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Fully appreciating the Mississippi of today requires understanding the rural, agricultural roots upon which the state has grown.

Life on farms and in rural communities in years past has shaped not only the state's economic development but its social, cultural, and physical environment as well. Decades of scientific research and professional practice have laid the foundation for the productive and environmentally responsible agricultural and forestry industries of today and tomorrow.

Access to documents and artifacts that chronicle the history of agriculture, forestry, and rural life in Mississippi provides a rich resource for historians, scientists, and interested citizens. Mississippi State University's heritage as a land-grant institution uniquely qualifies the university to collect, preserve, and provide access to these important historical materials.

The Consortium for the History of Agricultural and Rural Mississippi (CHARM) has been established at MSU as a single location to preserve these materials and make them accessible in a setting where large collections of other, more general information about Mississippi and its past are already available for public scholarship.