The Mississippi Methodist archives collection, housed in the Millsaps-Wilson Library, is named for the Reverend John Buford Cain (1892-1984), longtime Methodist historian. The J. B. Cain Archives brings together manuscripts and printed materials that tell the history of Methodism in Mississippi from its beginnings in 1799. Records of the Mississippi Conference and its antecedent bodies are housed in the Cain Archives.
The J.B. Cain Archives of Mississippi Methodism was dedicated in October, 1982. A graduate of Millsaps College, Reverend Cain received his M.A. in church history from Emory University. During more than sixty-five years in the ministry, he collected and preserved books, journals, manuscripts and other records housed in the Archives. He maintained this collection with the help of his wife, Amy, daughter, Loyce McKenzie, and friends in a room in the Millsaps Library. He was an active member of the the former Mississippi Conference Historical Society, and upon retirement, served as its Director of Historical Research (1962-1983). Today this organization is known as the Mississippi Conference Commission on Archives and History.
J.B. Cain was the author of many articles, pamphlets and books, including The Cradle of Mississippi Methodism, and Methodism in the Mississippi Conference: 1846-1870. A joint effort of the United Methodist Church in Mississippi and Millsaps College, the combined archives are dedicated to his memory. The Archives collection includes Rev. J. B.Cain's papers. An inventory, however incomplete, is available here.