I'm photographer Robert Dawson. Join me and my son, Walker, as we drive across the country this summer photographing public libraries for my next book, due out in 2013. Our trip will complete 17 years of field work documenting this precious American resource.
For more on my work and my upcoming American Public Library photography book, please visit robertdawson.com.
9 responses to “New Video from Mississippi”
Nice rhythm to this – and I don’t just mean the blues…
Philip Carter, the blues musician and now librarian in Clarksdale, started his library career here in Cleveland (MS) at our public library. We may be poor in Mississippi but we have wonderful librarians and libraries.
Awesome video especially the music!! The only editing I have personal knowledge of to correct, was the Mississippi State Penitentiary. It’s not at Tutwiler. Sad to see so many failing libraries and businesses; however, in our small areas. But, that’s the life we know it to be in the Delta.
I agree with Charlotte. The prison in Tutwiler is a private prison and fairly new— it is not a state prison. There is really no history of abuse there. Parchman Penitentiary is the state prison and has been in the same location for many- many years. There is a lot of history associated with Parchman . I am glad you included Clarksdale’s library—it is fantastic!
I’m with Lynn. Despite the poverty, Mississippi has some wonderful libraries. Many happy times in my childhood were spent at the Henry M. Seymour Library in Indianola MS. Good luck in finishing your project and thank you for documenting these treasures.
Wonderful documentary, greatly enhanced by the music. A moment in time… This fits right in with what I’m reading right now: Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball and The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. Interesting contrast how much money has been spent on the prison, while so little is being spent providing library services to the people.
Robert, thank you so much for coming through Clarksdale and allowing us to be part of this. It’s a shame that American libraries (particularly those in impoverished areas like the Mississippi Delta) are suffering so terribly. As one of the last truly free public resources, libraries are suffering from all manner of neglect, disinterest and attrition. Hopefully projects like your own will help shed some light on the problems and show people how important our resources are.
Thank you again for coming through and I look forward to hearing more of your travels!
I spent many happy times at my library in Indianola, the Henry M. Seymour Library. It was in great working order unlike the libraries that you chose to spotlight mostly in your video. Why is it that people from California always want to show the negative side of Mississippi? Come visit this wonderful library. Also get your facts straight. The state penetientiary is in Parchman, MS.