We have all heard about law libraries, medical libraries, religious libraries, maritime libraries, presidential libraries and general local, state and federal libraries. However, in this country there are several libraries strictly devoted to the cotton industry. This is not just a crop in American agricultural history. Cotton was a life-changing crop that built around it an entire lifestyle and economy.
The Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum and Library is dedicated to the preservation of the American cotton industry. Located in historic Greenville, Tx on ten acres of the Texas Blacklands, the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum and Library includes the oldest home in Greenville, Tx., a cotton patch, the library and museum and a picnic area.
This library was founded in 1987 and hosts the annual Cotton History Conference among many other symposiums and conferences on a yearly basis.
Memphis Tennessee was for many years the cotton capital of the world. The Memphis Cotton Exchange Library highlights the Cotton Exchange which was founded in 1873. This association established rules and regulations facilitating the trading of cotton and the grading of crops. The stated mission of the Cotton Exchange is as follows:
“The mission of the Memphis Cotton Exchange is to formulate and promulgate trading rules for cotton, to provide a venue for arbitration under its rules, and to preserve the heritage of the cotton trade in the City of Memphis.”
Memphis also boasts being the home of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association. This prestigious association hosts a photo library of cotton history from its heyday to the present. This association has most of its membership from Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee. However, there are members from all around the globe that attend regularly scheduled events and meetings.
Cotton was a transforming crop in American history and checking out these treasures in library form is well worth the effort.