‘Natchez History Minute’ gets National Park Service regional award

Published 12:07 am Friday, June 9, 2017

by David Hamilton

NATCHEZ — The National Park Service recently recognized the Natchez National Historical Park for an outstanding achievement in multimedia.

The “Natchez History Minute” project earned the NPS Southeast Region “Achieving Relevance” award, winning out against approximately 60 other parks in the region.

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“We think this is a project that deserves recognition,” NNHP historian Jeff Mansell said.

He coordinated the effort to produce the video series.The project commemorated the Natchez Tricentennial throughout 2016, as a one-minute video was posted every day of the year, providing a look at a historical event that occurred each day.

“It brought a lot of attention to Natchez, the tricentennial and the region,” he said.

The project was a true team effort, with more than 350 people contributing in some way, including 140 students.

Also key to the project was IT specialist Amy Gordon, who handled sound engineering, software design and audio and video editing for much of the project.

“If something technical came up, I would help (Mansell) with it,” Gordon said.

Gordon lauded Mansell and said he deserves “all the credit in the world,” for directing yearlong project.

But the public recognized this effort far before the award.

The videos captivated audiences and received more than a million combined views on Facebook, with an estimated reach of approximately 2 million people.

“We had people that were waiting for that thing to appear on Facebook at 6 a.m.,” Mansell said.

Mansell estimated it took between four and six hours to complete each “minute” of content, meaning a minimum of 1,460 hours of work for approximately six hours of final video product.

“It consumed my life for 18 months,” Mansell said. “That was basically my job.”

The award validates the difficult work, Mansell said.

“It was one of the greatest projects that I’ve ever been involved in,” Mansell said.

The “Natchez History Minute” also received an award from the Mississippi Historical Society earlier this year, Mansell said.