McCardle Research Library, Vicksburg’s Old Court House Museum
by Angela Riotto
University of Southern Mississippi
The McCardle Research Library is located in the historic Old Court House Museum near downtown Vicksburg. The archive features an impressive 1,400 donated volumes of local Warren County history, Civil War manuscripts, government records, maps, and photographs.
The documents are housed in a small room behind the museum curator’s office. The research room includes a large table and a copier. Due to the size of the research area, the McCardle Research Library requires all researchers to contact the archive two weeks prior to their arrival and make an appointment for assisted research. The curator and the other staff members are more than willing to recommend sources and have them ready on the scheduled day. To use the archive, one must pay the museum’s modest admission fee of $5.00 (Fall 2011).
A researcher may bring a laptop, a camera, notebooks, and books to aid his or her research. A researcher can also copy documents for a small fee of $.25. Anyone wishing to use a camera should speak to a staff member before photographing any document. A fee may apply to take photographs. Additional information is available at the archive’s website on the museum and the Vicksburg and Warren County Historical Society.
Located in downtown Vicksburg on Cherry Street overlooking the Mississippi River, the museum is within walking distance or a short drive from a variety of restaurants and shops. Vicksburg does not have a widespread public transportation system, so a vehicle is required for trips to, for example, the Vicksburg National Military Park east of the city. If one decides to stay overnight in Vicksburg, there are a number of inexpensive hotels and motels within the city. An economical researcher can stay in Vicksburg for an estimated cost of $60-$70 a day, food included.