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Mississippi Delta

This guide covers the Mississippi river Delta region.

The University Libraries Welcomes You!

Cotton bollWelcome to the Mississippi Delta research guide! The University Libraries is pleased to help you find quality sources as you learn more about the history, culture, and life of the region. Explore our subject tabs and discover the breadth of reliable information you can access either online or by visiting the Ned R. McWherter Library. Do not hesitate to to contact a librarian if you have questions. We're here to help!

What are Primary Sources?

Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. They are created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later. Primary sources are characterized by their content, regardless of whether they are available in original format, in microfilm/microfiche, in digital format, or in published format.  Our University Libraries' Preservation and Special Collections Department has many primary sources available for in-library use.

How to Access the Collections

Books: Reference and Reserve books, along with those located in the Preservation and Special Collections department, are for library use only.  All other copies are available for check-out. If you are not affliliated with the University of Memphis, visit the circulation desk and inquire about a community special privileges card.

CDs, DVDs and Videos: Patrons who affiliated with the U of M may check out most recordings according to established policies; community members may use their special privileges card to listen and view materials in the library.

Databases: Patrons who affiliated with the U of M can access databases and online journals on campus or off-site using their username and password. Visitors who present their special privileges cards to the reference librarian can access these resources using one of the guest computers in the Learning Commons on the first floor of McWherter Library.

Special Collections: All patrons are welcome to contact the Preservation and Special Collections department with inquiries.

Government Publications: The Superintendent of Documents uses an alpha/numeric classification system which assigns a SuDoc number to each publication.  This system classifies each document by the agency or department that issues the document, not by subject.  For example SuDoc classification A is for materials issued by the Agriculture Department.  Consequently it is impossible to browse the collection since each agency/department issues documents on various subjects. Patrons may check out items from this collection.

Featured Books

 Books may belong to the circulating collection, the reference collection, special collections, or the permanent reserve collection. Only those in the circulating collection are available for checkout. All others must be used in the library. 

Map of the Delta Region


This map produced by Harold N. Fisk in 1944 depicts the many courses the Mississippi river has run over the years in the Delta region.