The State Historical Society has launched a demonstration website for the Missouri Encyclopedia, an online reference work planned for publication during the state’s bicentennial year in 2021.

The Missouri Encyclopedia will offer concise, informative articles on all facets of the history of Missouri and Missourians. It is intended for general audiences.

The demonstration site will also serve as a developmental site, providing opportunities for the Encyclopedia’s staff to experiment with content and design, as well as to receive feedback from the public. The site is expected to undergo numerous changes as it grows and moves closer to the official launch in 2021.

The Missouri Encyclopedia website currently includes a small but growing pool of sample articles as well as a suggestion box encouraging visitors to offer ideas for improving the site and adding further topics. Article proposals will be reviewed by the Encyclopedia’s staff, and approved topics will be assigned to writers. Anyone may write for the Encyclopedia, although article submissions will be subject to review prior to acceptance for publication.

Visit the Missouri Encyclopedia

Two projects commemorating Missouri’s bicentennial in 2021 need your help. The My Missouri 2021 Photograph Project and the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt are both seeking submissions from Missourians in every single county to ensure the final results will be truly representative of the Show-Me State. Accepted submissions will become a permanent part of Missouri’s historical record after touring the state in traveling exhibits during 2020 and 2021.

The My Missouri 2021 Photograph Project invites professional and amateur photographers to capture and share images of unique and meaningful aspects of place in Missouri. Submissions are due November 1, 2019. Two hundred photographs will be selected for the traveling exhibition as well as a digital showcase on missouri2021.org. The images will also be added to the State Historical Society of Missouri’s permanent Bicentennial Collection.

“Photographs provide a window into a time that is really irreplaceable for people trying to understand a specific place and its culture,” Anne Cox, SHSMO photograph archivist, said. “The images from the My Missouri Photo Project will be invaluable to future students, family historians, and scholarly researchers hoping to better understand what the Show-Me State is like today. Plus, we hope it preserves images of places that might otherwise go undocumented.”

Learn More about My Missouri 2021

The Missouri Bicentennial Quilt, a collaborative project of the State Historical Society of Missouri and the Missouri Star Quilt Company, also invites submissions, which are due before September 2, 2019. Individual quilters and quilting organizations are encouraged to submit blocks expressing unique characteristics of Missouri culture and style. Submissions should be 6.5-inch squares, as blocks will be finished at 6 x 6 inches. Entries should have no embellishments, contain no copyrighted images, and be made of 100 percent cotton fabric. A description of the block and its significance to Missouri must accompany each submission.

“Using one quilt block from every Missouri county and the independent City of St. Louis, we’re looking to create a quilt featuring both the diversity of the Show-Me State and its solidarity,” said Michael Sweeney, SHSMO’s bicentennial coordinator.  “Like a patchwork quilt our state is greatly varied, but I’m learning through visits across the state that Missourians are remarkable in the ties that bind us together—our communities, our innovations, and our ingenuity.”

Learn More about the Bicentennial Quilt 

Missouri 2021 is excited to announce that Missouri Prairie Foundation has joined the Bicentennial Alliance!

“Missouri Prairie Foundation is very pleased to be part of the Alliance,” says Executive Director Carol Davit. “At the core of Missouri Prairie Foundation’s mission is the protection of original, unplowed prairie, which was abundant as recently as our year of statehood, but is now reduced to less than 1/10th of one percent of its original extent. The remnants of this once vast ecosystem that figures so dramatically into the natural, historical, and economic history of Missouri are still vital habitat for prairie wildlife, still very much part of the fabric of the state’s landscape, and must continue to be protected for the benefit of all Missourians.”

Missouri Prairie Foundation will be planning many events to connect citizens to Missouri’s prairie legacy, and these activities will take on enriched meaning in the context of the state’s auspicious upcoming anniversary.

The Bicentennial Alliance is a coalition of statewide non-profit organizations and government agencies working together to develop and promote projects commemorating the Missouri Bicentennial throughout the Show-Me State. Visit missouri2021.org to see a wide variety of projects that are already underway by Alliance members.

Missouri 2021 is excited to announce that the Missouri State Fair has joined the Bicentennial Alliance!

“The Missouri State Fair is the perfect venue to partner with the Bicentennial Alliance as the showcase for the best of the best from our great state,” said Mark Wolfe, Missouri State Fair Director. “We are proud to work with the Alliance to bring many of the Bicentennial activities and exhibits to the 2021 Fair in Sedalia, August 12-22.”

The Bicentennial Alliance is a coalition of statewide non-profit organizations and government agencies working together to develop and promote projects commemorating the Missouri Bicentennial throughout the Show-Me State. Visit missouri2021.org to see a wide variety of projects that are already underway by Alliance members. 

Missouri 2021 is excited to announce two new members of the Bicentennial Alliance: Missouri State Library and University of Missouri Office of Extension and Engagement. Both bring unique and exciting perspectives to the bicentennial commemoration.

“Part of Missouri’s great heritage is our proliferation of great authors and works about our state,” said Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, whose office includes the State Library. “Our State Library will be coordinating literature-based events to highlight books written by Missourians or based in Missouri, helping to bring a deeper context to the commemoration of our bicentennial.”

“As the state’s oldest public university, the University of Missouri is proud of the role MU alumni played in shaping our state’s rich history,” said Marshall Stewart, MU vice chancellor for extension and engagement. “We are excited to participate in the Bicentennial Alliance and look forward to the 2021 celebrations and the next chapter in Missouri’s history.”

The Bicentennial Alliance is a coalition of statewide non-profit organizations and government agencies working together to develop and promote statewide projects commemorating the Missouri Bicentennial. Learn more here

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