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Politics and Government (Archives): Congressional Collections

Congressional Collections

Thomas Gerstle Abernethy CollectionA Democrat, Thomas G. Abernethy served in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1943 and 1973, where he was a member of the Committee on Agriculture, the Committee on Education and Labor, and the District of Columbia Committee.  The collection contains congressional papers from throughout his term in office.  444 boxes.  Patrons should provide notice at least two business days prior to prospective visits so that staff may transfer requested boxes from the Library Annex (an off-site facility) to the Special Collections Reading Room. Please contact Special Collections at (662) 915-7408 to specify requested material.  Photographs and a recording are available online as a digital collection.

William Thad Cochran Collection.  A Republican, Thad Cochran represented Mississippi in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1973 to 1978 and in the U.S. Senate from 1978 to 2018. He chaired the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, the Committee on Appropriations, and the Senate Republican Conference.  The Thad Cochran Collection is closed to researchers until 2033.

Ross Alexander Collins Collection.  Ross A. Collins, a Democrat, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1921 to 1935 and from 1937 to 1943.  The collection consists of one scrapbook donated containing photographs and autographs of prominent individuals, as well as one box of copied papers regarding Collins’ efforts to have the Library of Congress acquire the Vollbehr Collection of Incunabula (the Library of Congress holds the original correspondence).  2 boxes.  Patrons should provide notice at least two business days prior to prospective visits so that staff may transfer requested boxes from the Library Annex (an off-site facility) to the Special Collections Reading Room. Please contact Special Collections at (662) 915-7408 to specify requested material.

James Oliver Eastland Collection.  In 1941, James O. Eastland accepted an appointment to fill the vacancy left in the U.S. Senate by the death of Pat Harrison. Mississippi elected Eastland to the Senate in 1943, a post the Democrat held until 1978. He served on the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry and was chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary.  Patrons should provide notice at least two business days prior to prospective visits so that staff may transfer requested boxes from the Library Annex (an off-site facility) to the Special Collections Reading Room. Please contact Special Collections at (662) 915-7408 to specify requested material.  A small selection of items from the collection are available as a digital collection.

Featherston Collection.  A Democrat, Winfield Scott Featherston served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1847 to 1851. During the Civil War, he received a brigadier general commission in the Confederate Army.  After the war, Featherston sat in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1876 to 1880, attended the Democratic National Convention in 1880 as a delegate, and was a member of the 1890 Mississippi Constitutional Convention.  The Featherston Collection consists of sixteen boxes of material from 1825 to 1952, with the majority dating between the 1840s and 1880s. Although the collection contains a number of politically-related items, none appears connected to his congressional service in Washington.  18 boxes.

Pat Harrison Collection.  A Democrat, Pat Harrison served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1911 to 1919 and in the U.S. Senate from 1919 to 1941. He was chair of the Committee on Finance and served as President Pro Tempore during the Seventy-Seventh Congress.  116 boxes.  Patrons should provide notice at least two business days prior to prospective visits so that staff may transfer requested boxes from the Library Annex (an off-site facility) to the Special Collections Reading Room. Please contact Special Collections at (662) 915-7408 to specify requested material.  Twenty-six original Clifford K. Berryman political cartoons featuring Senator Harrison are available in the Berryman digital collection.  Photographs from the Pat Harrison Collection are available in the Harrison digital collection.

L.Q.C. Lamar Collection.  Lamar served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1857 to 1860 and again from 1873 to 1877. He represented Mississippi in the U.S. Senate from 1877 until 1885.  Lamar was a delegate at the Mississippi Secession Convention of 1860 and held the office of lieutenant colonel in the Confederate Army until 1862 when he entered the Confederate diplomatic service. Lamar served as a delegate at Mississippi’s Constitutional Conventions in 1865, 1868, 1875, 1877, and 1881.  President Cleveland appointed him Secretary of the Interior (1885-1888) and then Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1888-1893).  The L.Q.C. Lamar Collection consists of fifty-three photocopied items, mostly letters from Lamar to Oxford resident E.D. Clark dating from 1868 to 1885. 1 box.

