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  Special Collections Operational Procedures

During the Fall 2020, Special Collections will be open by appointment only. The number of researchers will be limited to 3 per hour.

To reserve time in the Special Collections reading rooms, please contact or call (662) 325-7679.

Celebrating Black History: MSU Libraries to digitize records of enslaved Mississippians for the first time

Mississippi State University Libraries is helping create the state's first institutionally supported digital database intended to give greater access to legal records identifying victims of slavery. This undertaking compiles a wealth of 19th-century documents from across the South and, upon completion, will provide a fully text-searchable, indexed collection containing digital images of original documents that include individuals' names and detailed physical descriptions.

MSU receives papers of veteran journalist and alum Randy Bell

A ceremony at Mississippi State University on Friday [Jan. 17] honored the career of Mississippi's most award-winning radio journalist and MSU alumnus Randy Bell, whose work will be housed at the university's Mitchell Memorial Library.

Veteran journalist Randy Bell to donate papers to MSU Friday

A Mississippi State alumnus and veteran journalist is donating his papers to the university's Mitchell Memorial Library during a Friday [Jan. 17] ceremony. MSU will honor Randy Bell's 45-year-career at 2 p.m. in the library's third-floor John Grisham Room. The event is open to the public.

MSU Libraries participate in creating digital exhibit focusing on enslaved people in the Southeast

Mississippi State University Libraries is one of 37 libraries participating in The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) new digital exhibit created and curated by the ASERL Special Collections Interest Group. This collaborative online exhibit documents the history of the enslaved in the Southeast and includes material related to the many varied aspects of enslavement, including paper documents and records as well as images.

MSU Libraries, veterans to honor soldiers with historical letter presentation

Mississippi State University Libraries will commemorate Veterans Day with a reading of soldiers' correspondence from World War I and II. Free and open to all, "Through the Lines: Letters from Home and the Front, 1917-1945" takes place Nov. 11 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the John Grisham Room on the third floor of Mitchell Memorial Library. Read by current veterans and volunteers from MSU's G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Center for America's Veterans, selected correspondence includes material from the Earl Southworth Williford Collection and the Lt. Col. Rollins Armstrong Collection, among others.

Citizens' Council Radio Forum digital collection

Mississippi State University Libraries is launching a new digital collection of Citizens' Council Radio Forum recordings, along with corresponding transcripts. A $25,000 digitization grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources' Recordings at Risk program provided funds for 269 original Citizens' Council Forum shows to be preserved and made available online.

Gatsby Gala Model

When Mississippi State University Libraries' Templeton Ragtime and Jazz Festival returns next Thursday-Saturday [March 30-April 1], patrons of Mitchell Memorial Library will travel back to the 1920s and experience what many consider one of the most fascinating eras in American culture.

MaxxSouth Logo

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Two gifts from MaxxSouth Broadband, a subsidiary of the media holding company, Block Communications, Inc., are benefitting Mississippi State University and the expansion of Mitchell Memorial Library’s Digital Media Center and the Special Collections department.

After The War display

Featured in the display are a variety of treasures from the Mississippi State University Libraries Special Collections, drawn from the Manuscripts, Mississippiana, University Archives and Rare Books divisions. The exhibit, which is intended to complement the Ragtime festival (but will stay up after Ragtime is concluded), is focused on the decade between the end of what was then known as the Great War and before what was, for Mississippi, a cause of great devastation: the Great Flood of 1927.

Bridgforth Family

Mississippi State University Libraries Special Collections are pleased to announce the donation of multiple collections from the Bridgforth family of Pickens, MS, including: Stewart “Bebe” Bridgforth; Dr. A. B. Holder; and Sarah B. Holder Stewart.

According to Jennifer McGillan, Coordinator, Manuscripts Division, “The collections span the 19th and 20th centuries and include materials from as nearby as campus and as far away as Europe and South America.” She added “These collections, while only being in the library for a short time, have already been of interest to multiple members of the History Department. Most notably, the Dr. A.B. Holder collection will be the subject of a presentation at a national conference in the field of History of Medicine in the spring.”

We Have Been Believers    02/09/2017
We have been Believers

MSU Libraries exhibit highlights African-American life in Mississippi from 1835-1970

Mississippi State University’s Mitchell Memorial Library is excited to announce its new exhibit, “WE HAVE BEEN BELIEVERS”: AFRICAN AMERICAN LIFE IN MISSISSIPPI, 1835-1970.” Located on the second floor of the library, the exhibit showcases items from Mississippi State University Special Collections that represent the lives of African Americans in Mississippi in the 19th and 20th centuries, with an emphasis on education, business, civil rights, and African American Mississippi writers.

