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Collections held by the Manuscripts division primarily document Mississippi from the early 19th century to the present. Types of records include individual and family papers, business records, architectural drawings, audio-visual recordings, photographs, maps and artifacts.

Photographic images, including prints, film negatives, glass negatives and slides are an important historical resource documenting agriculture and rural life in Mississippi. The image collections of Mississippi State University Library are physically located within the individual collections found in the Manuscript and University Archives divisions of the Special Collections Department and the Congressional and Political Research Center.

The University Archives Division of the Special Collections Department is the official repository for University files, publications, photographs, audiovisual materials and memorabilia.

The Special Collections Department contains an extensive collection of maps, atlases, charts, plats, birds-eye-views, aerial photographs and surveys documenting agriculture and rural life subjects such as the division of Mississippi lands, the development and growth of Mississippi towns, cities and counties, and topics such as agriculture, soils, railroads, waterways, politics and literature.

The Library's collection of Mississippiana, published materials by and about Mississippi and Mississippians, contains materials that can be used for researching agriculture and rural life during all periods of Mississippi history.

Mississippiana materials:

The Mississippi State University College of Forest Resources' Cully A. Cobb Antique Tool Museum contains over 350 antique woodworking tools, farm implements, and household equipment