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Stroll through Mississippi’s Literary, Social, Political History

And Enjoy Archival Treasures of Ole Miss on Display Until January

Ty Cobb Autographed Baseball
Ty Cobb Autographed Baseball

Rare baseballs signed by Ty Cobb and Ted Williams collected, medieval manuscripts, or 78-rpm recordings by blues legend Robert Johnson, all are part of an exhibit of historical treasures held in Ole Miss collections.

The opportunity to relive some great Mississippi moments is displayed in 18 cases by the Department of Archives and Special Collections at the Ole Miss Library.  The exhibit of historic artifacts representing some of the University’s most unique and interesting pieces has been on display since April and closes on January l.

“Preserving our past: highlights from Achieves & Special Collections” features many treasures including rare and highly collectable autographed baseballs once owned by legendary Mississippian, William “Fish-bait” Miller, recordings by bluesman Robert Johnson and medieval manuscripts.  “The collection has a little something for everyone, said Jennifer Ford, head of Achieves and Special Collection and associate professor.

“We chose items from our collections that each of the curators felt were highlights from each unit and specialty,” she said.

Among usual items in the exhibition are letters by Belle Edmondson, a female Confederate spy and a piece of the shack in which bluesman Muddy Waters grew up. Literary cases devoted to William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Ellen Douglas, Larry Brown, Barry Hanna and Willie Morris are also in the display.  Bronze busts of John Falkner, William Faulkner, Stark Young and B.B. King are included as well as one of King’s guitars, he calls Lucille.

One display case is dedicated to Civil Rights leaders’ Episcopal priest Duncan Gray Jr. and university chaplain Wofford Smith illustrates the hardship the two men faced as well as support they received from individuals such as Faulkner, who wrote a letter to Rev. Gray. The brief, handwritten note, is on display.

“It’s a wonderful exhibit, and we really enjoyed putting it together”, Ms. Ford said.

“I hope that anyone who views it will understand the enormity of the contributions Mississippians have made to the world of arts, letters and culture,” she said.

The exhibit is open Monday-Fridays, except for University Holidays. The Department of Archives and Special Collections is on the third floor of the J. D. Williams Library. For questions or more information, contact Ms. Ford at 662-915-7639 or jwford@olemiss.edu.


B.B. King's Guitar
B.B. King’s Guitar
Bust of B.B. King
Bust of B.B. King
Bust of William Faulkner
Bust of William Faulkner




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