Libraries' News, Events, Exhibits en 120 Nationally Recognized Illustrator to Present Exhibit at Cook Library Chuck Galey likes to hook children from the first page. Through his lively, colorful, detailed and imaginative illustrations, he does just that in the dozens of children’s books he has illustrated over the years. “My goal as an illustrator is to encourage young folks. It leads the child to becoming a lifelong reader.” His illustrations fuel young minds and foster a love of reading, not to mention bonding families through books.

While drawing always came naturally to Galey, as a child he didn’t have role models he could look up to. “I didn’t realized that people could make a living creating art.” His parents sent him to art classes in his hometown of Greenwood, Mississippi, where he studied under Lenny Wacht, a German immigrant who played classical music records while her students worked. Yet when it came time to go to college, Galey chose to study oceanography at Mississippi College. He had learned to scuba dive in a swimming pool in the Mississippi Delta and followed his lifelong passion for the sea. The only problem with that was after two summers aboard a marine research vessel in the Gulf of Mexico, he could never quite shake the overwhelming seasickness that engulfed his body. That led to a change of college and a change of majors. Galey graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in graphic design.

Armed with a degree and a natural talent, Galey worked for several advertising and public relations firms, but he became discontent with that work. “An advertising illustration only lasts until the next ad campaign, and I wanted something more enduring.”

His son, Sean, was born in 1987, and Galey and his wife, Forrest, bought the child several illustrated children’s books. “We would read him books at night, which is a great bonding experience with a child. As I turned the pages and looked at the beautiful pictures, I realized I could do that.” Galey had opened his own illustration studio in 1985, so he began looking into illustrating children’s books. That career blossomed as Galey designed covers for several children’s book series including R. L. Stine’s Fear Street and Beverly Cleary’s Ribsey and Henry Huggins for Recorded Books.

Galey continued to hone his skills as a children’s book illustrator. “I began to realize that through illustrating, the mood of the story is set. I create the characters kids can follow throughout a story.” A successful picture book illustration is more than a pretty picture. Illustrators must blend technical skill with imagination to evoke a story or conjure up something in the viewer’s mind. Galey relishes that challenge.

For years, Galey has illustrated books for children’s authors, including Rock ‘N’ Roll Dogs and Jazz Cats by David Davis, Jay and the Bounty of Books by Randall Ivey and The Cotton Candy Catastrophe at the Texas State Fair by Dotti Enderle. Jazz Cats was honored by the Miss. Library Association in 2003 with a special recognition of illustration in children's literature.Fun Day in Mrs. Walker’s Classby Robert Little was chosen to represent Mississippi in the 2006 National Book Festival in Washington, DC. Galey also does illustrations for Highlights for Children magazine, including the hidden pictures spot. After taking a writing class with author John Floyd at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, Galey is now ready to try his hand at writing his own children’s books.

Galey has been an active participant in the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at Southern Miss for many years, presenting programs and workshops. Ellen Ruffin, curator of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection said, “Chuck Galey, aside from being an accomplished illustrator, is a great friend to the de Grummond Collection.  He has been a valuable contributor to the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival for many years, so we are delighted to have an exhibit of his original work here.  Our art students interested in learning illustration will benefit.”

The work of Chuck Galey can be seen on display in the Cook Library Art Gallery on the campus of The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg from October 4 through November 18, with a gallery talk the afternoon of October 6 at 4 p.m. There is no charge, and the public is invited to attend. “The Cook Library Art Gallery has been fortunate to showcase many quality exhibits from various types of artists, and we are thrilled to have Chuck Galey’s exhibit this fall,” said Dawn Smith, Assistant to the Dean for Publicity and Outreach. “The de Grummond Collection is home to some of his papers and drawings so its only fitting we showcase his pieces.” 

Cook Library is located on the Southern Miss campus in Hattiesburg. For library hours, visit ( or call 601-266-4241 for more information. 

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:45:05 -0500 Dawn Smith <>
Special Collections Hosting Open House on October 12 University Libraries’ Special Collections is hosting an open house on October 12 from 3:30 - 5 p.m. in McCain Library and Archives, Room 305. During this time, Special Collections curators will be available to discuss collection strengths, research assistance and services offered for student and class use. 

Special Collections houses collections relating to the history of the University, Mississippi history, children’s literature and many other areas of focus. Examples from the collections will be on display with curators available to connect faculty, staff and students to the primary sources and services offered in the library. Light refreshments will be served. 

This event is sponsored by the Digital Archives Research Group and Special Collections. The group focuses on the problems and possibilities raised by digital and paper archives for humanities scholars and teachers. For more information about other events sponsored by the Group, visit the event page at For questions about the open house, contact Jennifer Brannock at or 601.266.4347. Note: The Reading Room will be closed from 3 – 5 p.m. on October 12 for the open house.

