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Housed in the Millsaps-Wilson Library of Millsaps College, Jackson, Mississippi, the J. B. Cain Archives Collection is named for Rev. J. B. Cain, long-time historian of the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church.  The collection is operated in conjunction with the Millsaps College Archives and is funded jointly by the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church and Millsaps College, an institution of the United Methodist Church.

  Photo of the Archives Room

Millsaps College has been a depository for Mississippi Methodist historical material ever since the establishment of the Mississippi Conference Historical Society in 1898. The Society was organized under the direction of Bishop C.B. Galloway for the purpose of "gathering and preserving by printing or otherwise writings, prints, papers and books pertaining to the history of the Methodist Church in Mississippi or elsewhere" *. Although each Conference was to have its own semi-official or official Historical Society, Millsaps became the depository for both Mississippi and North Mississippi Conferences, and the successor Mississippi Conference combining the two. The Archives were established in 1982 and dedicated to J.B. Cain, their curator for over fifty years.

Another Photo of the Archives Room

The J.B. Cain Archives comprise books and printed material relating to Mississippi Methodism, Church registers and records (1829-1996), a Manuscript Collection (1789 to present), the records of both Conferences' Historical Societies (1898-1977) and Commissions on Archives and History (1968-present), and the archives of the United Methodist Women (1954-2000).

The books have been catalogued in the general catalog of the Library. They cover general history of Methodism, history of the Mississippi Conference and its antecedent conferences, history of other conferences, local Church histories and biographies. The Methodist publications include Conference Journals, the New Orleans Christian Advocate and the Mississippi Methodist Advocate.

The Archives themselves have been arranged according to origin:

  • Records of societies: Mississippi Conference Historical Society (MCHS), North Mississippi Commission on Archives and History (NMAH), Mississippi Conference Commission Archives and History (MCAH), United Methodist Women (UMW)
  • Church Registers and Records (AB, CR, QC, CC, ChR,)
  • District Records (DC, DS, DR, PE)
  • Private papers arranged individually in a Manuscript Collection (M)

Each series is processed and inventoried. A general index (index box) and inventory notebook will facilitate research.

See the detailed arrangement for more information.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

*Cf. Charter, Aug. 19, 1898 (Miss. Conf. Historical Society, Box 1)