STARKVILLE, Miss., Feb. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The most extensive collection of Mississippi Territory imprints published prior to 1817 is now housed at Mississippi State University thanks to a donation from MaxxSouth Broadband—a provider of high-speed Internet, cable TV and phone services in northern Mississippi.
"When I first saw what was in this collection, I was amazed," said MSU Libraries' Rare Books Coordinator Fred Smith during the donation ceremony. "This collection is the finest collection in the world of early Mississippi territorial laws and early Mississippi state laws."
On February 5, MaxxSouth Broadband donated the major collection of rare books during a ceremony and reception, which included university administrators along with local and state government officials, at the Mitchell Memorial Library's Special Collections Department.
"There are things here that I haven't ever even heard of, and things that I had heard of and never saw," Smith said of the collection. "I don't think it'll ever be equaled."
The donation was assembled from the private library of John Robinson Block, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade. The Blade and Post-Gazette, like MaxxSouth, are subsidiaries of Block Communications, Inc. (BCI).
"I've been fascinated with libraries and books since my undergraduate career," said BCI's Vice Chairman John Block. "They were born here, and now they've returned here; they are part of this state."
Thirty-five years ago, Block began collecting rare books, and throughout the years added these Mississippi law books to his collection. The donation comprises 60 publications that are finely bound in 45 volumes.
"What they are is a physical link to the earliest times in Mississippi when media was not mass media," Block said. "It was a big deal to print 100 copies of something."
The hope of Mr. Block and MaxxSouth is that these laws—in their non-electronic, material form—will provide ongoing opportunities for MSU to engage students and other audiences in the history of government, law, and printing in the state of Mississippi in ways that only the original printed materials can provide.
With a 114-year history, Block Communications, Inc., and its board members believe strongly in the responsibility of media companies to be socially invested in the communities where they operate. That guiding value now continues with MaxxSouth Broadband's presence in Mississippi.
"In my nearly four decades of working in the communications industry, I have never experienced a better corporate citizen than Block Communications, which we are honored to be a part of," said Peter Kahelin, MaxxSouth Broadband's President and CEO. "This contribution to MSU represents just a portion of MaxxSouth and the BCI family's ongoing commitment to give back to our communities."
MaxxSouth and Block Communications, Inc. are confident they've found the perfect home for the books. MSU already holds one of the country's most important collections of rare "Mississippiana," to which MaxxSouth hopes the early Mississippi law collection will be a favorable addition.
"This exceptional academic library department provides the highest standards of organization, security, and preservation for its vast collection of rare books and manuscripts," Mr. Block said. "We appreciate that the materials are actively used and made available to students, faculty, and the wider research community."
About MaxxSouth Broadband:
MaxxSouth Broadband service area for video, high-speed Internet and digital phone stretches more than 200 miles and includes 20 counties and 60 communities in northern Mississippi and Alabama. The company currently has approximately 80,000 subscribers for broadband services and passes 110,000 homes. Operating as a subsidiary of the reputable and diversified media holding company Block Communications Inc., MaxxSouth Broadband continues to expand and enhance its state-of-the-art broadband network in the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.MaxxSouth.com
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/maxxsouth-broadband-donates-valuable-book-collection-of-early-mississippi-laws-to-mississippi-state-university-300218040.html
SOURCE MaxxSouth Broadband