What do you want to know?
To ask a question of our Reference Librarian, fill out our online Reference Form. But first look over the following:
Depending on the nature of the request, our answer may be fairly quick, or it may take us many weeks or months. Checking a quick fact usually means a fast answer; checking more obscure or unique information will take longer. If we will not be able to rapidly provide an answer, we will notify you that you are in our queue.
Our primary responsibility for reference services is to the residents of Natchez, Adams County, Wilkinson County, and Mississippi. The Library, with its present staff, facilities, and funding, is unable to provide all the reference and research services requested by patrons from other states and countries. Since our primary responsibility is to the residents of Mississippi, their requests will be placed ahead of nonresident patrons in the queue waiting for answers.
We wish to assist you with your information needs. However, for requests from outside Mississippi, we must request that you obtain information from your local libraries and resources when appropriate.
"Who was Mayor of Natchez on August 15, 1886?"
"Is there a city or telephone directory listing for George Sullivan in Natchez in 1952?"
"Is the Natchez Pecan Factory still in existence, if not, when did it close?"
"What are the dates for the Fall Pilgrimage?"
"What was the Rhythm Club Fire?
In general, the more specific the question, the more likely we can help you. We make every attempt to provide helpful assistance and answer as many questions as possible.
"I am looking for an obituary for John W. Smith, who died in Natchez in 1926."
We need to have a specific day, month, and year to check local newspapers for any such information. Also, we cannot provide genealogical research, but we have identified resources to help you in your search.
"Can you send me some information about steamboats on the Mississippi River?"
Since there are numerous Internet resources and books for such topics, you will be able to do this basic research. We will try to answer a specific question, for example, about a certain ship or person that had some link to Natchez or Mississippi.
"I am writing a paper about Plantation life in the South. Can you look that up for me?"
If you are from Mississippi, we will be able to provide you with guidance to resources and point you in the direction of some specific items. If you are from outside Mississippi, we will request that you work with your local libraries.
"What are some interesting facts about Natchez?"
We cannot research this type of question, although we may be able to give you the names of certain resources. We can confirm a fact, or give information on a particular fact.