John E. Phay Collection

Beginning in the late 1940's, Dr. John Elon Phay, Professor of Educational Administration, Director of the Bureau of Education Research at the University of Mississippi, and Consultant and Advisor to the 1952 Mississippi Legislative Recess Education Committee, photographically recorded the pre-integration days of selected public elementary and secondary schools of Mississippi. Although filming was not a part of his assigned duties, Dr. Phay utilized his personal time to amass the pictorial history of these schools. The images examine the "separate but equal" ruling of the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson as it pertained to the Mississippi educational system.

This collection contains over 4700 Kodachrome slides and black-and-white photographs documenting the following Mississippi counties in the late 1940s and 1950s: Benton, Clay, Grenada, Holmes, Jones, Marshall, Panola, Prentiss, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Union, and Yalobusha.

Use the search box in the left sidebar to search across the subject areas in the Phay Collection.

The collection includes 727 images of the University of Mississippi; most of the University images do not have corresponding dates but document the campus and culture prior to the 1962 Integration.

The John Elon Phay Collection finding aid provides further information about this collection.

Some of the images and language that appear in this digital collection depict prejudices that are not condoned by the University of Mississippi. This content is being presented as historical documents to aid in the understanding of both American history and the history of the University of Mississippi. The University Creed speaks to our current deeply held values, and the availability of this content should not be taken as an endorsement of previous attitudes or behavior.

SEE ALSO: Mississippi School Surveys, a collection of reports of Mississippi schools from the early 1900s through the 1970s. The majority of the surveys in this collection are surveys of school building from 1954-1957, including many of the schools documented by the Phay Collection.

Photos from this collection (L to R): Sledge (Grades 3-6 Classroom), Quitman County; Stone Deavours (Grade 4 Classroom), Jones County


Browse the John E. Phay Collection:

Benton County

Clay County

Grenada County

Holmes County

Jones County

Lafayette County

Marshall County

Panola County

Prentiss County

Quitman County

Sunflower County

Tallahatchie County

Tate County

Union County

Yalobusha County