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 11:54:34 -0500 Dawn Smith <>
Southern Miss Historian Uncovers New Information About The Civil War’s Last Slave The life of Sylvester Magee has intrigued many over the past several decades and the man who claimed to be 130 years old at the time of his death was something of a national sensation. Though dozens of accounts have been written about him, not much is actually known about the man who claimed to be the last surviving American slave in the early 1960s.

Dr. Max Grivno, an associate professor of history at The University of Southern Mississippi has uncovered fascinating new information about Magee and is attempting to reconstruct Magee’s life and history. He will share his findings Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. in Cook Library’s Art Gallery when he presents “The Last Slave: The History of Sylvester Magee.” Grivno will also present the lecture Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Marion County Public Library. 

In the course of writing a history of slavery in Mississippi, Grivno stumbled across press clippings from the mid-1960s about Magee, who had been reported to be the oldest living former slave in the United States. Grivno discovered the source of the collection of clippings was an amateur historian named A.P. Andrews. Grivno, intrigued by the particularly insubstantial research by Andrews, contacted Jennifer Brannock, Curator of Rare Books in Mississippi at USM Libraries, to find out if she had any materials about Magee or Andrews.

As luck would have it, not only did the materials exist, but the University is home to Andrews’ entire collection of research, which was donated to the University in 2013 from former Southern Miss history professor Dr. William K. Scarborough, who received it from Mrs. A.P. Andrews the mid-1970s. The collection of photos, letters, notes, oral histories and more from Andrews’ widow sat undisturbed in an archival box for over four decades before Grivno shook off the dust and took a look inside.

“It really is an amazing collection,” Grivno said. “What you have is basically a man’s life in a box, though I’ve learned more about Sylvester Magee’s family than about Magee himself. There is actually very little confirmed information about Magee, but I hope to uncover more as I continue the research in Marion and Covington Counties.”

What is also interesting to Grivno is the research of A.P. Andrews, which Grivno says is questionable at best. Andrews was an amateur historian who may have been chasing glory by being the man who found the last surviving Civil War soldier and slave.

“In the recordings I’ve listened to, Andrews asks incredibly leading questions of Magee. Clearly, Magee is telling Andrews what he wants to hear, because much of what Magee claims has been refuted.”

Grivno believes friends and family of Magee are out there, and his continued research could find the truth behind one of south Mississippi’s long-standing and intriguing mysteries.

For more information, contact Ashlea Maddox at For information about the USM Department of History and Dr. Grivno’s work at Southern Miss, visit

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 09:42:45 -0500 Dawn Smith <>
University Libraries Presents Lecture on Working Women and Cookbooks University Libraries is hosting a lecture on the Calhoun City community cookbook on October 11 at 6:30 p.m. in Cook Library 123. Presented by Andrew P. Haley, Southern Miss professor of History, this event is presented in conjunction with the Mississippi Community Cookbook Project. The Mississippi Community Cookbook Project, a grant to collect, digitize and study Mississippi’s unique culinary heritage. 

In his talk, "The City Ready for Tomorrow: Working Women and Convenience Foods in Calhoun City, Mississippi in the 1950s and 1960s,” Haley will discuss how working women in Calhoun City used “labor-saving” foods like canned goods to continue to excel in domestic life while working outside the house.

For 1950s cookbook writers like Poppy Cannon, author of the Can Opener Cookbook, the growing availability of convenience foods offered single, urban career women quick and easy ways to entertain friends. For advertisers and magazine writers eager to sell products, prepared and packaged foods provided busy housewives a way to maximize creativity without taxing chores. But for the women who lived outside the bustling metropolises and freshly sodded suburban tracks of postwar America, the technological changes that transformed cooking at the midcentury offered a bulwark against fundamental shifts in the American economy which threatened to upend traditional domestic roles.

Refreshments will be served at 6 p.m. and will be prepared fromCook Book: a Few Tried and Trusted Recipes, a 1961 cookbook compiled by the mothers of seniors at Calhoun City High School. If you are interested in trying your hand at cooking a vintage recipe from the cookbook for the buffet, a link to the cookbook and a sign up sheet can be found at

For more information, contact Jennifer Brannock at 601.266.4347 or

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 13:38:41 -0500 Dawn Smith <>
University Libraries Hosting Book Sales on the Gulf Coast and in Hattiesburg University Libraries is holding its annual book sale at Cook Library from September 28 - 30 in the Cook Library Art Gallery and from September 28 – October 5 at the Gulf Coast Library on the Gulf Park Campus.

Items for sale include textbooks, nonfiction, fiction, religious texts, cookbooks and romance, representing all reading levels from children's books to college level.  VHS tapes are also available. Paperbacks will sell for $.50, while hardback books and VHS for $1 unless marked otherwise.

The book sale is made possible by donations, and all proceeds go to the University Libraries to assist with operational costs.  

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 16:54:11 -0500 Dawn Smith <>