Frances Coleman of MSU honored for Grant Collection role

Contact: Harriet Laird

STARKVILLE, Miss.--The dean of libraries at Mississippi State is one of two being honored with the Ulysses S. Grant Association's first John Y. Simon Award of Merit.

Frances N. Coleman shares the recognition with Frank J. Williams, retired Rhode Island Supreme Court chief justice and the association's longtime president.

Now based at the university, the association was established in 1962 by the Civil War Centennial Commissions of Illinois, New York and Ohio. Its goal is the collection of all significant documentary evidence related to the 18th U.S. president and top Union Civil War general that help make possible evaluations of his life and career.

Given at the organization's recent annual meeting on campus, the Simon Awards are a memorial to the late USGA executive director and managing editor who led in publishing the 31-volume "The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant."

"The association is fortunate to have the talents and dedication of Dean Coleman and Justice Williams," said John F. Marszalek. "These presentations are but a small token of gratitude for all they have done and continue to do for our important historical work."

Marszalek, an MSU Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, succeeded Simon as the association's executive director and managing editor.

Coleman played a major role in the successful 2008 transfer of the Grant Collection from the Morris Library at Southern Illinois University, where it had been housed since 1964. With the relocation to MSU's Mitchell Memorial Library, she became a member of the USGA board of directors. (See

Williams is a 25-year member of the association's board of directors and its president for 15 years. Marszalek said Williams' leadership "has aided in the USGA's recognition as a frontrunner in documentary preservation and publication."

For complete information on the Grant Association and the presidential collection, visit

For more information about Mississippi State University, see //

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