U.S. Grant collection makes public debut Tuesday at MSU

Contact: Kenneth Billings

STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State is announcing a special Tuesday [June 23] open house at the university's Mitchell Memorial Library to view material related to the military career and presidency of Ulysses S. Grant.

The 2-3:30 p.m. event is co-sponsored by the U.S. Grant Association and the library. The extensive collection includes 10,000 linear feet of photocopied correspondence, photographs, books, memorabilia, and other material related to the long career of the Civil War military leader who later became the nation's 18th chief executive.

"This will be a rare and wonderful opportunity for the university and the community to come tour the facility," said John F. Marszalek, the association's executive director and managing editor. "Many of the items are not normally on display for security or preservation reasons, so this is truly a unique opportunity."

The collection came to MSU in December through the combined efforts of Marszalek, library Dean Frances Coleman, interim presidents Vance Watson and Roy Ruby, and current President Mark Keenum.

Marszalek, a nationally recognized historian and Civil War scholar, is a Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Giles Professors are MSU's highest academic rank.

In addition to two display cases, visitors will see a shawl belonging to the president's wife, the diary and pieces of the dress uniform of Grant's military aide, and filing cabinets full of copies of handwritten documents, all normally kept under lock and key.

Organized in 1962 during the Civil War Centennial, the Grant Association collection earlier was housed at Ohio State and Southern Illinois universities.

For more information on the open house or the Grant Collection, contact Marszalek at 662-325-4552 or johnmarsz@yahoo.com.

For more information about Mississippi State University, see //www.msstate.edu/.