Photographic images, including prints, film negatives, glass negatives and slides are an important historical resource documenting agriculture and rural life in Mississippi. The image collections of Mississippi State University Library are physically located within the individual collections found in the Manuscript and University Archives divisions of the Special Collections Department and the Congressional and Political Research Center. Images found in collections generally provide visual evidence of the activities, interests and collecting activities of the collection creators, thus augmenting and enhancing the textual content of the collections. The number and variety of images in each collection ranges from a single image to thousands of images in many formats. Both the Manuscript and University Archives divisions have General Photograph Collections containing images collected from a variety of sources. The University Archives General Photographs Collection is a significant source of visual information on activities of Mississippi State University, an important historical documentation component of the CHARM project. In addition, University Archives houses large collections of Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Extension Station (MAFES) and Cooperative Extension Services photographs. Congressional and Political Research Center collections, including the Mike Espy Collection, the John C. Stennis Collection, and the David R. Bowen Collection, contain images documenting agricultural and rural life events and personalities.
Historically, indexes and databases within the Special Collections Department have been used to provide access to the MSU Libraries' photographs. Currently, as photographs are digitized, metadata from those indexes and databases is being transferred to the CHARM CONTENTdm digital archive.