Archives Reading Room

The Beulah Culbertson Archives and Special Collections at Fant Memorial Library holds university records, photographs, scrapbooks, newspapers, 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 mission is to collect, share, and preserve the history of The W and, more broadly, Mississippi women’s history and leadership. The Martha Jo Mims Digitization & Conservation Lab is allowing us to chart a new future. Going forward, we will prioritize sharing as much of our collection as possible with the world through our institutional repository, Athena Commons.


Our collections include, among others, the papers of Annie Coleman Peyton, one of the university’s “founding mothers”; the records of numerous presidents of The W 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. Alongisde students in the Digital Studies Minor, we are working to digitize and provide access to the Ellard-Murphree-Pilgreen-Smith Family Papers Collection.  This treasure trove of more than 6000 letters and 90 journals from three generations of W women and their families is a new and rich resource for studying the Mississippi middle class over the twentieth century.  

We welcome students interested in using the collections and provide many opportunities to do so:

  • through class projects and assignments
  • through internships in history, literature, women’s studies, and other disciplines
  • as student workers
  • as federal work study employees
  • with a concentration in Public History

Those interested in using the collections or looking to answer research questions can view our searchable online finding aids which offer more in-depth information about the contents of the archives.

Visit the Archive

The Beulah Culbertson Archives and Special Collections are available to students, faculty/staff, alumni, and the public. Access is by appointment only. For more information about access to resources or visits, please email View this video for an overview of what to expect when you arrive for a research appointment.