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Dr. John Calvin Berry Papers

Identifier: M536

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, photographs, and other memorabilia relating to the life and career of Dr. John Calvin Berry, the first African American faculty member at the University of Southern Mississippi.


  • Creation: 1953-2013


Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

Dr. John Calvin Berry was born March 4, 1925 in Yazoo City and served in WWII in the European African theaters in the 646 Quartermaster Truck Company. After serving two years in the war, Dr. Berry completed high school at Alexander High School in Brookhaven Mississippi. He would later receive his Bachelor of Science degree from Alcorn University.

Dr. Berry began his career in education as a school administrator in Jones and Jefferson Counties where he worked for seventeen years. Dr. Berry later accepted the position as Associate Director of a HEW Title IV program based at the University of Southern Mississippi.

In 1970 John Berry became the first African American faculty member at the University of Southern Mississippi when he became employed as an instructor of student teaching. While at USM, Dr. Berry would obtain his Specialist’s Degree in 1973 and his Doctoral Degree in 1976. Dr. John Berry retired in 1985 as an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Research.


1.50 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



The materials in this collection were arranged in two series. The first series is dedicated to Dr. John Berry’s personal life, and includes family photographs, personal artifacts, and various publications. The second series contains materials related to his professional life like correspondence, publications, and photos. Within each box, the folders are arranged alphabetically based on the subject heading.

This collection was minimally processed.


Donated by Patricia Blake, daughter of Dr. Berry. Received July 30, 2018

Related Materials

Related collections held at the University of Southern Mississippi

• AM99-27 Norvin L. Landskov Family Papers

• AM15-75 Dr. James H. McPhail Collection

• AM2001-48 Wayne and Minnie Cox African American History Collection

• M535 Dr. Roy G. Bigelow Collection

Dr. John Calvin Berry Papers
Collection processed and finding aid written by Amanda Abulawi.
March 18, 2019
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001