by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/Owner –

If you’re interested in genealogy, ancestry, or just plain local history in general, the Harrison County Library System has modernized a few aspects according to the LHG (Local History & Genealogy) Librarian Mandy Hornsby.  Hornsby was introduced Monday afternoon, February 27, 2023 by Pass Christian Librarian Wendy Allard to the Pass Christian Historical Society.

Hornsby gave her background in a PowerPoint presentation, then detailed the historical timeline of the Harrison County Library System, providing information about the first LHG Librarian Murella H. Powell in 1973 and giving pictures of the first local history department in Biloxi.  The library collection included photographs, historic documents and more.

Once Powell retired in 2005 two weeks before Hurricane Katrina, the collection created suffered great losses with some items being salvaged through numerous grants received.  Following this action, the collection moved three times around Biloxi until 2011 where the department moved and the construction of the building was complete.

The LHG Department in Harrison County serves as a local depository for the county and surrounding areas.  The archive room has collapsible shelving for better storage and a fire suppression system that is powder instead of water.  Two humidifiers work in the department to keep the room in quality condition for records.

Hornsby expressed there were different collections inside the department, such as State Genealogy Books, Family Histories, Historic Vertical Files, City Directories, Microfilm Newspapers, Microfilm records, Catholic Records, Historic Images, Coast Publications, Vintage Artifacts, Oral Histories, Court Records, Society Journals and more.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have records within the Harrison County Chancery Clerk’s Office,” expressed Hornsby when a questioned was raised about properties of Harrison County or Deeds.  “We did just update our microfilm and hope we can receive more information from the county.”

Hornsby has earned her Masters degree in History and is currently in pursuit of a Masters in Library Science with an Archive Certificate.  She has worked as a librarian for nearly thirteen years and been in the LHG department for six.