Historians and other researchers have begun to recognize over the last half century or so that the papers of United States senators and representatives are a treasure of information on many aspects of American life and on America's position on the world stage. These collections contain valuable data on cross-sections of the human experience, shedding light at once on political, social, familial, economic, governmental (all levels), scientific, military, racial and ethnic, environmental, and recreational developments and/or individuals involved in those various areas. Archivists face an enormous challenge in preserving and processing these collections, and making guides available that reflect the many nuances unique to each collection.

Mississippi repositories contain several significant congressional collections. Due to a lengthy state tradition of returning senators and representatives to Congress for many consecutive terms, the papers of congressmen tend to be voluminous and reflect extensive periods of history at the local, state, national and international levels. This edition of The Primary Source is intended to inform readers of congressional holdings in four major Mississippi repositories: The Congressional and Political Research Center - Mississippi State University Libraries; McCain Library and Archives -University of Southern Mississippi; Law Archives - University of Mississippi; and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Together these four locations contain a wealth of historical information in their congressional collections, information that reflects Mississippi's prominent role through the years at the highest levels of the United States government.



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