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Mississippi State University Libraries Mississippi State University Libraries Mississippi State University Mississippi State University

Today's hours:

All Special Collections materials (including Manuscripts, Mississippiana & Rare Books, University Archives, and the Congressional & Political Research Center) are available for use by anyone who agrees to abide by the following rules.

Research Rules

Before you arrive:

  • Complete or update a research application form each fiscal year (July 1 - June 30), and make sure you have acceptable identification (MSU ID card, driver's license, or other photo ID). On subsequent visits, you must show ID and sign the register at the reception desk.
  • Check on whether prior arrangements are required for using the materials you need - call (662) 325-7679 or email

While you're here:

  • Store briefcases, books, coats, hats, bags, purses, or other personal property in the provided self-service lockers.
  • Bring only a notebook, loose sheets of note paper, note cards, or other staff-approved materials into the reading room.
  • Use only pencils in the reading room; pens of any kind are prohibited.
  • You may use computers, typewriters, and recording devices, if they do not disturb other researchers, and if there is adequate space for their use.
  • Do not take Special Collections materials out of the reading room.
  • Request items by completing call slips - staff will retrieve it for you.
  • Let us know if you need photocopies of materials. All copying must be done by our staff,
  • Leave any books you've pulled from the genealogical browsing shelves on your table - staff will reshelve it.
  • Be considerate of your fellow researchers and of our rare and unique materials - no loud talking, tobacco, food, gum, or beverages in the reading room.
  • Handle materials carefully:
    • Do not write on, alter, lean on, fold anew, trace, or weight materials.
    • Preserve the existing order and arrangement of unbound materials. Report any disarrangement or missing items immediately to the reading room attendant.
    • Use only one manuscript box at a time. If you need multiple boxes, you must finish one before the reading room attendant will retrieve another.
    • Remove only one folder at a time from the box you're using. Use the provided "OUT" card to mark its place. Leave documents inside folders as you examine them.
    • Ask the reading room attendant for gloves if you need to handle photographs or other fragile materials.

Before you leave:

  • Return all materials to the reading room attendant before leaving the research area.

When using your research:

  • Be aware that the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) provides protection for unpublished materials as well as published works. Permission to publish from or quote from unpublished manuscripts or from published items under copyright must first be obtained from the copyright holder. You assume full responsibility for conforming to copyright laws.
  • Cite materials from our collections as follows:
    [Item Name], [Item Number], The Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana, Mississippi State University Libraries.

Research Application

All fields are required.

  • Check all that apply
  • Class assignment
  • Master's thesis
  • Dissertation
  • Book or article
  • Genealogy or local history
  • Other

Once you've submitted this form, you will receive a confirmation email. Please print it and bring it (along with your photo ID) to Special Collections when you're ready to begin your research.