Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mississippi Biographical Index and More at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History Online

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History archives and library division has several valuable search tools on its website. One very important index that may be searched is the Biographical Index of several volumes, including the massive two-volume set of Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi: Embracing an Authentic and Comprehensive Account of the Chief Events in the History of the State and a Record of the Lives of Many of the Most Worthy and Illustrious Families and Individuals, commonly known as Goodspeed’s.

The biographical index was begun by the Department sometime in the mid-1930s prior to the death in 1937 of Dunbar Rowland, the Department's first director. Much of the indexing was done in the ensuing administration of William D. McCain (1938-1955), with some additional indexing done in the years following. Unfortunately, not all of the index keys have survived completely, but the staff of the Archives and Library Division feel that this index is of sufficient value to preserve its information. This computerized index is the result of the transfer of the index from its original card format to electronic format. Every effort was made by the department to provide as specific an identification of the indexed sources as possible

In addition to the searchable biographical index, the site also has a Mississippi cemetery index by cemetery name and also by county, an index of county court files and county records on microfilm. In addition the site has indices for supreme court case files, freedman’s bureau records, manuscript collections and newspaper holdings by title and county.

Simply visit the archives and library site at, click “online catalog” in the left menu and select the appropriate index under Additional Research Tools.

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