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03/19/2018

Image of the Buys family
Image of Dr. David Buys and Stephen Cunetto

Mississippi State University Libraries’ Special Collections is pleased to announce the donation of the Luther and Fannye Rhodes WWII Letters Collection from the Buys family.

The Luther and Fannye Rhodes WWII Letters Collection, donated by Rhodes’ grandson Dr. David Buys of the Department of Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion on behalf of the extended Rhodes family, is composed of over 100 letters written by Luther Rhodes to his wife during World War II. The letters, which date from approximately 1943 to 1949, encompass Rhodes’ military experience, including his time in Burma and North Africa.

When asked why Buys thought this was the right time to donate the collection to the MSU Libraries he said, “No one in our family as served in the military since granddaddy did in WWII until very recently when three of his great-grandchildren whom he never met have joined the Marines. Given the military significance of this collection, it only seemed right to move forward with this donation in memory of grandmother and granddaddy and in honor of the newest generation in our family who will serve our country well- Private First Class Coltan Wofford, Marine Recruit Austin Davis and Marine Recruit Brady Davis.”

This collection expands and compliments the Libraries’ existing holdings of World War II letters, which include the Stewart “Bebe” Bridgforth Collection and the Ottis Ballard and Jessie Dola Stephenson Collection. These three collections are notable because they contain letters from a soldier at the front as well as from family at home. Bridgforth served as an officer in Germany and France, while Ballard was an in the infantry in Africa and Italy, and Rhodes, a former telephone company employee, worked to set up infrastructure to support troop movements.

During the ceremony accepting the papers, Jennifer McGillan, Coordinator of Manuscripts, said, “We are very pleased to accept these papers and to add them to our growing collection of military related collections preserved in the MSU Libraries.” She added “these papers will be used many students and researchers for years to come.”

The collection will be available to the public when it has been fully processed. For more information, please contact Special Collections http://lib.msstate.edu/specialcollections.