About the Archives

Annie Coleman Peyton and her daughtersThe Mississippi University for Women Archives contains some 700 linear feet of paper records, photographs, scrapbooks, bound volumes, and other objects that document the history and people of Mississippi University for Women, the first publicly-supported women’s college in the United States. Our collections include, among others, the papers of Annie Coleman Peyton, one of the university’s “founding mothers”; the records of numerous presidents of MUW from John Clayton Fant (1920-1929) through Clyda Stokes Rent (1989-2001); and a significant number of scrapbooks, memorabilia, and other materials donated by alumni and friends of the university.

The archives is currently located on the second floor of Cromwell Communications Center (room 231), and is open by appointment from 8am-5pm Monday-Friday.

Students interested in public history can serve in the archives as interns by signing up for HIS 464. In this class, students participate in numerous activities to preserve the history of MUW while gaining valuable experience in the field of archives management and gaining 3 credit hours along the way. Students and others interested are also encouraged to serve as a volunteer in the archives!

Archives Staff

Derek Webb
University Archivist
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Dr. Martha Jo Mims
Professor Emerita and Volunteer Archival Assistant


slides in protective sleevesThe primary purpose of the Mississippi University for Women Archives is to support the university’s mission and commitment to excellence, leadership, and personalized learning via the following core functions:

  • Collecting, preserving, and making available written records, manuscripts, artifacts, memorabilia, and other items of historical significance that document the history and legacy of Mississippi University for Women.

  • Documenting in the same manner the lives of those who have touched and changed the institution, including but not limited to those who fought for the establishment of the Columbus Female Institute/Industrial Institute and College, our past presidents, and our famous faculty and alumni.

  • Making available for purposes of education and research to our faculty, staff, students, alumni, visiting scholars, and the wider public the rare and unique resources within our holdings.


Derek Webb
Archivist / Special Collections Librarian

231 Cromwell Communications Center
Phone: (662) 241-7601
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