By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
RIPLEY – A private donation of more than $100,000 will make the Tippah County Archives Building a reality.
The donor – whose identity is being kept private at this time – told the Board of Supervisors on Friday that the 1,600-square-foot building would be fully subsidized with no funds from the county.
Funds for the project will be channeled to the Tippah County Development Foundation, which will pay any associated bills.
The building is an extension of the Tippah County Old Jail Archives, a Mississippi Historic Landmark which was renovated in 2008 to house historical county documents. Plans are to complete the new structure by the end of the year.
A missionary couple from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has spent most of this year digitizing the county records to make them more accessible for genealogical and historic research.
Work is under way now, said TCDF President Duane Bullard, to finish moving old records from the third floor of the Tippah County courthouse into the Old Jail Archives.
The new building will have an open area with computers where people can access those digital records, Bullard said. It also will include restrooms, a kitchenette and storage space. Currently, anyone who wants to do research must be accompanied at all times in the Old Jail Archives and work in a cramped space.
A grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History partially funded the renovation that created a climate-controlled environment with sturdy, spacious shelves to receive the county records.
The new annex building will be constructed with a faampçade in keeping with the Art Modern architectural style of the circa 1938 two-story solid concrete building, Bullard said.