About the Collection
“Constructed by the people of Memphis and Shelby County for the athletic, cultural and entertainment betterment of the entire Mid-south Area.” – Mid-South Coliseum dedication brochure, 1964
Completed in 1964, the Mid-South Coliseum was a workhorse for decades, hosting concerts, sporting events, trade shows, graduations, and more until it closed in 2007. The offices were left as they were, as if everyone felt for certain that they would be back to work soon. They would not. At some point, vandals ransacked the place, breaking glass, overturning filing cabinets, and tossing papers to the floor. Electrical systems gradually failed. The Coliseum turned into a vast, dark, urban cave. Then in April 2019, a team of librarians donned their headlamps, gloves, and masks, and ventured into the darkness to see what could be found…
During that first visit, we came away with 5 filing cabinets and many boxes worth of material. Due to community interest, we are streamlining the digitization process and releasing highlights of our discoveries as we move forward. While the collection is not yet fully processed, you can take a sneak peek now with the release of our first feature:
Be sure to check back for additional releases in the future!
Images from MPL excavations: