Part-time archivist helps preserve history of MUW

By The Associated Press

COLUMBUS — A new archivist is helping preserve the history of Mississippi University for Women.

Texas native Derek Webb started his part-time job a few weeks ago, after moving to Columbus with his wife, Amber Handy, who’s an assistant professor in the Department of History, Political Science and Geography.

“I found the transcription of a letter from Jefferson Davis expressing his regrets at not being able to attend the school’s opening ceremony in 1884,” Webb said in a university news release. “The day before that, I found a folder on a bribery and nepotism scandal. The day before that, I found myself reading poetry composed by students for the 1902 yearbook.”

Part of his job will be raising money for archives projects. He also will help set policies to govern the archives, which he said should be open to students, faculty members, alumni and the public. Some documents need to be cleaned and relocated, he said.

Webb is originally from Lubbock, Texas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Texas Tech University in 2002, a master’s degree in early Christian studies from the University of Notre Dame in 2005 and a master’s degree in library science from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis in 2010.

Before moving to MUW, Webb worked five years as librarian in the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame.