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History of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Library

Identifier: M626

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a copy of a paper titled “A Brief History of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Library and its Predecessors” written by William F. Mears circa 1972. There is also a handwritten note at the end of the paper addressed to “Henry”.


  • circa 1972


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

The paper in this collection written by William F. Mears, “A Brief History of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Library and its Predecessors” chronicles the history of the university’s library beginning with the opening of the school in 1912. Mears begins by discussing the first funds appropriated to the University for Purchasing Books for the library, and then discusses some of the library’s early accessions obtained from those funds. The paper also contains information about the first individuals employed during the early years of the library’s opening. Some of these individuals include Mr. J.N. McMillin an English professor who ran the library when it first opened, Mrs. Pearl Travis who was the college’s librarian for thirteen years, W.F. Bond, and Miss Maggie D. Campbell to name a few. The paper also includes images of the early layout plans for the library. Mears also briefly discusses some of the early collections acquired by special collections during the library’s inception. Information on university archives is provided as well as information on collections such as, The Theodore Bilbo Collection, The William M. Colmer Collection, The Lena Y. De Grummond Collection, The Mississippi Collection, Mississippi State Documents, The Southern Literature Collection, The Earnest A. Walen Collection and The Sam Woods Collection. William Mears’ paper would be helpful to any researcher interested in the early founding of the University of Southern Mississippi’s library.


1 Item

Language of Materials



History of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Library, written in 1972.


The contents of the collection are arranged in the order in which they were received.


Donated by Dr. Onva Boshears. Received December 4, 2015.

Related Materials

AM06-4 Southern Book Arts Collection

M267 Lura Gibbons Currier Papers

M548 James and Patsy Causey Photographs


The following is a handwritten note on the last page of the paper from the author to “Henry”. “I realize that proper credit to the supporting role of Dr. McCain & the role of Dr. Tracy have been very much neglected. Additional information detailing the special collections is also needed. I am also sure that there is a great deal that might be embellished, corrected and omitted by in the short time I worked on this, it was the best I could do.”


• Case File

• Contents from the collection

History of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Library
Collection processed and finding aid written by Amanda Abulawi
22 June 2020
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001