to apply for the fellowship and a selection will be made in March. For more information on the program, visit https://www.library.msstate.edu/montgomery-lecture.
Gregory said the November 17 event promises to be an enriching experience for all attendees, providing a unique opportunity to engage with and reflect upon the historical and contemporary aspects of Mississippi's political landscape.
"This program will not only highlight the research being done in our collections, but will also continue to honor Congressman Montgomery, his life and his legacy."