The Special Collections held in the McCain Library
& Archives offer patrons an exciting variety of historical resources
ranging from fifteenth-century illuminated manuscripts to current
Mississippiana and from the Civil War to the civil rights movement.
The Special Collections are home to one of the leading children's literature
collections in the United States, the de Grummond Collection. It
also houses significant manuscript collections, including those of
Theodore G. Bilbo, William M. Colmer, and Paul B. Johnson. Special Collections'
comprehensive collection of Mississippi-related books and periodicals
is a vital resource for the study of the state's history and culture.
In addition, there is a growing collection of resources related
to race relations in Mississippi, including State Sovereignty Commission
records, Freedom Summer photographs, and oral histories. These resources,
and all of Special Collections, are available for use by the
public at the Cleanth Brooks Reading Room in McCain Library
de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
The de Grummond Children's
Literature Collection, one of the leading research centers of
its type, contains manuscripts, illustrations, and over 160,000 published
works associated predominantly with American and British children's literature.
The Special Collections Digital Lab creates research quality digital
collections of texts, images, and audio materials and makes these
collections available to scholars throughout the world. These digital
collections will eventually represent the entire range of Special
Collections materials: historical manuscripts and photographs, children's
literature, Mississippiana, rare books, oral histories, and editorial
cartoons. To search the digital collections, click here.
Our Historical Manuscripts Collection provides primary research material on Mississippi's history and culture from the early days of the Mississippi Territory to the present. Personal and family collections typically consist of letters, diaries, scrapbooks, school and military service records, certificates of achievement, photographs, and newspaper clippings. Business, church, and organizational records frequently contain ledgers, minutes of meetings, anniversary materials, photographs, scrapbooks, and newspaper clippings. Holdings are particularly strong in Mississippi politics, the timber and railroad industries, and the civil rights movement. For more information on these materials, click here.
The University Archives serves as the institutional memory of the multiple campuses of the University of Southern Mississippi by collecting, organizing, and preserving official records, photographs, and other materials that document the University's history. For more information on these materials, click here.
Genealogy materials related to Mississippi are available for patron use in the Cleanth Brooks Reading Room.
Other books that may be helpful with genealogy research are found in the closed stacks. These books may be
located by using the online catalog, or by contacting the reference librarian. In addition to books,
genealogy vertical files which includes family trees, clippings, histories of names/locations, and
other materials are available for researchers. These files are organized by surname and include information
about the surname on local, national, and international levels. All genealogy information not relating to Mississippi
is located in Cook Library.
For more information on conducting Genealogy research at the USM Libraries, click here: How do I find genealogy resources?
The Mississippiana Collection is a comprehensive collection of books, maps, vertical files, state documents, and other materials associated with Mississippi history, culture, and government. For more information on these materials, click here.
Walen Civil War
Ernest A. Walen was a businessman from Gloucester, Massachusetts,
who began collecting materials on the Confederacy and the South in the 1940s. In 1958, he began corresponding with Dr.
William D. McCain concerning membership in the Sons of Confederate
Veterans, and that same year he became an honorary member of Camp
584 in Jackson, Mississippi. Mr. Walen's collection, which was willed
at his death to the University of Southern Mississippi, was received
in October 1969. The Walen Collection contains books, pamphlets,
newspapers, journals, maps, regimental histories, and Confederate
imprints which document the history of such topics as the South,
the Confederate States of America, slavery, Abraham Lincoln, and
the Civil War in general. The collection consists of more than 5,000
volumes, including more than 600 Confederate imprints.
For a complete list of books in the Walen Collection, click here.
Woods Rare Books
The Sam Woods Rare Books Collection consists largely of books published
before 1800, with principal concentration in religion, philosophy,
classics, geography, and history. The collection also includes works
of art, artifacts, and a variety of illuminated manuscripts and
vellum documents. Highlights of the collection include a 1731 Hollman
Atlas, a 15th century Spanish Antiphonal, and a rare copy of John
Calvin's Commentaries on St. Paul's Letters from 1551.
For a complete list of books in the Sam Woods Rare Book Collection, click here.