Special Collections Donations
Donate to Special Collections
Special Collections at The University of Southern Mississippi welcomes gifts of books, documents, organizational records, photographs, and other materials that complement our research collections. We carefully organize and preserve our materials to serve the needs of current researchers, as well as future scholars. In addition, we also accept monetary donations to support programming, organizing and preserving materials, staffing, fellowships, technology, and purchasing resources for the collections. All resources donated to Special Collections are tax-deductible and are used to serve the needs of students and scholars at The University of Southern Mississippi and around the world. Special Collections, University Libraries, and Southern Miss are 501(c)(3) organizations.
Collections and Contacts
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 collections 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 about these collections, contact Lorraine A. Stuart at or 601.266.4117.
The University Archives serves as the institutional memory of all 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 about this collection, contact Lorraine A. Stuart at or 601.266.4117.
The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection is one of North America's leading research centers in the field of children's literature. Although the Collection has many strengths, the focus is on American and British children's literature, both historical and contemporary. Founded in 1966 by Dr. Lena Y. de Grummond, the Collection holds the original manuscripts and illustrations of more than 1,300 authors and illustrators, as well as 180,000+ published books dating from 1530 to the present.
For more information about this collection, contact Ellen Ruffin at or 601.266.6543.
The Rare Book Collection is comprised of materials relating to the history of the South, the Civil War, the history of printing, philosophy, and religion, among other topics. Special Collections has 3500 books that belonged to Cleanth Brooks, a leading literary critic of the twentieth century and cofounder of the Southern Review. This collection contains materials relating to literary criticism, poetry, Southern literature, and Romanticism. The Sam Woods Rare Book Collection consists largely of books published before 1800 with principal concentration in religion, philosophy, classics, geography, and history. Highlights of the collection include a 1731 Hollman Atlas and a rare copy of John Calvin’s Commentaries on St. Pauls’ Letters from 1551.
The Mississippiana Collection is a comprehensive collection of books about Mississippi, by and about Mississippians, and/or published in Mississippi. As such, it constitutes a vital resource for the study of Mississippi history and culture. The collection includes books from important literary figures like William Faulkner to lesser known writers like Carl Corley or Elliott Chaze. In addition, Mississippiana includes books documenting the history and genealogy of Mississippi communities and the people of the state. A new and important collecting area is the Mississippi cookbook collection which documents the food culture and history of the Magnolia State.
For more information about these collections, contact Jennifer Brannock at or 601.266.4347.
Special Collections collects and preserves books – old and new – for researchers today and in the future. We are happy to talk to you about donations and will schedule a visit to review the materials if possible.
The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collections accepts donations of books intended for children (ages 0 – 18), as well as reference books relating to children’s literature. These include historical books as well as items published in recent years. To inquire about donating children’s books to the de Grummond Collections, contact Ellen Ruffin at or 601.266.6543.
The Mississippiana Collections preserves all books related to Mississippi and Mississippians. With growing collections of cookbooks, Mississippi novels, local history, and genealogical materials, we are always looking for items that help us preserve the history and culture of the state.
The Rare Book Collection serves as a catch-all for materials that provide insight into southern literature, history, printing history, and other topics that prove valuable to students and researchers. For more information about donating to the Mississippiana and Rare Book Collections, contact Jennifer Brannock at or 601.266.4347.
We welcome manuscript gifts that support our collecting mission. The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection accepts manuscripts, correspondence, photographs and other materials relating to the production and history of children’s literature and its history. Historical Manuscripts collects diaries, correspondence, photographs, ephemera and other materials that document the history of Mississippi, while the University Archives gathers all things relating to the history of The University of Southern Mississippi.
We are happy to talk to you about donations and will schedule a visit to review the materials if possible. If you are curious about the suitability of your materials, please feel free to contact Special Collections staff with your questions. We would love to talk to you about your treasures.
Monetary donations and bequests are sincerely appreciated. Special Collections uses such donations to preserve the rare and unique materials in our care to support programming, organizing and preserving materials, staffing, and purchasing resources for the collections. We are happy to work with you on the terms of your donation, bequest, or annuities.
Planned giving is a wonderful way to establish a lasting legacy that will provide resources and services for future generations. These gifts can be made to honor or memorialize a loved one, colleague or mentor. We accept cash, appreciated securities, life insurance, retirement plan assets, real estate, and tangible personal property.
To donate money to Special Collections, go to the USM Foundation page for University Libraries.
On the Foundation’s giving form, you can donate to one of several funds that support Special Collections. In the “Designations” section, click on one of the following funds to make your donation.
de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection Endowment (0679)
This fund provides money to purchase items for the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection.
McCain Library and Archives Endowment (0837)
This fund provides money to purchase items for the Mississippiana and Rare Book Collections.
Ezra Jack Keats Endowment (0894)
This fund provides travel money for researchers to visit the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection in Special Collections.
H.A. and Margret Rey Curious George Fund (1106)
This fund helps fund travel to those researching in the H.A. and Margret Rey Collection.
· Business collections
· Church collections
· Civil rights collections
· Genealogy or family collections
· Hattiesburg, MS collections
· LGBTQIA collections
· Literary collections
· Military collections
· Organization collections
· Women’s rights collections
The following are considered permanent, archival records and should be sent to the University Archives to preserve our institutional memory:
· Accreditation records
· Annual reports
· Calendars and appointment logs – President, Provost, Vice Presidents
· Formal correspondence
· Event and conference files
· Executive orders
· Form history files
· Meetings, minutes, and agendas for senior level offices
· Closed meeting minutes
· Organizational charts
· Photographs documenting University people, events, or locations
· Plans and planning records
· Policies and procedures
· Press Releases
· Publication files, production files, and graphics
· Speeches and papers
· Strategic plans
· University personnel biographical information, such as vitas or biographical summaries
If you have questions about these or other records, please contact Lorraine A. Stuart at or 601.266.4117.
de Grummond Children’s Literature
A list to de Grummond’s most wanted items can be found here.
Rare Books & Mississippiana
· Mississippi cookbooks published before 1965
· The Laurel Cook Book
· Cookbooks by African American churches in Mississippi
· Civil rights publications about Mississippi from the 1960s and 1970s
· Publications relating to the purported alien abduction in Pascagoula in 1972
· Menus from Mississippi restaurants
All donations to Special Collections are tax-deductible. Personnel are unable to perform appraisals of material gifts. Should you wish to value your donation for tax purposes, we will make your materials available to a professional appraiser for your choosing. Please contact Special Collections staff for questions about this process.