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Verner S. Holmes Collection


Access Restrictions

This collection is stored at an off-site facility. Researchers using this collection must contact Archives and Special Collections at least two business days in advance of their planned visit to request box transfers.

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Summary Information

University of Mississippi Libraries
Verner S. Holmes Collection
Date [inclusive]
1910-1990 (bulk 1956-1980)
6.26 Linear feet (15 boxes)
Mixed materials [Boxes]
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.

Preferred Citation

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

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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.

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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.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Mississippi Libraries, 8 May 2006

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.


No further additions are expected to this collection.

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 and 2015.

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Related Materials

Separated Material

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

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • University of Mississippi -- History

Personal Name(s)

  • Holmes, Verner S.
  • Sansing, David G.
  • Silver, James W. (James Wesley), 1907-


  • Higher education
  • Mississippi. Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning
  • Segregation in education -- Mississippi -- Oxford

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Collection Inventory


Box 1 

Folder 1: Verner Holmes, Personal, Correspondence, 1958-1984 

Folder 2: Verner Holmes, Personal, Newsclippings, 1955-1980 

Folder 3: Verner Holmes, Personal, Programs, 1961-1984 

Folder 4: Verner Holmes, Personal, Miscellaneous, with some genealogical information 

Folder 5: Emma Holmes, Personal, Correspondence, Newsclippings, Miscellaneous, Plus Sansing Interview w. Mrs. Holmes (3/24/79), 1935-1985 

Folder 6: Manuscript 1940 

Scope and Content

Regarding Holmes family genealogy by Katie Jones Holmes.

Box 2 

Folder 1: Verner Holmes Collection, U. M. Archives 

Folder 2: Verner Holmes Learning Resource Center, University of Mississippi Medical Center 

Folder 3: Verner Holmes, B/W Photographs, (temp. undated) 

Separated Materials note

Photographs have been removed to Collection Photographs for preservation

Folder 4: J. P. Coleman Gubernatorial Campaigns, 1955 and 1963 (cp) 

Folder 5: Democratic National Convention, Chicago, 1956 

Folder 6: Loose Scrapbook Pages 

Folder 7: Newspapers, McComb Enterprise Journal, August 16 and 17, 1978 

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Mississippi Higher Education 

Box 3 

Folder 1: Newsclippings, 1910's 

Folder 2: Newsclippings and some correspondence, re. Gov. T. Bilbo 

Folder 3: Newsclippings, 1930's, 1940's 

Folder 4: Newsclippings, 1950's 

Folder 5: Newsclippings, 1960-1964 

Folder 6: Newsclippings, 1965-1969 

Folder 7: Newsclippings, 1970-1974 

Folder 8: Newsclippings, 1975-1979 

Folder 9: Newsclippings, 1980-1984 

Folder 10: Newsclippings, 1985-1989 

Folder 11: Newsclippings, not dated 

Folder 12: Newsclippings and some correspondence, Gulf Coast Research Lab 

Folder 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 

Bound Volume: Report on Functions of State Institutions of Higher Learning in Mississippi, 1933 

Bound Volume: Strengthening Mississippi's Higher Education Through Diversity, Cooperation, Coordination, 1966 

Bound Volume: Chronology of Events in Mississippi Higher Education, 1950's-1970's 

Folder 1: Board of Trustees, Financial Matters, 1960-1987 

Folder 2: Board of Trustees, Miscellaneous Correspondence and Reports, 1959-1985 

Folder 3: Board of Trustees, Unbound Minutes, 1977-1978 

Folder 4: Biographical - Board Members, Chancellors, University Presidents, etc. 

Folder 5: Medical School Misc. 

Folder 6: Sansing Correspondence, 1978-1985 

Folder 7-10: Research Papers, students of Dr. Sansing 

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Integration in Higher Education 

Box 4 

Folder 1: Alumni Allegations Concerning UM Staff and Faculty, the charges relate to communism and integration, 1952-1959 

Folder 2: Clyde Kennard, photocopies of newsclippings and Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission correspondence, 1958-1962 

Folder 3: James Meredith and UM Integration, newsclippings 

Folder 4: James Meredith and UM Integration, national press coverage 

Folder 5: James Meredith and UM Integration, telegrams (from Attorney Gen. RFK) 

Folder 6: James Meredith and UM Integration, speeches 

Folder 7: James Meredith and UM Integration, miscellaneous 

Folder 8: James Meredith and UM Integration, W. H. Mounger meeting in Jackson 

Folder 9: Student Newspaper, UM, 1960's 

Folder 10: Rebel Underground,  Southern Review, Bumper Stickers 

Folder 11: Speaker Ban and Censorship Matters, newsclippings, correspondence, legal papers, 1960's and 1970's 

Folder 12: Ayer vs. Gov. Allain (class action suit regarding continued discrimination in higher education), February 1990 

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Box 5 

Bound Volume 

Dr. Holmes/Dr. E. R. Jobe, 1956-1968 

Dr. Holmes & Dr. Sansing/Dr. E. E. Thrash, 1968-1970 

Folder 1 

Sansing/Porter Fortune, University, 8/23/79 

Sansing/Bobby Garraway, Lumberton, 6/12/80 

Sansing/Charles Jacobs, Cleveland, 8/11/80 

Folder 2 

Sansing/Dr. Reece McLendon, Senatobia, 9/21/81 

Sansing/Dr. Marston, 3/18/82 

Sansing & Lucy Bridgeforth/Dr. Norman Nelson, 9/12/80 

Folder 3 

Sansing/Travis Parker, Drew, 8/11/80 

Sansing/J. L. Scott, Jackson, 2/6/80 

Sansing/Miriam Simmons, Hattiesburg, 6/12/80 

Folder 4 

Sansing/Mike Sturdivant, Glendora, 8/11/80 

Sansing/E. E. Thrash, Jackson, 10/24/78 

Sansing/George Watson, Pass Christian, 6/11/80 

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 

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 

Bound Volume 

Sansing/J. P. Coleman, Oxford, 16 June 1979 

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Galley, Graphic Materials 

Separated Materials note

Framed materials have been removed to Collection Photographs for preservation

Box 8 

Folder 1: Making Haste Slowly, Uncorrected Long Galley 

Folder 2: Framed "Resolution of Appreciation to Dr. Verner Holmes" 

Folder 3: Framed of the Board of Trustees 

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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 

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Scrapbooks and Miscellaneous 

Box 13 

Scrapbook: James Meredith and UM Integration, mostly newsclippings 

Scrapbook: J. P. Coleman, newsclippings 

Magazine: Look Magazine, "How A Secret Deal Prevented A Massacre at Ole Miss", 31 December 1962 

Broadside: J.P. Coleman Printed Broadside: "The Handshake that Sealed the Bargain" 

Box 14 

Scrapbook: Verner Holmes Day (McComb, Mississippi), 16 August 1978 

Scrapbook: General with some newsclippings pertaining to Meredith and Coleman 

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Box 15 

J. P. Coleman Gubernatorial Campaign, July/August 1963 

J. P. Coleman Campaign Literature "The Statesman" 

Mississippi State Capitol Medal (in honor of 1983 rededication of the building). 

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