This announcement from the Mississippi State University Libraries may be of interest to anyone with Mississippi ancestors:
Historical papers of the Mississippi Republican Party, held by Mississippi State Libraries since 1980, are available online for the first time.
Campaign photographs are among the papers of the Mississippi Republican Party, which now can be searched online through MSU Libraries. Here, Rubel Phillips and his wife Margaret, right, attend a campaign event during one of his two gubernatorial bids in 1963 and 1967. (Submitted photo)
A new finding aid—or descriptive guide—now helps researchers in electronically examining and understanding the content of the collection which dates back to 1928.
Kate Gregory, director of MSU Libraries’ Mississippi Political Collection, said the new online finding aid is “much more user friendly” for perusing the 202 cubic feet of material. MPC gathers relevant materials relating to the state’s political history and the U.S. and makes them available for public use and research. The online site is https://www.library.msstate.edu/mpc/mississippi-republican-party.
“This improvement significantly increases accessibility and discoverability for one of our most unique and comprehensive collections,” she said.
The papers are arranged into 16 topical series focusing on party organization, financial records, presidential elections, state and local elections, election returns and procedures, office files, patronage matters, federal agency contacts and biographical information. Other materials include press releases and clippings, campaign literature, election legislation, the Southern Association of Republican State Chairmen minutes, municipal committee lists and audiovisual items.
According to Gregory, the collection’s historical significance is evident in documentation of such events as the 1976 Republican National Convention that saw the Mississippi delegation at the middle of the intense struggle to decide if then-President Gerald Ford or Ronald Reagan would be the party’s nominee.
“The heavily documented internal rift among party officials had Mississippi front and center because the state held the largest bloc of uncommitted delegates,” she explained.
The papers were opened to public research by MSU Libraries’ MPC in 1984, with additions donated over the following years and the most recent included in 2000. Those interested in conducting research with the materials or donating materials are encouraged to contact MPC faculty and staff to make appointments for information and consultation at 662-325-7663 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MPC, a division of MSU Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections, is located on the fourth floor of Mitchell Memorial Library, 395 Hardy Road. The largest MPC collections are the papers of the late Sen. John C. Stennis and Rep. G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery, both Mississippi natives and MSU graduates whose careers in Congress totaled more than 70 years.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.