Sam Woods Collection

Plaque on the Woods Room door that reads Sam Edison Woods Room.

The Sam Woods Collection is comprised of materials owned by Woods in his home in Munich, Germany. The furniture, art, prints, and books decorated his house and were the basis of the first "special collections" at the University of Southern Mississippi. Now the Woods Collection serves the research needs of of students and faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi and around the world.  From interior design students to art faculty to French professors to local high school Latin classes, the materials have become integrated into the university and the community.  

Photograph of the spines of 5 volumes ofAnnalen der brittischen Geschichte des Jahrs 1788 [-1793] als eine Fortsetzung des Werks England und Italien.

The Collection features 1,200 books published from the 16th - 20th centuries with a strong focus on religion, history, and literature. In addition to the books, there is a vast collection individual pages from incunabula, items published during the early days of movable type. Woods also donated an assortment of vellum manuscripts documenting the legal activities of their owners. A mysterious palm leaft manuscript, written in Tamil or Malayalam and created in India, illustrates how Woods was interested in collecting documents from cultures outside Europe.

In addition to the remarkable printed and manuscript materials, the collection includes artifacts, furniture, and art from around Europe.  Flemish tapestries from the 18th century highlight the craftmenship of the creators.  A 19th century depiction of a Viking helmet, horns and all, delight all who see it on display.  King and queen chairs that once resided with European royals illustrate how furniture design was affected by gender roles. The celestial globe depicts the constellations and signs of the Zodiac in the night sky. All of these items work with our paper materials to tell the story of the collector Sam E. Woods.

Sam Woods Collection