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Introduction to Archival Research at MSU Libraries

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

Archives & Special Collections at MSU Libraries

Archives & Special Collections materials at Mississippi State University Libraries are spread across two floors of Mitchell Memorial Library.

Third Floor Collections

Genealogy & Local History Collection
Genealogy, because it involves local history, is an extension of the Mississippiana Collection. There is an open browsing collection of family histories, local record transcriptions and histories, and other useful volumes for tracing family history. It is strongest in Mississippi materials, but it includes materials on all of the migration-path states (Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama) as well as a few items from other states and foreign countries. There is a growing genealogy index of books, microforms and periodical articles listed by surname or locality to help research.

Manuscripts Collections
Collections held by the Manuscripts division primarily document Mississippi from the early 19th century to the present. Types of records include individual and family papers, business records, architectural drawings, audio-visual recordings, photographs, maps and artifacts. Collection strengths include African American History, Agricultural and Rural Life, Civil Rights, Civil War, and Journalism.

Mississippi Political Collections
The Mississippi Political Collections provide access to materials from national, state, and local lawmakers, politicians, activists, and researchers. Our collections include correspondence, photographs, oral histories, memorabilia, and more.

Mississippiana Collection
The Mississippiana collection tells the story of Mississippi and its people, culture, and literature. It includes materials about Mississippi history, materials by and about Mississippians, fiction set in Mississippi, material with Mississippi imprints, and material by authors who studied or taught at Mississippi State University.

Rare Books Collection
The Rare Book Collection houses, preserves, and protects thousands of rare and diverse volumes, and makes them available to researchers. Through the years, MSU Libraries has purchased or received donations of many important, historic and valuable books.

University Archives
University Archives is the official repository for University files, publications, photographs, audio/visual materials, and memorabilia. It comprises approximately 7,300 linear feet of records created and collected by Mississippi State University, including presidential records, the records of administrative offices, colleges, schools and departments, official campus publications, and athletic records.

Fourth Floor Collections

Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana

The Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana documents the life and times of Abraham Lincoln. The Collection complements Civil War-related materials in the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library and Mississippi State University Libraries Special Collections. Its nineteenth-century political pamphlets and Lincoln family manuscripts are of particular interest to researchers.

Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library and Museum
The Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library holds the largest single collection of Grant papers and additional items in the world. It consists of some 17,000 linear feet of materials from and relating to Grant’s life, military service, and presidency.