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Introduction to Archival Research at MSU Libraries

This guide has been designed to help researchers locate and access Special Collections materials at Mississippi State University Libraries.


Mississippi State University Libraries is committed to supporting the University's overall mission of teaching, research, and service by ensuring that we provide our patrons with the resources and support that they need. The areas that make up Special Collections specialize in collecting, organizing, and preserving historical resources such as archival records, manuscript collections, rare books, and other rare, one-of-a-kind materials that serve to document the history of  the University, Mississippi, the Southeastern region, and beyond. Materials heavily represented in our collections include: artifacts, architectural drawings, A/V materials, correspondence, diaries, ephemera, maps, memorabilia, newspapers, and publications.

Image at left: The Special Collections reading room, located on the third floor of Mitchell Memorial Library.
Image at right: The entryway to the Congressional and Political Research Center, the Frank and Virginia Williams Collections of Lincolniana, and the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library and Museum.

Special Collections COVID-19 Operational Procedures

Special Collections is open by appointment Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. We are closed from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. The number of researchers is limited to 3 per appointment block in the third-floor reading room. The number of researchers is limited to 2 per appointment block in the fourth-floor reading room.

Our appointment blocks are as follows:
8:00-9:30 am
10:00-11:30 am
1:00-2:30 pm
3:00-4:30 pm

To reserve time in one of our reading rooms, please contact

Beginning Friday, August 6, 2021, regardless of your vaccination status, you are required to wear a mask when you are inside university buildings. This includes all public spaces such as classrooms, hallways, restrooms. Masks must be worn over the nose and mouth. It is our hope that we may be able to move to a mask-optional policy if our cases on campus & in the community decrease and our vaccination rates improve substantially.