Reagan Grimsley


Few natural resources impacted the lives of Mississippians to the degree which timber has. In particular, the southeastern and south central regions of the state received the label "piney woods" because the dominant features of the region consisted of longleaf, shortleaf, loblolly, and slash pines. Early Mississippians might have labeled other regions of the state according to the soil content, but the towering conifers which proliferated from the Gulf Coast northward to Jackson, and westward to near Natchez, seemed the main economic resource by which to label the area. The purpose of this article is to detail briefly why timber has been a major factor in the development of the region, and more important, how a survey of related archival materials, specifically materials at the McCain Archives at the University of Southern Mississippi, can be of benefit to researchers in several disciplines, including forestry, history, environmental studies, biology, and anthropology. A secondary, but nonetheless important objective of the work is to provide a reference resource for librarians which can be used as an introduction to the primary archival sources on Mississippi's piney woods housed at the McCain Library and Archives.



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