Trent Lott Collection.  A Republican, Trent Lott served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1973 to 1988, attaining the office of minority whip. Lott represented Mississippi in the U.S. Senate between 1989 and 2007, where he held the office of party whip, majority leader, and minority leader. Lott also chaired the Committee on Rules and Administration.  Although the Trent Lott Collection is closed to researchers until 2033, selected recordings from the collection are available as a digital collection.

John Elliott Rankin.  A Democrat, John Rankin was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1921 to 1953, where he served on the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and chaired the Committee on World War Veterans’ Legislation. Rankin was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1932, 1936, and 1940.  The John Rankin Collection is currently closed to researchers while archivists process the papers.

E. C. Walthall Collection.  Appointed as a Democrat to fill the seat left vacant by L.Q.C. Lamar, Edward Carey Walthall served in the U.S. Senate from 1885 to 1894 when he resigned for ill health. Reelected, he served again from 1895 to 1898. Walthall chaired both the Committee on Military Affairs and the Committee on Revolutionary Claims.  Materials in the collection range from 1837 to 1898. Only a few of the items date from Walthall’s congressional years.

Roger F. Wicker Collection.  A Republican, Roger F. Wicker served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2007. He has represented Mississippi in the U.S. Senate since 2007. In the House, Wicker became deputy whip and member of the Republican Policy Committee. He also served on the House Appropriations Committee. From 2015 to 2017, he chaired the National Republican Senatorial Committee.  The Roger F. Wicker Collection is currently closed to researchers.

Jamie Whitten Collection.   A Democrat, Jamie L. Whitten represented Mississippi in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1941 to 1995, where he served as co-chair of the Joint Committee on Budget Control and chair of the Committee on Appropriations. Whitten was a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1931 to 1932.  Most of the Jamie L. Whitten Collection is open to researchers, although portions are closed as the archives continues to process the collection.  Patrons should provide notice at least two business days prior to prospective visits so that staff may transfer requested boxes from the Library Annex (an off-site facility) to the Special Collections Reading Room. Please contact Special Collections at (662) 915-7408 to specify requested material.  All the recordings are now available as a digital collection.

William M. Whittington Collection.  A Democrat, Whittington served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1925 to 1951, where he sat on the Committee on Public Works and chaired the Committee on Flood Control. He was a member of the Greenwood, Mississippi city council from 1907 to 1911; a member of the Mississippi Senate from 1916 to 1920 and again from 1923 to 1924; and a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1920, 1928, 1936, 1940, and 1948.  Material in the collection dates from 1897 to 1962.  316 boxes.  Patrons should provide notice at least two business days prior to prospective visits so that staff may transfer requested boxes from the Library Annex (an off-site facility) to the Special Collections Reading Room. Please contact Special Collections at (662) 915-7408 to specify requested material.

John Sharp Williams Collection.  Williams served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1893 to 1909, where the Democrat was minority leader and chair of the Committee on Party Leaders. Williams sat in the U.S. Senate from 1911 to 1923.  He served on the Committee on the Library and the Committee on the University of the United States and chaired the Committee to Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses.  Williams’ biographer, George Coleman Osborn, accumulated the material in the John Sharp Williams Collection. Consisting of eleven boxes, the material dates from 1887 to 1932. Many of the letters are copies of originals.  11 boxes.  Patrons should provide notice at least two business days prior to prospective visits so that staff may transfer requested boxes from the Library Annex (an off-site facility) to the Special Collections Reading Room. Please contact Special Collections at (662) 915-7408 to specify requested material.

Other Library Resources

Other Library Resources

"Hail to the Chief!: An Exhibit on Presidents and Mississippi in Presidential Elections" is available online with full-text scans for many of the display items.

For assistance with non-archival resources, see the following subject guides for the main library:  Political Science, United States History, Mississippi State Government,  and U.S. Federal Documents & Resources.

The library has created a searchable database on its Mississippi Newspaper holdings.  Search by text, year, city, or county to find newspaper titles, time span in the library's possession, and a link to the catalog record.