Out of This World ad

Astrophotography is the art of photographing anything not on this earth. Subjects include planets, the sun, the moon, asteroids, comets, the Milky Way galaxy, other galaxies, satellites and vast numbers of intriguing, nebulous objects such as dust clouds, planetary nebulae and super novae remnants. Astrophotography also requires lengthy exposure times to capture faint objects in space. These exposure times range from minutes to hours, so that the astrophotographer must rely on polar mounts, fast optics and sensitive photographic media.

Talmage Boston ad

Mitchell Memorial Library’s Fall exhibit celebrates Mississippi State University’s Homecoming tradition. MSU’s Homecoming was originally instituted as Dad’s Day in 1921 by President Hull, and was formed as a way for the faculty and staff to meet the fathers of their students and to allow the fathers the opportunity know the place where their sons would call home for four years. The first Dad’s Day football game was played in December against LSU. By 1937 the name of the event was changed to Homecoming and the Homecoming football games were moved to October shortly after. The first Homecoming Queen, Virginia Barfield, was elected in 1950 in a Homecoming Queen pageant.

Talmage Boston ad

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Talmage Boston, a prominent Texas attorney and historian, will be the featured speaker Sept. 15 for a special fall-semester event at Mississippi State.

Boston will discuss his new book, “Cross-Examining History: A Lawyer Gets Answers from the Experts About our Presidents,” during a 7 p.m. presentation at MSU’s Mitchell Memorial Library. The book is set for release in early September by Houston-based Bright Sky Press.

Hood Papers signing

MSU President Mark E. Keenum officially accepts papers of legendary Mississippi newspaper columnist and Vicksburg native Orley Mason Hood Jr., who died in 2014. Making the donation are wife Mary Ann Hood, and two sons, Tucker and Hunter Hood. The papers are becoming part of the Mississippi Journalism Collection housed in Mitchell Memorial Library’s Special Collections Department Manuscripts Division. Photo Credit: Megan Bean | Public Affairs

Charles H. Templeton, Sr. Music Museum

History and genealogy enthusiasts are invited to attend an all-day event featuring a variety of sessions, workshops, and research opportunities.

Resources including microfilm machines, online databases and assistance from librarians in genealogy research will be available to attendees.

MSU Libraries In Bloom    05/11/2016
In Bloom Exhibit

The Mississippi State University Libraries Special Collections Department is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit entitled IN BLOOM: A Celebration of Botany and Horticulture.

Included in the display are a variety of treasures from the Mississippi State University Libraries Special Collections, drawn from the Manuscripts, Rare Books and Mississippiana departments, the University Archives, and the Congressional and Political Research Center. Highlights include an emblem book dating from 1590; two magnificently illustrated monographs featuring plants, butterflies and hummingbirds; and several photographs from both Manuscripts Division collections and the Cooperative Extension and Mississippi Agriculture and Experiment Station collections, held by the University Archives.

MaxxSouth Logo

Starkville, MS (April 13, 2016) – MaxxSouth Broadband — a provider of high-speed Internet, cable TV and phone services in northern Mississippi – has committed gift-in kind support to the Mississippi State University Foundation valued at $750,000 as part of the company’s continued commitment to higher education in the region.

New Exhibit Pays Tribute to The Southern Literary Trail

The Southern Literary Trail is the focus of Mitchell Memorial Library’s latest 2nd floor exhibit. Established in 2005, the Southern Literary Trail connects three Southern states—Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia—in celebrating the lives, inspiration, and literary works of prominent Southern writers. The trail features a selection of authors’ homes and home towns and in some cases, buildings that inspired an author’s works such as the Monroe County, Alabama Courthouse that plays prominently in Harper Lee’s Too Kill A Mockingbird.

Rare Book Collection

The collection comprises 59 publications that are finely bound in 45 volumes—making it the largest known number of rare Mississippi Territorial imprints published prior to 1817. The donation was assembled from the private library of John Robinson Block, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade. The Blade and Post-Gazette, like MaxxSouth, are subsidiaries of Block Communications.

Civil Rights

MISSISSIPPI STATE, MISS. – February 4, 2016 – Mitchell Memorial Library’s current exhibit, “Honoring Civil Rights in Mississippi” highlights some of Mississippi’s Civil Rights leaders on both a state and local level throughout various times in Mississippi’s history. The exhibit features items from the Douglas Conner Papers, Robert and Sadye Weir Papers, Dr. Richard Holmes Papers, Dorothy Bishop Papers and vertical file ephemera from various organizations at Mississippi State University. The exhibit consists of photographs, newspaper clippings, awards, pamphlets and other ephemera documenting the work of these leaders and organizations around the state, Starkville and Mississippi State University.