Scope of Collection & Collecting Areas

More than 5000 manuscript groups encompassing over 10 million items are preserved in LLMVC. Recognized as one of the nation's premier repositories for materials relating to the antebellum plantation, Civil War, and Reconstruction South, LLMVC includes the papers of individuals and families, records of plantations, merchants and financial institutions, and the records of political, social, and labor organizations. The most important of these collections relate specifically to the families and enterprises in the Lower Mississippi Valley, from Memphis to New Orleans, and are especially strong in the Natchez, St. Francisville, and Baton Rouge areas. The French and Spanish colonial periods in the region are also documented. LLMVC continues to acquire 18th- and 19th century manuscripts, as well as substantial collections of 20th century materials that relate to the region's social, economic, political, cultural, literary, and military history. Subject guides to the manuscripts collections are available, as are some complete findings aids.

In addition to its rich manuscript collections, LLMVC includes more than 120,000 volumes of books, periodicals, maps, newspapers, and other published material. Complementing these textual materials are more than 200,000 historic photographs.