The Mississippi Room is located at the Robinson-Carpenter Memorial Library in Cleveland houses the Bolivar County Library System’s local history and genealogy collections. The Mississippi Room is equipped with both a microfilm reader and a public access computer with Internet access available for patrons performing research. The Reference Services Librarian will search for obituaries when the month and year of death is known, but other research by staff for genealogical or local history is very limited.
- All print materials in the Mississippi Room are searchable on the online catalog.
- All materials in the Mississippi Room are for in-library use only – items may not be checked out.
- Among the Mississippi Room materials available are Bolivar County newspapers on microfilm, including The Bolivar Commercial (scattered issues from 1915-1926 and continuous from May 1934 through to July 1, 2005) and Cleveland Enterprise (scattered issues 1901-1945). See Microfilm Holdings for a complete list of newspapers and available editions, as well as marriage records, deeds, tax rolls, and titles.
- Additionally, there are many unbound documents of genealogical and historical significance to Bolivar County available for use in the Vertical Files; see the Vertical Files Index for a listing of subject headings.
Here are some finding aids created by the Bolivar County Library System for the following materials found in the Mississippi Room:
HeritageQuest Online is a genealogical database that contains not only the U.S. Census information, but also articles from historical journals and information from the Freedman’s Bank. The Mississippi Library Commission graciously has made this resource available state-wide for genealogical researchers and is available to all library patrons from our patron computers.
Here are some other great websites for local genealogical and historical information:
- WPA County Files have been made available through the Mississippi Library Commission. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was one of FDR’s New Deal program agencies during the Depression. The WPA’s County Files, produced through the State-Wide Historical Research Project, have been digitized and are searchable PDFs. These files detail the history of each Mississippi county and were compiled by field workers in the 1930s. Each county is searchable.
- Bolivar County Mississippi GenWeb, a great free website that is devoted to Bolivar County history, including cemetery site surveys, local history, and so much more.
- Bolivar County, Mississippi Genealogy & History Network, another good free website devoted to Bolivar County history.
- Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, a Library of Congress website that allows researcher’s to search America’s historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.
- Family Search, an excellent free website to search for historical records. Records create a paper trail for your ancestors and can lead you to important details about their life. Just enter a name, and Family Search will look for it in birth certificates, marriage registrations, census records, and other official documents.
- Our Black Ancestry, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing resources for African American genealogical research, preserving historic materials and properties, and promoting healing of wounds that are the legacy of slavery.
- Mississippi Department of Archives & History Freedman’s Bureau. After the Civil War, former slaves were given the opportunity to enter into work contracts with planters to ensure equitable payment for their labor. The Freedmen’s Bureau (officially the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands) was established by Congress to supervise all affairs relating to refugees and freedmen, including the writing of labor contracts of planters/farmers with freedmen. The Mississippi labor contracts that are indexed cover the period 1865-67.
- Find a Grave, a free website where you can find the graves of ancestors, create virtual memorials or add photos, virtual flowers and a note to a loved one’s memorial.
- Billion Graves, the world’s largest free resource for searchable GPS cemetery data, and is growing bigger and better every day. You can help by collecting headstone images from local and other cemeteries, and then by transcribing the personal information found on the images.
- Bureau of Land Management (Department of the Interior), “The Official Federal Land Records Site” that provides live access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States, including image access to more than five million Federal land title records issued between 1788 and the present. They also have images of survey plats and field notes, land status records, and control document index records. Due to organization of documents in the GLO collection, the site does not currently contain every Federal title record issued for the Public Land States.
- MAGNOLIA, the collection of free to access databases paid for by the Mississippi Legislature, provides access to many authoritative databases for researchers, including “Academic Search Premier,” which has full-text articles from hundreds of journals, including The Journal of Southern History. This link will take you to our website, then click “MAGNOLIA Databases,” then “Search Databases.” “Academic Search Premier” databases at the first in the list.
- Chronicling America, a free website where you can search America’s historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
- Google Books, the world’s most comprehensive index of full-text books that are in the public domain, especially county history books.
Contact the Reference Services Librarian at (662) 843-2774 x104 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are looking for an obituary or genealogical/historical information, or if you have questions regarding this service.
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