Research

Maybe you’re a genealogist discovering your family story. A student writing a report. An educator creating a classroom presentation. Or, a curious mind exploring the people, places and events that shaped your Mississippi. You have come to the right place.

Start your search here for many of Mississippi’s historical documents, archival collections, artifacts, buildings, and more. While many of our collections are available online, even more must be viewed in person at the William F. Winter Archives & History Building in Jackson. You can also order copies of historical images, and learn how to make a research request for our staff researchers.

Digital Archives

Digital Archives

Explore online content including photographs, maps, personal documents, interviews, and government records related to historic events and everyday life in Mississippi.
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Genealogy

Genealogy

Follow the story of your family using our extensive collection of historical records. Some of our most commonly used genealogy resources are accessible online, and even more are available for viewing in person at the state archives.  Learn More

Catalog

Catalog

Use the catalog to search our entire archival collection, including a variety of items from books, manuscripts, newspapers, and court documents to oral histories and newsfilm. While most of the materials can only be accessed in the William F. Winter Archives & History Building, the catalog provides links to Digital Archives and research tools.   Search Catalog

Historic Buildings & Sites

Historic Buildings & Sites

Search our database of Mississippi’s historic landmarks and architecture for building photographs, construction dates, architects, builders, National Register listings, and Mississippi Landmark designations. Search Our Database

Collections

Collections

MDAH has been actively collecting and preserving Mississippi history since 1902. Our holdings include archival records, historic objects, and archaeological artifacts that span 13,000 years of Mississippi history.  Learn More

Research at the Winter Building

Research at the Winter Building

Our reading rooms are open to the public at no charge, with experienced staff to assist researchers. The rooms are located on the first floor of the William F. Winter Archives & History Building.

Order Historical Images

The world’s finest collection of images related to Mississippi is housed in the MDAH archives, which includes more than a quarter-million historical photographs, postcards, maps, and other images documenting Mississippi’s people, places, and events. Copies of most of these images may be ordered for a small fee.

You may order digital copies of most items in the collection. Scans of items are produced at 300 or 600 pixels per inch and provided as TIFF files on a CD or placed on a server from which they may be retrieved electronically.

An explanation of costs and fees is available here.

Orders may be picked up at the William F. Winter Archives & History Building without handling fees, mailed to patrons for $3 per order, or placed on a server from which they may be retrieved for $8 per order.

Oversize items may incur additional charges. Items can also be sent via FedEx and billed to an account provided by the patron.

An explanation of costs and fees is available here.

Many patrons prefer to visit the archives and view the actual images before ordering copies. However, it is possible to order copies from the collection without ever coming to the state archives.

Most of the images are not viewable online, but descriptions for all images are listed in the online catalog. Existing digital files may be viewed via links from the online catalog records or on our Digital Archives pages.

To order, print and fill out the Order Form/Invoice. Be sure to include each item’s accession number and box and folder numbers, if available, on the order form.

Mail the completed form with check (payable to MDAH, Archives and Records Services Division) to:

MDAH, Archives and Records Services Division
Attn: Reference Services
P.O. Box 571
Jackson, MS 39205-0571

For more information email us at refdesk@mdah.ms.gov or call 601-576-6876.

The Eudora Welty Collection consists of manuscripts, photographs, printed works, and other materials given to MDAH by Eudora Welty during her lifetime and by her heirs, incorporated as Eudora Welty, LLC, after her death.

While MDAH owns the prints and negatives, copyright to the material is held by Eudora Welty, LLC, and all requests to reproduce images from the Welty Collection must receive its permission. When producing copies, the MDAH standard is to produce from the negative or original item as is. Different specifications for processing must be included in the approval from Eudora Welty, LLC.

Written requests may be submitted to the *agents of Eudora Welty, LLC, directly or to MDAH, which forwards them to the agents or Eudora Welty, LLC. Upon approval of the request from Eudora Welty, LLC, or its agents, an order may be placed with MDAH using our Order Form/Invoice. Completion and submission of a Publication Permission Form is also required because MDAH maintains physical ownership. See the Cost and Fee Schedule for prices. Eudora Welty, LLC, and its agents may assess fees or royalties for publication use. MDAH does not assess use fees for materials from the Welty Collection.

*Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents
27 W. 20th Street, Suite 305
New York, NY 10011
212-352-2055
Contact Max Moorhead at max@mmqlit.com or info@mmqlit.com

MDAH’s extensive film collections are renowned for the coverage of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and life in mid to late twentieth-century Mississippi. Interested in ordering copies of our footage?

Learn more

Make a Research Request

Our Help Desk provides quick answers to basic questions using available reference works and finding aids. We offer assistance in-person at the William F. Winter Archives & History Building or by calling the Ready Reference Help Desk at 601-576-6964 or emailing refdesk@mdah.ms.gov

If your request requires further research, it must be submitted in writing along with the appropriate service fee, which provides for one hour of staff research on your request and up to ten photocopies of material that may be located in the process. If more than ten materials are located, you will be notified before being charged for additional photocopies.

Due to the number of requests we receive, we must limit our search to one hour per request, after which we will send you a letter explaining the results. For more extensive projects, MDAH maintains a list of freelance researchers.

How to submit a written request:
State your question clearly in a letter, including as many details as possible. Mail it with a check or money order payable to “MDAH, Archives and Records Services Division,” to:

MDAH, Archives and Records Services Division
P.O. Box 571
Jackson, MS 39205-0571

Service Fee
Please do not send more than the specified amount.

In-state service fee: $10
In-state requests come from people who live in Mississippi.

Out-of-state service fee: $35
Out-of-state requests come from people who do not live in Mississippi.

Reference MDAH Publications

Together with many of our partners, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History publishes numerous works that can serve as a valuable reference for anyone researching Mississippi’s many stories.

Volunteer

Be part of history. Volunteer with MDAH and help us preserve and connect Mississippi’s rich historic resources with people around the world.


Volunteer