2016 Cultural Heritage Digitization Awardee

Catholic Diocese of Jackson

Catholic Diocese of Jackson

Proposed Collection

The Bishop Richard Oliver Gerow Photograph Collection

Collection Significance

The collection holds documents, artifacts, and photographs dating back to early Spanish Colonial Mississippi. The photographs are dated as early as 1860 and feature important events; structures such as churches, schools, and orphanages; Native Americans; African Americans; immigrant communities; priests; religious men and women (brothers and sisters); and bishops.

Community Significance

Local, state, and national appeal. Materials are requested but there is little to no space to allow access to them. The collection reflects the development of the Catholic Church, its people, and institutions as the State of Mississippi developed. It also provides the unique view of Mississippi’s cultural development through the lens of a religious leader.

Benefit to Institution

Increased access and visibility of Gerow collection, generation of research interest, and the first step in a digitization program.

Collection Format
Mostly 3” x 5”, 2.5” x 3”, and 8” x 10” black and white photographs. A few 14” x 16” and 20” x 20” photographs.


No known copyright restrictions for the majority of the collection. Most of the photographs were taken by Bishop Gerow in service to the diocese. In house legal counsel is available for advisement on other materials. Permission for one item will be requested from a local studio. If permission cannot be secured for this photograph, it will not be featured online.


Request for metadata training. Ample manpower will be dedicated to the project.


Well thought out reasons for digitizing particular items including research interest and condition of physical materials. Underrepresented subject area in the current MDL collections. Good grasp on what researchers are interested in from their collections and what materials they should focus on.