The University of Mississippi has the largest accountancy library in the world, with the largest part housed in the J.D. Williams Library under the heading of the “National Library of the Accounting Profession.” Many volumes were received in 2001 as a gift from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).
National Library of the Accounting Profession
The National Library of the Accounting Profession houses literally hundreds of periodical titles, including essentially every accounting title in the English language. Periodicals include state society newsletters and scholarly journals. Books include virtually everything published since 1900 and many older items dating back as far as Pacioli’s Summa from 1494.
Many of the AICPA’s materials were of an archival nature, and the university has a large and respected archival department. Thus, most pre-1900 volumes are in the University Archives. Also, many of the pamphlet-type materials that were printed on acidic paper are now being preserved by archives staff. Professional archival treatment is the only way these items, which number in the thousands, will survive into the next decade.
Research services are available through a help desk managed by library staff and Patterson School of Accountancy graduate students. Questions regarding interpretation or application of laws, regulations or standards should be directed to the AICPA Technical Hotline at 888-777-7077. By agreement with the AICPA, the J.D. Williams Library at Ole Miss is charging AICPA members based on the same fee schedule used when the materials were managed by AICPA. Items still for sale by the AICPA will not be provided by the library.
In addition to pure accounting research, various aspects of social research can also be conducted using the library’s holdings. For example, many items relate to the earliest African-American and female CPAs. Similarly, organizational histories can benefit from the resources of the library.
National Tax History Research Center
The National Tax History Research Center was established at Ole Miss in 1987, when the Academy of Accounting Historians selected the university as the site to house the collection that had been donated by E. Louis Raverta, a Massachusetts CPA. The center was dedicated in 1988 with a conference to honor the 75th anniversary of the 16th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Many items in the collection were donated by P.K. Seidman, who had used the materials in co-authoring the classic Seidman’s Legislative History of the Income Tax. The Academy of Accounting Historians cosponsors the center along with the Patterson School of Accountancy. Scholars from throughout the world have studied at the center, and grants are available to researchers who wish to use the center.
National EDP Auditing Archival Center
The National EDP Auditing Archival Center was established in 1992. Many of the pioneers of EDP auditing donated their materials, including books, files and other papers, to Ole Miss. The center now includes the Michael Cangemi Collection of more than 600 books on information-technology auditing.
McMickle Accounting History Library
In 1996, Dr. Peter McMickle of Memphis donated his collection of rare accounting books to the Academy of Accounting Historians, with the provision that the library be housed at Ole Miss. The library consists of more than 1,700 volumes, with more than 500 volumes dating from the 19th century and the oldest volume dating back to 1655. Items from the niche libraries do not circulate. Small travel grants to use the collection are available to members of the Academy of Accounting Historians.
Accountancy Videotape and Media Collection
The Patterson School of Accountancy houses more than 600 videotapes on accounting topics. In addition, audiotapes and other forms of electronic media are in the collection. More than 120 videos deal with the congressional investigation conducted by the Dingell Committee during the 1980s. The Videotape Center was established in 1980, when the school obtained from Michigan State University a series of 1960s videotapes on famous accountants. Dr. Robert Jensen donated 162 of the videotapes at the time of his retirement from Trinity University; he had filmed most of these himself.
Digital Accounting Collection
The university library has digitized the full text for noncurrent AICPA Exposure Drafts, articles in the Accounting Historians Journal, 1974-2008, many pamphlets published prior to 1923, all publications of the CPA firm Deloitte & Touche and its ancestral components (including Haskins & Sells), and bibliographic citations for the AICPA pamphlet collection. The pamphlet collection contains thousands of pamphlets on accounting topics and can be searched by keyword, title and author.