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Clay Jones Papers

Identifier: MSS-538

Scope and Contents

The Clay Jones papers focus mainly on Jones’ career as a cartoonist. They incorporate correspondence, contracts, awards materials, portfolios, printed materials, cartoon drawings and art, convention/conference materials, political memorabilia and visual materials.

The correspondence encompasses a wide variety of job applications and responding letters from various and numerous newspapers throughout the United States. Other letters fall in the categories of reader responses, personal correspondence, and publisher correspondence. Printed materials include newspaper clippings and issues of magazines and journals that featured Jones’ cartoons. Political memorabilia consists mainly of campaign materials from several Mississippi and national politicians. The editorial cartoons and art encompass the bulk of the collection.

Photographs include several photos of Clay Jones, as well as photos of state and national politicians. Included is a photo of Jones with former Mississippi governor Kirk Fordice and Pat Fordice. Included in original artwork are early drawings in sketchbooks and full-length comic-book style illustrations and stories. Editorial cartoons and a comic strip titled Gator-Aid comprise the rest of the original artwork.


  • 1982 - 1998
  • Majority of material found within 1990 - 1997


Access Restrictions

Open to all researchers.

Use Restrictions

Any requests for permission to publish, quote, or reproduce materials from this collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian, Mitchell Memorial Library. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Mississippi State University as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Biographical Information

Clayton Robert Jones was born in Fort Hood, Texas, and spent his early life in Louisiana, Illinois, California, and Georgia. Jones graduated from West Monroe High School in 1984 and attended Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi. He began freelance work at The Panolian in Batesville, Mississippi in 1990, where he eventually worked as a full time editorial cartoonist. In 1994 he began work as editorial cartoonist and photographer for The Daily Leader in Brookhaven, Mississippi. From 1992 to 1997 he self-syndicated his work to over forty newspapers throughout Mississippi including The Clarion-Ledger, and was also a freelance editorial cartoonist for the Mississippi Business Journal. In May of 1997 Jones moved to Honolulu, Hawaii where he was editorial cartoonist for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin for a year and then went on to work for the Free-Lance Star in Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1998.

Jones’ work has been published in national newspapers such as The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Sun-Times, The St. Louis Post Dispatch, USA Today, The Washington Post and The Grand Rapids Press. In 1997, Knee Deep in Mississippi, a collection of Jones’ work, was published by Pelican Publishing. His work has also been featured in Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year in 1993 and 1994, and Not Just a Laughing Matter, a Japanese publication, in 1992. He won the Mississippi Press Association Better Newspaper Contest award for best editorial cartoon for three consecutive years: 1994, 1995 and 1996.

Clay Jones is married to Michelle Jones and they have a son, Clayton Michael Jones.


6.33 Cubic Feet (:2 record cartons; 1 manuscript box; 1 SMO folder & 8 SMO boxes; 2 OS folders; 1 VMP folder; WFB; SMOWFB; OSN; Artifacts)

Language of Materials



Series 1. Correspondence-Box 1

Series 2. Contracts-Box 1

Series 3. Award materials, applications, letters-Box 1

Series 4. Portfolios-Box 1

Series 5. Printed materials-Box 1; Small Oversize Manuscripts Box 27; Oversize Manuscripts Box 13; Wrapped/Framed/Bound Box 2; Oversize Newspapers

Series 6. Editorial cartoons and art-Boxes 1-2; Small Oversize Manuscripts Boxes 27, 29-36

Series 7. Financial records-Box 2

Series 8. Convention/conference materials-Box 2; Small Oversize Box 27; Artifacts Box 2

Series 9. Political material-Box 2; Artifacts Box 2

Series 10. Miscellaneous-Box 3; Oversize Manuscripts Box 13

Series 11. Visual materials-Visual Materials: Photographs Box 5; Small Oversize Photographs Box 1; Wrapped/Framed/Bound Box 2

Processing Information

Newspaper clippings were disposed of after being copied on to acid-free paper. A number of envelopes, folders and other materials including a box of business cards, were disposed of in the appropriate manner.


Clay Jones Papers
Jana L. Hill.
February 2002
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts Repository