University Libraries Publications and Scholarship


Researched and maintained by the history librarian at Mississippi State University (MSU) Libraries, “Against All Odds” ( is a digital humanities project that provides biographical information, photographs, excerpts from primary and secondary sources, and over 900 newspaper clippings documenting the lives and careers of the first African American men to serve in Mississippi's legislature during and just after Reconstruction. Because information on most of these men is so difficult to find, the site is designed to facilitate research by historians, librarians, students, and family historians alike. It has resulted in a presentation for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, a mirror site on the MSU library's digital exhibits page, inclusion in the Digital Black History directory, and a number of emails from descendants of some of the legislators documented. “Against All Odds” is an example of how librarians and archivists can launch digital humanities projects as a proactive way to address archival gaps that hinder research on African Americans and other historically silenced or overlooked groups.


Poster presented at the 2021 American Library Association annual meeting.

Publication Date



University Libraries


African American Studies | History



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