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Finding Aid for the Verner S. Holmes Collection (MUM00571)

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Finding Aid for the Verner S. Holmes Collection

Descriptive Summary

Title: Verner S. Holmes Collection
Dates: 1910-1990 (bulk 1956-1980)
Creator Holmes, Verner S.
Extent 15 boxes (6.26 linear feet)
Repository: University of Mississippi. Department of Archives and Special Collections. University, MS 38677, USA
Identification: MUM00571
Language: English
Abstract Material pertaining to higher education in Mississippi and the 1962 integration crisis at The University of Mississippi collected by Dr. Verner S. Holmes, a member of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning from 1956 to 1980. Includes minutes, scrapbooks, printed material, newsclippings, and oral history transcripts.

Administrative Information

Processing Information

The Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the digital encoding of this finding aid through a National Leadership Grant for Libraries. Initial encoding by Laura Helton, 2006. Finding aid updated, 2009.


No further additions are expected to this collection.

Subject Terms

Higher education
Holmes, Verner S.
Mississippi. Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning
Sansing, David G.
Segregation in education -- Mississippi -- Oxford
Silver, James W. (James Wesley), 1907-
University of Mississippi -- History

Biographical & Historical Note

Dr. Verner Smith Holmes is a sixth generation Mississippian whose ancestors emigrated from Ireland, by way of the Old Dominion to the new settlements in Georgia, and thence to the Old Southwest when Mississippi was still a wilderness territory. His forebears settled in Walthall County in 1806. He attended school in Lexie and earned his bachelor's degree at Mississippi. Holmes then took the two year medical course at the University of Mississippi before receiving his medical degree from Tulane University. Dr. Holmes is an otolaryngologist.

During World War II Dr. Holmes served in a general hospital which was established near Utah Beach after the Normandy invasion. When Dr. Holmes returned to Mississippi after the war, he anticipated living the quiet life of a country doctor and enjoying the solitude of his log cabin along the banks of the Bogue Chitto River. But that was not to be. In 1956 he accepted the appointment to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. In 1968 he was reappointed for a second twelve year term. Dr. Holmes is the only individual in the Board's history to serve two terms and was twice elected President of the Board.

In accepting the appointment to the college board, Dr. Holmes accepted the public trust which that appointment entailed and few men in Mississippi history have honored their trust with more fidelity or served it with more dignity. Although a man of deep convictions, Holmes was always ruled by reason rather than passion, and during a critical period in Mississippi's history, the civil rights movement and James Meredith crisis, when wise and reasoned leadership was so needed, Dr. Holmes provided that kind of leadership. Dr. Holmes' tenure on the Board of Trustees ended in May 1980.

A recent study of higher education in Mississippi has recognized Dr. Holmes' contributions to higher education in general and to medical education in particular. That study cited Dr. Holmes as one of the most significant influences in shaping the early years of the University of Mississippi Medical Center and for safeguarding the academic integrity of that institution from political and other external interference.

Scope and Content Note

In his long and distinguished career as a surgeon, and during his twenty-four year tenure on the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning from 1956 to 1980, Dr. Holmes accumulated a wealth of written material bearing on the history of Mississippi. These materials have been donated to the University of Mississippi Department of Archives and Special Collections.

Among Dr. Holmes' papers are a complete set of minutes of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning from 1956 to 1980 and several interviews with other board members and public officials which cover a wide range of issues bearing on higher education in Mississippi since World War II. Also included in the Holmes Collection is important material on the James Meredith crises and integration of the University of Mississippi.

User Information

Prefered Citation

Verner S. Holmes Collection, Archives and Special Collections, J.D. Williams Library, The University of Mississippi

Access Restrictions

The Verner S. Holmes Collection is open for research.

Copyright Restrictions

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use", that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

Separated Material

Photographs and framed items have been removed to Collection Photographs for preservation.

