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Special Collections at the University of Southern Mississippi
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University Archives Use

I.       Use

The Curator shall make available to authorized persons, at reasonable times, all obtainable archival materials relating to the operation and history of the University of Southern Mississippi.   "Authorized persons" are defined as official representatives of the department whose records are being requested, their supervisors, or individuals given permission for access by such officials. 

Access to University Archives materials must be arranged in advance and an appointment made to view the materials.  Users will be permitted to inspect, examine, abstract, or copy University Archives material in the Cleanth Brooks Reading Room of McCain Library & Archives, under the supervision of the Archivist or other authorized person.   Such access will be provided during the regular operating hours of the Reading Room. 

In some rare instances, materials may be borrowed from the archives by the originating department or higher authority.  In such cases, approval must be received from the Curator and all established check-out procedures and policies must be followed. 

II.          Restrictions to Use

The University Archives makes university archival materials available for use as soon as possible. At the same time, it has an obligation to guard against invasion of privacy and to protect the confidentiality in its records in accordance with law. Therefore, some materials may not be available for use until a specific period of time has passed or until certain conditions are met.   

In general, anything less than 5 years old can only be accessed by someone from the originating department or someone with permission from that department. 

III.          Commonly Requested and Unrestricted University Records

Two Record Groups (RG) commonly requested include unrestricted material in RG 2 University Photograph Collections (Activities, Facilities, People) and RG 4 USM General History Files.   

Certain Record Groups (RG) include some publications that are not restricted:
  • RG 7 Fact Books
  • RG 9 Southern Miss News Releases (chronological by year)
  • RG 12 Talon alumni magazine (chronological by year)
  • RG 15 Registrar’s Office (undergraduate bulletins, schedule of classes, graduation and degrees awarded by year -- commencement programs)
  • RG 19 Business and Finance (University budgets)
  • RG 32 Student Union and Student Activities (student handbooks and student publications such as The Southerner yearbooks and the Student Printz newspaper)
  • RG 42 Athletics (media guides, programs and publications)
  • RG 53 Graduate Bulletins

Most Thesis and Dissertations may be viewed in the Reading Room and copies may only be made according to a specific procedure in the Reading Room.