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  1. Collection Description
  2. Image Description
  3. Provenance
  4. References
  5. Links

Collection Description

Almost all of the photographs in PI/1996.0006 appear to have been taken in 1914, and the ones in PI/PEN/P37.4 date to the late 1920s through early 1940s. PI/1996.0006 features sixteen photographs of buildings and facilities, including the women's camp, the #5 camp, and the superintendent's residence. PI/PEN/P37.4 features seventy-five photographs (duplicate prints were not scanned) of prisoners engaged in their regular activities: having a meal in front of a residence "cage," playing baseball, washing clothes, plowing with mules, and hoeing cotton, all under the watchful eye of the armed "trusty guards."

Image Description

All of the photographs were described by the curator. An unknown person wrote notes on many of the prints in PI/PEN/P37.4; these appear in quotation marks. Descriptions may be accessed through keyword search on the Web site and by subject headings through the MDAH online catalog.


PI/1996.0006 was donated to MDAH in 1996 by Pam Gladney of D'Lo, Mississippi, who reported the photographs were originally owned by James Franklin Thames of Mendenhall, Mississippi (superintendent of the penitentiary at Parchman 1935-1939). Provenance for PI/PEN/P37.4 is unknown.


Cooley, Ruby E. 1981. A History of the Mississippi Penal Farm System, 1890-1935: Punishment, Politics, and Profit in Penal Affairs. M.A. thesis, University of Southern Mississippi.

Oshinsky, David M. 1996. "Worse Than Slavery": Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice. New York: Free Press.

Parchman Collections PI/1996.0006 and PI/PEN/P37.4 Control Folders, Image and Sound Section, Archives and Records Services Division, MDAH.