Monday, December 12, 2011

Myrtle Hall Branch of the Carnegie Public Library (Clarksdale, Mississippi)

The Myrtle Hall Branch of the Carnegie Public Library (Clarksdale, Mississippi) was opened on May 4, 1930. The branch provided library services to the African American residents of Clarksdale, Mississippi. At the time of its construction, the Myrtle Hall Branch was the only library in the state built with local tax money (total construction cost was $3,200 -- $2,100 came from the City of Clarksdale ; $1,100 from noted African American leaders in the community; the land was donated by the school board). In 1979, the branch became the home of the Delta Blues Museum. When the building was closed in the 1980s, the museum was moved to the second floor of the main branch.

Note: The main branch, the Carnegie Public Library, was built in 1914 with a grant of $10,000 from Andrew Carnegie. The library is still in operation and is still located at the address where it was built, 114 Delta Avenue, Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Update 12/04/2012:
In 1999, the Delta Blues Museum moved into its own building at 1 Blues Alley, Clarksdale, Mississippi. See:

Coen, Chere'. "Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, MS: Downtown Building Created in 1914." 8 Nov. 2011:n.pag. Web. 4 Dec. 2012.

Delta Blues Newsletter Mar. 2011: 3. Pdf.

Update 2/28/2013:

The following resources contain additional information about the Myrtle Hall Branch of the Carnegie Public Library (Clarksdale, Mississippi):

McAllister, Dorothy. "Library Service to the Colored Race." Mississippi Library News 17.2 (1953):112-113, 116-117.Print.

Gleason, Eliza Atkins. The Southern Negro and the Public Library. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1941. 76. Print.

Sources: "Clarksdale, Mississippi, Carnegie Library." Library Journal 55.14 (1930): 667. Print. ; Welly, Emily. "Building a Blues Legacy: Collection Gives Insight into Delta Blues Museum Founder." American Library Association, 2011. Web. 28 Jan. 2011. ; Battles, David M. The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South or, Leaving Behind the Plow. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2009. 70. Print. ; McMillen, Neil R. Dark Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim Crow. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1989. 11. Print.

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