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Authorities and scholars on quilt history, identification, conservation, and preservation will speak at an upcoming symposium to be held at Mississippi State University’s Mitchell Memorial Library.

“Quilts: A Social and Cultural History of Rural Mississippi” is sponsored by Mississippi State University Consortium for the History of Agricultural and Rural Mississippi (CHARM), Mississippi State University Libraries, School of Human Sciences and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Additional funding for the symposium is provided through a mini-grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council.

Promoting an understanding of quilts as important artifacts of social history, the symposium will focus on the history of Mississippi quilts and quilt research as links to rural and agricultural families and communities in Mississippi.

Scheduled for March 4-5, 2005, the symposium will address the history of Southern quilts with emphases on dating, socioeconomic conditions that influenced quilting traditions, an introduction to patterns and print identification, and proper methods for care, conservation, and preservation of quilts.

“Anyone interested in learning more about the history of Southern quilts is invited to attend,” says Dr. Wanda K. Cheek, associate professor of Human Sciences at MSU and coordinator of the quilting symposium. “The symposium has been planned for persons of all levels of interest and knowledge. In the history of rural and agricultural Mississippi, quilts have come to be recognized as a valid historical record of the social and economic times in which they were sewn.”

Speakers for the quilt symposium include Mary Elizabeth Johnson, author of Mississippi Quilts; Carol Vickers, Chairman of the Mississippi Heritage Quilt Search Project; and Martha Ginn and Ollie Jean Lane, trained quilters and juried show participants.

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MSU, Mississippi's flagship research university, is online at www.msstate.edu.