Collections

The holdings of the archives comprise more than 126,000 cubic feet of records—including government documents, bound volumes, maps and drawings, photographs, oral histories, and video and audio tapes. The catalog is searchable online, and some collections are accessible through the Digital Archives. Copies of most materials can be purchased for a nominal fee.

Cost and Fee Schedule

Government Records

Enumeration of Educable ChildrenColonial and Territorial
Government records document Mississippi's colonial periods—French, Spanish, and English—and Mississippi Territorial records illustrate the development of American democracy on the frontier.

State
These resources include more than 50,000 cubic feet of legislative records, governors’ papers, court documents, and state agency records organized into more than 2,600 records series.

Manuscript Collections

Downs manuscript collectionMore than 2,150 processed collections—papers of individuals, families, churches, corporations, business and community organizations—provide resources for the study of the political, military, religious, social, economic, and cultural history of Mississippi. The holdings are especially strong in the antebellum period, Civil War, Reconstruction, economic development of twentieth-century Mississippi, women's history, and the Civil Rights Movement.

Significant manuscript collections at the archives include the papers of historian J.F.H. Claiborne documenting the colonial, territorial, and early state periods; the papers of early American feminist writer Judith Sargent Murray; the papers of civil rights pioneers Medgar and Myrlie Evers; and the Eudora Welty Collection, containing the manuscripts, correspondence, and photographs of this major American writer.

Tougaloo College's Civil Rights Collection—an invaluable collection of photographs, personal papers, oral histories and other memorabilia relating to the civil rights movement in Mississippi—is on longterm loan and available to researchers at the archives.

Audiovisual Collections

Photographs
WLBT newsfilmThere are more than 100,000 historical images in the photograph collection, including portraits and shots of buildings, scenes, and events from across Mississippi.

Sound Recordings
Over 1,300 sound recordings—oral histories and important events over the last sixty years—are held by the archives. Recordings related to the civil rights era in Mississippi have been digitized and are available in the library’s media reading room.

Film and Video
The archives collects both amateur and professional film and video recordings related to Mississippi. Amateur films feature agricultural and town scenes, parades, and home life. The WLBT Newsfilm Collection offers rare documentary footage of the civil rights movement in the South produced by a Jackson television station from 1954 to 1971. The Citizens' Council Forum Films Collection comprises 15-minute television segments generated by the Mississippi Citizens' Council between 1955 and 1966 to influence public opinion on integration and communism.

Maps

La Florida mapThe map collection dates from 1588 to the present. It documents early exploration of the southeastern United States and Mississippi's development as a territory and state. The collection includes early hand-drawn maps, topographical maps, soil surveys, highway maps, and maps of counties and towns.

Mississippiana

"Mississippiana" describes the other holdings of the archives—books, periodicals, vertical files, and ephemera. The library contains 66,000 volumes addressing almost any aspect of the prehistory and history of Mississippi in its context of the southeastern United States. The archives is the primary repository for Mississippi newspapers, which date back to 1801. The archives also maintains approximately 28,000 subject files of ephemeral material on persons, places, and events in Mississippi history.

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