Research Help

Special Collections includes a variety of resources for researchers including maps, books, periodicals, correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, etc. Not all of these items are found in the library catalog. In order to make our collections findable, we have created various indexes and guides to help researchers find our materials. See below for more information on searching and finding materials in our collections.

Search Books

Special Collections books, periodicals, media, and other items can be found in the library catalog.


Search Manuscripts

In order to organize, store, and provide access to archives and manuscripts, we create finding aids to describe each collection. For example, if a person donates his papers to Special Collections, it becomes a “collection,” and a finding aid is created to outline the topics and types of information contained within that particular set of boxes. 

To search our collections by keyword, go to the Finding Aids page and type your terms into the search box. Alphabetical and subject lists of collections can also be found on this page.


Search University Archives

Because of legal and privacy considerations relating to some materials in the University Archives, please contact Records Management Specialist Joshua Jenkins at or 601.266.5582 for assistance searching and using items in the University Archives.


Search Vertical Files

The Mississippiana Collection maintains a vertical file system that contains pamphlets, clippings, and other materials relating to specific topics, locations, and people in Mississippi. Files can be found using the search field on the Finding Aids page, with biographical and subject indexes found here.

In addition to the Mississippiana vertical files, Special Collections also maintains genealogy vertical files. These files contain biographical information, family trees, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and other items that maybe helpful for genealogy researchers. The vertical files are divided into four sections: states, counties, general information (Native Americans), and Surnames/Locations/General.  To view the indexes to these files, go here.


Search Digital Collections

Curators in Special Collections select items for digitization and for inclusion in The University of Southern Mississippi Digital Collections. Search the collections, here. You can also browse through the collections by clicking on the collection title.


Research Guides

Special Collections curators have created research guides to assist researchers with their research.  A list of guides can be found here.



For assistance finding materials, send an email to Ask-A-Librarian or call 601.266.4345. You can also set up a consultation to meet with a librarian to discuss your topic and the sources available in Special Collections.  To schedule a meeting, complete the Consultation Request Form.