Container List

Folder 1.1 Verner Holmes, Personal, Correspondence, 1958-1984
Folder 1.2 Verner Holmes, Personal, Newsclippings, 1955-1980
Folder 1.3 Verner Holmes, Personal, Programs, 1961-1984
Folder 1.4 Verner Holmes, Personal, Miscellaneous, with some genealogical information
Folder 1.5 Emma Holmes, Personal, Correspondence, Newsclippings, Miscellaneous, Plus Sansing Interview w. Mrs. Holmes (3/24/79), 1935-1985
Folder 2.1 Verner Holmes Collection, U. M. Archives
Folder 2.2 Verner Holmes Learning Resource Center, University of Mississippi Medical Center
Folder 2.3 Verner Holmes, B/W Photographs, (temp. undated)
Separated Material: Photographs have been removed to Collection Photographs for preservation
Folder 2.4 J. P. Coleman Gubernatorial Campaigns, 1955 and 1963 (cp)
Folder 2.5 Democratic National Convention, Chicago, 1956
Folder 2.6 Loose Scrapbook Pages
Folder 2.7 Newspapers, McComb Enterprise Journal, August 16 and 17, 1978
Mississippi Higher Education
Folder 3.1 Newsclippings, 1910's
Folder 3.2 Newsclippings and some correspondence, re. Gov. T. Bilbo
Folder 3.3 Newsclippings, 1930's, 1940's
Folder 3.4 Newsclippings, 1950's
Folder 3.5 Newsclippings, 1960-1964
Folder 3.6 Newsclippings, 1965-1969
Folder 3.7 Newsclippings, 1970-1974
Folder 3.8 Newsclippings, 1975-1979
Folder 3.9 Newsclippings, 1980-1984
Folder 3.10 Newsclippings, 1985-1989
Folder 3.11 Newsclippings, not dated
Folder 3.12 Newsclippings and some correspondence, Gulf Coast Research Lab
Folder 3.13 Newsclippings and some correspondence, Nursing School Move, Natchez to Alcorn
Box 7 Bound Volume: Program Review: A Structure for Mississippi's Public Universities, 1979
Box 7 Bound Volume: Report on Functions of State Institutions of Higher Learning in Mississippi, 1933
Box 7 Bound Volume: Strengthening Mississippi's Higher Education Through Diversity, Cooperation, Coordination, 1966
Box 7 Bound Volume: Chronology of Events in Mississippi Higher Education, 1950's-1970's
Folder 7.1 Board of Trustees, Financial Matters, 1960-1987
Box 7.2 Board of Trustees, Miscellaneous Correspondence and Reports, 1959-1985
Folder 7.3 Board of Trustees, Unbound Minutes, 1977-1978
Folder 7.4 Biographical - Board Members, Chancellors, University Presidents, etc.
Folder 7.5 Medical School Misc.
Folder 7.6 Sansing Correspondence, 1978-1985
Folder 7.7-10 Research Papers, students of Dr. Sansing
Integration in Higher Education
Folder 4.1 Alumni Allegations Concerning UM Staff and Faculty, the charges relate to communism and integration, 1952-1959
Folder 4.2 Clyde Kennard, photocopies of newsclippings and Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission correspondence, 1958-1962
Folder 4.3 James Meredith and UM Integration, newsclippings
Folder 4.4 James Meredith and UM Integration, national press coverage
Folder 4.5 James Meredith and UM Integration, telegrams (from Attorney Gen. RFK)
Folder 4.6 James Meredith and UM Integration, speeches
Folder 4.7 James Meredith and UM Integration, miscellaneous
Folder 4.8 James Meredith and UM Integration, W. H. Mounger meeting in Jackson
Folder 4.9 Student Newspaper, UM, 1960's
Folder 4.10 Rebel Underground, Southern Review, Bumper Stickers
Folder 4.11 Speaker Ban and Censorship Matters, newsclippings, correspondence, legal papers, 1960's and 1970's
