On 26 September 2008, the University of Mississippi hosted the first presidential debate between Democratic nominee Barack Obama and Republican nominee John McCain. To coincide with the occasion, the University organized numerous academic courses and programming related to the debate and the election.
In 340 digital photographs, Ed Movitz shot scenes across Oxford and the campus on September 25th and 26th. Bill Kingery focused his camera largely on the September 26th Rock the Debate event in the University of Mississippi grove, taking 90 photographs. Debra Riley-Huff contributes 17 photographs of media, vendors, candidate buses and vans, and political activism. None of these photographs feature images of the party nominees or the actual debate. Instead, they capture scenes of the general public, political activists, vendors, and national press outside the debate hall. Bill Kingery, Ed Movitz, and Debra Riley-Huff transferred all copyright interests in their digital photographs to the University of Mississippi.
The collection also includes images from unknown photographers of the candidates and the debate hall in 2008 and photographs of the 2009 dedication of an historic marker outside the Ford Center commemorating the debate.
The recordings document a variety of debate-related programs on campus as well as a documentary on the debate produced by the university's Media & Documentary Projects.
The Presidential Debate Collection provides further information about the collection.
The digitization and preservation of recordings in this collection are the result of a project supported in part by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this website do not necessarily represent those of the IMLS.
Image from the collection: John McCain and Barack Obama on stage at the Ford Center during the 2008 Presidential Debate at the University of Mississippi (2008)