USM's Katrina Research Center documents the storm's impact

By David Elliott - bio | email

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - The University of Southern Mississippi has opened a research center on its Gulf Coast campus in Long Beach dedicated to documenting the Katrina experience. The Katrina Research Center is designed to tell the story of the storm's impact on the people and places around South Mississippi.

"This is a chance to document what really happened on August 29th, 2005," center director Dr. Ray Scurfield said.

The center has a permanent collection of books and articles written about the hurricane. It also features art and photographs that bring in the human element.

Dr. Scurfield wants the center to go beyond the material losses and look at how Katrina taught us all a lesson.

"In the midst of the destruction, amazing things happened. For example, rediscovering what's important in life," Scurfield said.

The center is also compiling an oral history filled with audio recordings to make sure people never forget the trauma and heroism surrounding Katrina. Katrina survivors can go into the center, located on the third floor of the library on USM's Gulf Coast campus, sit down at a microphone and tell their story.

If you have something that you would like to donate to the Katrina Research Center, contact the school's librarian at (228) 214-3416 or e-mail

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