Folder 4.12 Ayer vs. Gov. Allain (class action suit regarding continued discrimination in higher education), February 1990
Box 5 Bound Volume
Dr. Holmes/Dr. E. R. Jobe, 1956-1968
Dr. Holmes & Dr. Sansing/Dr. E. E. Thrash, 1968-1970
Folder 5.1 Sansing/Porter Fortune, University, 8/23/79
Folder 5.1 Sansing/Bobby Garraway, Lumberton, 6/12/80
Folder 5.1 Sansing/Charles Jacobs, Cleveland, 8/11/80
Folder 5.2 Sansing/Dr. Reece McLendon, Senatobia, 9/21/81
Folder 5.2 Sansing/Dr. Marston, 3/18/82
Folder 5.2 Sansing & Lucy Bridgeforth/Dr. Norman Nelson, 9/12/80
Folder 5.3 Sansing/Travis Parker, Drew, 8/11/80
Folder 5.3 Sansing/J. L. Scott, Jackson, 2/6/80
Folder 5.3 Sansing/Miriam Simmons, Hattiesburg, 6/12/80
Folder 5.4 Sansing/Mike Sturdivant, Glendora, 8/11/80
Folder 5.4 Sansing/E. E. Thrash, Jackson, 10/24/78
Folder 5.4 Sansing/George Watson, Pass Christian, 6/11/80
Folder 5.4 Sansing/Gov. William Winter, Jackson, 9/26/80
Box 6 Bound Volume
Sansing & Lucy Bridgeforth/Dr. William Giles, Starkville, 30 May 1979
Sansing/Charles Capps, Cleveland, 5 July 1979
Sansing/Dr. David Pankratz, Oxford, 25 May 1979
Sansing/Dean Robert Farley, Oxford, 15 May 1979
Sansing/McCain, Sansing/McCain Sansing/W. H. Mounger, Jackson, 21 September 1978
Sansing/Walter, Sansing/ Walter Sansing/Dr. Harold House, Ocean Springs, 29 January 1979
Sansing /Gov. Paul Johnson, Hattiesburg, 29 October 1978
Sansing/Lt. Gov. Bidwell Adam, 22 August 1978
Box 6 Bound Volume
Sansing/S. R. Evans, Vaiden, 13 October 1978
Sansing/Thomas Tubb, West Point, 18 September 1978
Sansing/M. M. Roberts, Hattiesburg, 23 September 1978
Sansing/William Stone, Jackson, 20 September 1978
Sansing/Charles Fair, Louisville, 18 September 1978
Sansing/Mrs. Harry Carpenter, Rolling Fork, 12 December 1978
Sansing/Tally Riddell, Quitman, 10 June 1980
Sansing/Bobby Chain, Hattiesburg, 10 June 1980
Sansing/Mrs. Miriam Simmons, Hattiesburg, 12 June 1980
Box 6 Bound Volume
Sansing/J. P. Coleman, Oxford, 16 June 1979
Galley, Graphic Materials
Separated Material: Framed materials have been removed to Collection Photographs for preservation
Folder 8.1 Making Haste Slowly, Uncorrected Long Galley
Folder 8.2 Framed "Resolution of Appreciation to Dr. Verner Holmes"
Folder 8.3-8 Framed of the Board of Trustees
Board Minutes & Reports
Box 9 Bound Volumes: Board of Trustees, Minutes, 1956-1964
Box 10 Bound Volumes: Board of Trustees, Minutes, 1964-1970
Box 11 Bound Volumes: Board of Trustees, Minutes, 1971-1975
Box 12 Bound Volumes:
Board of Trustees, Minutes, 1976-1980
Synopsis of Board Minutes, 1930-1979
Board of Trustees, Annual Report, 1976/77
Scrapbooks and Miscellaneous
Box 13 Scrapbook: James Meredith and UM Integration, mostly newsclippings
Box 13 Scrapbook: J. P. Coleman, newsclippings
Box 13 Magazine: Look Magazine, "How A Secret Deal Prevented A Massacre at Ole Miss", 31 December 1962
Box 13 Broadside: J.P. Coleman Printed Broadside: "The Handshake that Sealed the Bargain"
Box 14 Scrapbook: Verner Holmes Day (McComb, Mississippi), 16 August 1978
Box 14 Scrapbook: General with some newsclippings pertaining to Meredith and Coleman
Box 15 J. P. Coleman Gubernatorial Campaign, July/August 1963
Box 15 J. P. Coleman Campaign Literature "The Statesman"