Remembering John Pilkington, ‘Champion of Libraries’

Distinguished professor John Pilkington is remembered for his dedication to the university community.

Following the passing of revered professor John Pilkington, the university community has remained dedicated to advancing the cause the scholar spent decades championing — the continued support of the J.D. Williams Library.


Through the John Pilkington Library Endowment, Pilkington’s legacy continues to strengthen the library, which Pilkington believed to be the heart of the university.


“All the university library staff are saddened by Dr. Pilkington’s passing,” said University Libraries Dean Julia Rholes. “He was a steadfast champion of the libraries. As a scholar and teacher, Dr. Pilkington believed that you could not have a great university without a strong library collection, and as president of the Friends of the Library, he worked tirelessly for years to help build our collections.”Read the story …

Head nurse’s photos, papers portray daily life in 1930s Southern prison

It was more than 80 years ago, when Martha Alice Stewart walked into the Mississippi State Penitentiary known as Parchman Farm to assume her role as head nurse. She was one of few to get an inside glimpse between the walls that make up the most notorious penitentiary in the South.


The public can share in her experience by visiting Archives and Special Collections at the University of Mississippi, where a new collection donated by Stewart’s family is housed. The “Martha Alice Stewart: Time on Parchman Farm, 1930s Collection” comprises photos and other materials related to the penitentiary. While working at Parchman for nearly a decade, Stewart accumulated a collection of nearly 200 black and white photos portraying life inside the prison, as well as nursing documents, personal cards and even a letter from a former inmate.Read the story …

Civil rights activist donates papers to UM

Sorting Bishop Duncan Gray Jr.’s mail into two stacks — the “good” and the “bad” — was a considerable task at the height of the civil rights movement in Mississippi.


The small-town Episcopalian priest, known nationally for his nonviolent and pro-equality stance that segregation was incompatible with the Christian faith, received piles of letters.


A selection of Gray’s papers, including correspondence from the 1960s, are open to the public for viewing this fall in the University of Mississippi’s Archives and Special Collections. Among the hundreds of papers the bishop donated to the university — a collection that spans from the 1960s to the 1990s — are newspaper clippings, Ku Klux Klan pamphlets the bishop received in the mail and correspondence from churchmen all over the nation, pledging their support.Read the story …

Collection highlights 1960 election, Kennedy’s presidency

Judge Yates spoke on campus in October as part of the university's 50 years of integration commemoration.

As President John F. Kennedy prepared to lead a nation in 1961, James Meredith planned to integrate the University of Mississippi the following year. The two men would soon become inextricably linked in one of many battles for civil rights in the South.


A collection in Archives and Special Collections, donated by Cincinnati judge and Kennedy/Meredith history researcher Tyrone K. Yates, sheds light on Kennedy’s 1960 campaign.


“From my perspective, the crisis in 1962 really contained for me, two primary sets of actors,” said Yates. “One was Mr. Meredith and the persons who may have supported him, and the other was the Kennedy administration — John Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy and their principal staffs. With this collection, I wanted to reach behind and into the official versions, and see what I could discover about their characters and their personalities and those who supported them on both sides of that equation, to see if there were valuable lessons to be gleaned about how other persons can successfully face difficult situations that involved both physical courage and moral courage.”Read the story …

U.S. marshals remember 1962

Dennis Erby (left), U.S. marshal for the Northern District of Mississippi; William Dunn, a retired Border Patrol officer; and Dave Turk, U.S. marshals historian, present a memory book filled with material related to the 1962 integration of Ole Miss to Julia Rholes, UM dean of libraries.

Fifty years ago, as a young U.S. deputy marshal in his 20s, Herschel Garner was sent to Oxford to protect James Meredith’s right to enroll at the University of Mississippi.


“Ole Miss was not nearly as nice and welcoming in 1962 as it is today,” Garner said. “It’s wonderful to be met with open arms and handshakes instead of bricks.”


Denzil N. Bud Staple, who was among the 127 marshals also deployed to Oxford that fall, nodded in agreement, recalling that he lost count of the number of rocks and bricks thrown at him on the night Meredith become the first black person to enroll at Ole Miss.Read the story …

Measurable growth

Message from Michael Upton, Director of Development

Thanks to your support, the University Libraries continues to grow. To demonstrate this growth, I thought I’d share some numbers from the past few years.Read the story …

What is the 1848 Society?

Since its founding in 1848, the University of Mississippi has benefited from the foresight and generosity of people who have invested in the future by naming the university as a beneficiary in their wills. As tax laws changed, many other gift plans emerged, and each year these planned gifts have added to the value of the university’s endowment and provided funds for professorships, research, facilities, library books, scholarships, lectureships and many other specific programs to enhance academic and athletic excellence. Those who have made commitments to the university through planned gifts have left significant legacies and have truly become partners of the University of Mississippi.


The 1848 Society was established in 1998, the university’s 150th year. The society recognizes alumni and friends of the university who have either funded or planned a deferred gift, such as a bequest or life income plan.


For more information on the 1848 Society, call the UM Foundation at 800-340-9542 or go to and click on “planning a gift.”

Fall 2012 Wish List

 Apple iPads for Student Use


Apple’s iPad has been an extremely popular device and has set new standards for what is possible with tablet computing. We would like to make a few iPads available for check-out by students. These iPads would include Apple’s word processor (Pages), spreadsheet application (Numbers), and presentation software (Keynote). Having already seen a numbers of students using iPads in the library, we expect that these would be very popular with students.


Cost: $2,341.97 for five iPads


Large Monitors for Collaborative Work – $1,832.00


The library currently provides several group collaboration rooms as well as a number of computers with large monitors suitable for group work. However, many students bring their own laptops to the library, and we would like to offer some additional group collaboration options for these students. Beyond the existing stations, the library would like to offer some additional large monitors that students could use with their own laptops. These would be placed in the Information Commons with attached video cables so that students could connect their laptops for impromptu group meetings as needed. Additionally, this proposal includes adapters to allow Mac and iPad users to connect to these monitors.


Cost: $1,832.00 for four 27” monitors

Former Oxford resident donates 1962 memorabilia

Robert A. Herring III was in 11th grade when one of the most significant moments in Mississippi and American history took place just outside his front door.


An eyewitness to the events surrounding James Meredith’s admission to the University of Mississippi, Herring has donated three scrapbooks to the university’s Department of Archives and Special Collections. The scrapbooks, containing day-by-day news clippings of the events from six newspapers, will be preserved with other documents and papers related to the university’s integration.Read the story …

Database adds new dimension to studying 18th-century texts

A recently added database, available through the University of Mississippi J.D. Williams Library, offers students a new way to learn and teachers a new way to teach. The Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) database provides more than 32 million pages published in the United Kingdom between 1701 and 1800, many of which were previously only available in microfiche.


While these dates may create the impression that this source is solely for the history and English departments, ECCO covers a broad range of topics that can be useful for any major or subject of research.Read the story …