Whew! Things have been busy around here. Several new digital collections are in the works and will be coming to you soon, thanks to our new volunteers and interns: Candice Joyner, Chris Montoya, Della Hebert, Elizabeth Levkoff and Sarah Fesmire.
In the meantime, since it’s the beginning of March Madness, it seems appropriate to share a little bit of Memphis basketball history. Meet the Sacred Heart basketball team, city champions from 1936 to 1939:
We’re always trying to make it easier for you to find what you need in the digital archive, and in the past few weeks we’ve added a few improvements that we hope will help you do just that.
Since many of the digital collections contain smaller “mini-collections,” we are starting to make them browsable by adding links on the collection landing pages, as seen here:
Thanks to a suggestion from our friends at the May program of the West Tennessee Historical Society, we are also beginning to add decades to the metadata so that you can browse by decade. Only two collections are complete, but we will hopefully have the rest done soon and you can already begin looking the archives through the decades by clicking here.
If you only want to view images and not be bothered by all of the accompanying information, you might like the new image wall. On every results page, an option will be available to “view image wall.”
When you click on this option, you will see something like this:
If you have other suggestions of things you would like to see in the archive, please let us know!
Our wonderful volunteer Becky Muska has been hard at work digitizing the images of the Pink Palace Collection. She has discovered that a large number of the photographs were pulled from the same photo album, one that we now believe belonged to the Mayor family. The photographs feature portraits and images from everyday life in Memphis in the very early part of the 20th century – a rare treat, since so many photographs remaining from that time period were staged by professional photographers. Becky has been doing some digging and here is what she has discovered about this family:
Mencko Mayor was born in Mississippi in 1869 to M. Mayor of Germany and Theresa Levy of Alsace Lorraine. He married Mamie Frank in Shelby Co. on February 11, 1896. Mamie, born in 1870 in Tennessee, was the daughter of Henry Frank of Germany and Rosa Kalish of Poland. Mencko was a cotton broker and co-owner of the Frank Godfrey Co. at 83 Union Ave., 2nd floor along with his brother-in-law Abraham Frank and Raphael Bernhold.
The Mayor’s son, Godfrey Frank was born in 1898. In 1910, the Mayor family was living at 1556 Poplar Ave. at N. Willett in a grand two-story home on the north side of Poplar. It was built on Lot 38, 200 ft. deep and 108 ft. wide, in the Henry Lake Subdivision. Mencko’s mother-in-law Rosa Frank, a widow, lived with them as well as a sister-in-law, Amelia “Millie” Frank Marx. Mamie’s older sister Millie was born in Napolean, AR in 1858 and married 40-year-old Max Marx in Shelby Co. in 1881 when she was 22 years old. She was widowed that same year and never remarried. In her final years, Millie resided at the Parkview Hotel near Overton Park and died of coronary thrombosis on April 19, 1936. The 1910 Census lists three household servants living with the Mayors; Lizzie McNeill, Lizzie Rollins, and Lem Veland.
Mencko died at age 60 on August 30, 1929 at Baptist Hospital due to heart-related problems. He was buried in Children of Israel Cemetery which is now Temple Israel Cemetery located between Calvary Cemetery and Forest Hill Cemetery in southwest Memphis. Mamie survived him, but she died before 1935 when son Godfrey and his wife, Dorothy Hart sold the family home on Poplar which had been deeded to him upon his mother’s death. The homes on Lots 38 and 39 were torn down and replaced with a brick office building which now houses the Memphis Leadership Foundation, Inc.
Click here to view the images from the Mencko Mayor family.
You will notice a few changes around here this week, as we unveil our new website: Dig Memphis – The Digital Archive of the Memphis Public Library & Information Center.
During this week of transition, things may look a little strange at times. But never fear, the new site should make it all worthwhile. At any time, you can click on the link on the right side of this page to go directly into the archive. The guide to the digital collections will remain available in a tab above.
One other note – Due to some changes in the software, we will need to eliminate some HTML codes from the individual item records. Until we can go through all 7,900 of them, humor me and pretend like you can’t see the <tags>. Deal? Cool. Thanks.
Having problems? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll try to see what we can do to help.
Thanks for your patience, and enjoy the new site!
UPDATE: The new site will launch on August 1st. Almost there…
Do you have photos of this year’s flood? Do you want to help us preserve history?
A local Girl Scout has decided to build a digital archive of photographs and images from this year’s flood. Can you help her? If you would like to donate images to the archive, here are the ways to get the photos to us:
Drop off at the library (or mail):
History Department – 4th Floor
Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library
3030 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38111
Email (for digital images):
If possible, please note the photographer, date and location, as well as any other pertinent details. This digital collection will become part of the library’s permanent archive.
Thanks for all of your help, and feel free to share this with your friends!
We’re currently working on plans to create a massive digital collection of images – photos, artwork, maps, posters, etc. – and we need a name for it. Ultimately, it will include tens of thousands of items from the founding of Memphis to the present. What would you call it? We welcome all suggestions.