The Grant Presidential Collection consists of some 15,000 linear feet of correspondence, research notes, artifacts, photographs, scrapbooks, and memorabilia and includes information on Grant's childhood from his birth in 1822, his later military career, Civil War triumphs, tenure as commanding general after the war, presidency, and his post-White House years until his death in 1885. There are also 4,000 published monographs on various aspects of Grant's life and times. From this collection, the series of volumes edited by John Y. Simon, entitled The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant were chosen and published by the Southern Illinois University Press. The publishing project is within 4-5 years of completion. Upon Simon's death in 2008, the Ulysses S. Grant Association, which owns the Collection, chose John F. Marszalek as Executive Director and Managing Editor of the remaining publication projects: a supplementary volume and a scholarly edition of the Grant Memoirs. The Association also voted to place the Collection in the Congressional and Political Research Center of the Mississippi State University Libraries.
Despite the thousands of documents published in The Papers, there are many more items reflecting Grant's life and career that have not been made available to the public before in one central location. The Collection housed at Mississippi State is the largest single collection of Grant papers and additional items in the world. Since the original Grant papers and other materials are scattered among various repositories and private collectors around the country, John Y. Simon collected photocopies of all the originals he could locate. Additionally, some original sources were donated to the Collection. The contents of this massive collection will now be opened to researchers and students on an incremental basis, beginning in the summer of 2009, as these materials are processed and a guide to them placed on the Grant Association website.
To research the Collection in person, please fill out the Access and Registration Form (.pdf). For copies of Collection materials, please fill out the Reproduction Request Form (.pdf).
The Collection is being divided into series and sub-series, which, at present, include the following:
- Series I: Source Cards
- These materials are source cards containing the names, dates, locations of, and accession numbers of documents found in the collection.
- Series II: Subject Files
- Sub-Series 1: Vertical Files
- These materials are subject files containing information on people and events during Grant's military and political career.
- Sub-Series 2: Research Files
- This sub-series contains copies of book chapters and articles arranged alphabetically by author's last name.
- Sub-Series 3: Lloyd Lewis Notes
- This series contains notes on the Civil War, compiled by historian Lloyd Lewis. These files contain articles, clippings, photocopies, and handwritten notes.
- Sub-Series 4: John Marszalek Notes
- This series contains notes on Union Generals William T. Sherman and Henry W. Halleck, compiled by historian John F. Marszalek. These files contain correspondence, articles, clippings, photocopies, and handwritten notes.
- Series III: Unpublished Materials
- This series contains documents not chosen for the published editions of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant. The materials are arranged chronologically.
- Series IV: Published Materials-Typescripts
- The files in this series contain copies of and typescript/transcriptions of materials, most of which are contained in the published volumes.
- Series V: Books
- These are available to researchers in the Congressional and Political Research Center and do not circulate. Learn more about them in Mississippi State University Libraries' Online Catalog.
- Series VI: Memorabilia
- Series VII: Memoirs
- Series VIII: John Y. Simon's Office Files
- Series IX: Ulysses S. Grant Association Papers
- Series X: Orville E. Babcock Materials
- This series contains the original diaries, correspondence, and uniform accessories of General Orville E. Babcock, Adjutant General to General Grant. The dates of the diaries range from 1863-1869. Correspondence ranges from 1863-1884, the year of Babcock's death.