Mississippi State Government

General Sources

Historic Mississippi Constitutions Browse images of original 1817, 1832, 1868, 1890 Constitutions via Mississipi Dept. of Archives & History (MDAH). 

Search printed transcriptions in PDF of 1817, 1832, 1868, and 1890  constitutions via Mississippi College School of Law Library's "Mississipi Resources" page.

Official and Statistical Register (2012-2016 online edition) contains current, historical, and statistical information about officials, agencies, and elections. For older print editions, use these online catalog records to locate volumes:

Records of the States of the United States [Mississippi] Microfilm compilation by the Library of Congress. Includes:Journal of the Upper House (1819-1867); Journal of the Lower House (1803-1867); Miss. Codes and Compilations (1807-1824); Session Laws (1799-1837); Constitutional Records (1817-1868); Collected Public Documents (1886-1895); Appendix to Journals (1870-1885); Auditor's Record, Treasurer's Record (1801-1833).  View guide online:  Guide to the Microfilm Collection of Early State Records.

WPA Source Material for Mississippi History.  87 reel microfilm collection of county histories compiled by WPA workers from 1936-38.

Newspapers

Newspapers are a valuable resource in documenting the actions of government. The library has an extensive collection of Mississippi papers on microfilm. Use the Mississippi Newspapers on Microfilm Database to search for newspapers held on microfilm by city, county, and year.

Consult this Special Collections Finding Aid  for bound copies of newspapers (1823-1990) (178 volumes).

There is very limited access to full text or to indexing of these papers.  The library holds the Clarion Ledger Index in print from 1979-1996, while the Jackson-Hinds Public Library offers an online index for 1985-1995.  The Clarion Ledger website offers a free search of its archives back to November 2002, with some free abstracts. 

The Newspaper Source Database  indexes 40 smaller U.S. papers, including Tupelo's Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (2003 -  ) and the Commercial Appeal  (1997- ).

The Readex: Early American Newspapers (series 6) database covers  several Natchez papers from 1825 to1832 and Vicksburg from 1877 to 1882. 

Consult the U.S. Newspaper List: Mississippi for a comprehensive list of current Mississippi newspaper websites. 

Executive Branch

Department Reports: State of Mississippi. (catalog record) Bound biennial reports of state agencies from 1870 to 1965. 

For later reports search online catalog by agency.

Search agency websites for latest reports online.

Legislature

Mississippi House Journal (1817- ) and Mississippi Senate Journal (1817- )  [catalog records]

The Journals are summaries of daily floor action, not transcripts of debates, and include attendance and votes cast.  Use Records of the States (microfilm) as backup for volumes missing from print collection.

Laws:

Laws of Mississippi 1799-2012; Including the Territory of Mississippi (1799-1817)  via HeinOnline database [on-campus access only]

Laws of Mississippi  Catalog record for printed copies from 1823 to present.

Judiciary

Resources in Archives & Special Collections

Modern Political Archives:  Print Resources

Modern Political Archives: Online Resources.

Use menus to find specific sources about state government in general and by branch 

Modern Political Archives:  Politics and Government.

Use menus to find manuscript and other primary sources. .

Census/Tax Rolls

Census: 

The library has census schedules for Mississippi on microfilm from 1820 through 1930, filed under 'U.S. Bureau of the Census."  The 1940 Census is available free online at the National Archives website.

The federal documents collection has a comprehensive collection of printed reports for all states for all decennial population and economic censuses from 1790 forward.  These give summary statistics at various geographic levels for topics covered in that census.  The major decennial population reports are available online from the Census Bureau. 

In addition to the federal decennial censuses, individual states conducted censuses, often gathering more detailed information.  The Library has Mississippi "state censuses" for 1840 and 1880 as well as the 1816 territorial census in microfiche.  [catalog record]  This collection is based on State Censuses: an Annotated Bibliography of Censuses of Population Taken after the year 1790 by States and Territories of the United States (1948) by Henry J. Dubester and available full text via HathiTrust.

Mississippi County Tax Rolls (1818-1902) 35 reel collection of microfilmed tax rolls for land and personal property.  Library also has separate collection of Tax Rolls for Lafayette County.

Use this catalog keyword search [genealogy sources Mississippi] to find other specific resources in print and microfilm, such as cemetery, marriage, wills, etc. as well as the enumerated censuses.