Skip to main content

Please note that, due to ongoing renovations of Ayer Hall, the Margaret Walker Center will be closed to in-person visitors until further notice. We are, however, still operating out of the COFO Civil Rights Education Center. If you have research requests or other questions, e-mail us at

Margaret Walker Center

The Margaret Walker Center is an archive and museum dedicated to the preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of African American history and culture. Founded as the Institute for the Study of the History, Life, and Culture of Black People by Margaret Walker in 1968, the Center seeks to honor her academic, artistic, and activist legacy through its archival collections, exhibits, and public programs. 

Thanks to support from the Mellon Foundation, we are working on plans for a 21st century archive and museum to be built on the campus of Jackson State University. 

Events and Programs

The Margaret Walker Center continues to collect living memories, archival records, and personal papers for scholarly use; advocates the preservation of the built environment such as historic 1903 Ayer Hall, which is the oldest structure on the Jackson State University campus and was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977; engages the community through public programs, literacy projects, and educational workshops; and works with other JSU departments across the campus.


Archives and Museum

Open to the public, the Center houses significant records like the papers of the late Margaret Walker; those of the former U.S. Secretary of Education, Roderick Paige; and an oral history department that includes nearly 1000 interviews.  It also offers museum and exhibit spaces that highlight the Center’s collections and the history of Jackson State University.


The COFO Civil Rights Education Center is also a part of the Margaret Walker Center’s portfolio of programming. The COFO building was the state headquarters for the umbrella civil rights group, the Council of Federated Organizations, which operated the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project from this site in 1964. The COFO Center is available for tours and group meetings.

Margaret Walker Center
College of Liberal Arts
Jackson State University
Ayer Hall
1400 J.R. Lynch Street
P.O. Box 17008
Jackson, MS 39217

Schedule your visit today!

Phone: 601-979-3935

Keep up to date
with all MWC events
by signing up for the
MWC Listserv!