Maybe you’re a genealogist discovering your family story. A student writing a report. An educator building a classroom presentation. Or, a curious mind exploring the people, places and events that shaped your Mississippi. You have come to the right place. Through MDAH, you can search the ultimate primary resource of Mississippi’s historical documents, archival collections, archaeology, artifacts, and more.
Some of our collections are available online, while others must be viewed in person at the William F. Winter Archives & History Building in Jackson. Here you will find an overview of the items in our library, where to locate them, how to order copies of historical images, and how to make a research request for our staff researchers.
Research at the William F. Winter Building
Our reading rooms are open to the public at no charge, with experienced staff to assist researchers. The rooms are located on the first floor of the William F. Winter Archives & History Building at 200 North Street (next to the Two Mississippi Museums) in downtown Jackson, Mississippi.
- The Public Reading Room: Nearly 20,000 published works on genealogy
- The Archival Reading Room: Original records, rare works, diaries, and photographs
- The Media Reading Room: Audiovisual recordings and microfilmed materials, such as census records and newspapers
- Plan Your Visit
The William F. Winter Archives & History Building is located in downtown Jackson, a short drive from the airport and within walking distance of hotels and notable local restaurants.
For the most up-to-date information on what to do and where to stay in Jackson, go to the Visit Jackson website here.
- What To Bring
Pencils, notecards, paper, notebooks, laptops, and portable electronic devices may be brought into the library.
Lockers are available free of charge in the lobby for items such as briefcases and purses.
Free Wi-Fi is available in the reading rooms and work tables have power outlets.
Scanners are not allowed in the Archival or Media Reading Rooms.
Money to add credit to your Reading Room Identification Card for photocopying and printer use in reading rooms. Staff does not make change or give refunds. Please bring $1, $5, $10, or $20 bills. Photocopies range from $.20 to $.50 per page depending upon the nature of the material.
First time visitors to the state archives will need a Reading Room Identification Card to use in the library. There is no charge to obtain a card, but a photo ID is required. The card serves as a debit card for use with printers and photocopy machines in the reading rooms.
- Reading Room and Hours
The library, on the first floor of the William F. Winter Archives & History Building, can accommodate up to 160 researchers. There are three areas. The Public Reading Room contains nearly 20,000 published works on Mississippi genealogy and related fields.
Patrons must have a Reading Room Identification Card to use the library. There is no charge to obtain a card, but a photo ID is required. The card serves as a debit card for use with printers and photocopy machines in the reading rooms. Credit can be added on site with $1, $5, $10, or $20 bills. Photocopies range from $.20 to $.50 per page depending upon the nature of the material. Staff does not make change or give refunds.
Public Reading Room Archival & Media Reading Rooms Monday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tuesday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
The Department of Archives and History is closed on official state holidays and at the discretion of the director.
- Directions and Parking
The William F. Winter Archives & History Building is located at 200 North Street, Jackson, MS 39201.
Take the High Street exit (96B) off I-55. Take High Street west, then turn left onto North Street. The Winter Building is on the corner of North and Amite Streets. The reading rooms of the state archives are on the first floor.
Parking is available on North Street and in the Two Mississippi Museums parking garage that is accessed from Jefferson Street between Amite and Mississippi Street.
Use our online catalog to search a variety of items from books and manuscripts to photographs and newspapers. While much of our collection is available only at the state archives in the William F. Winter Archives & History Building, some materials that are born digital or have been digitized are available online.
Before visiting our reading rooms, search our online catalog for descriptions of the items you’d like to view in person. Helpful hint: choose “advanced search,” select “electronic records,” and enter your keyword to find digitized records.