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De Soto Expedition Commission Records

Identifier: MSS-0433

Scope and Contents

This collection contains published and unpublished monographs, off-prints, maps, slides, illustrations, and ephemera relating to Hernando de Soto, his expedition of 1540, and the effects of Spanish exploration and colonization in Alabama and the Southeastern United States. Most of the items in this collection were generated between 1985 and 1990 by scholars as well as variou sacademic, state, and federal organizations in preparation for the commemoration of the 450th anniversary of De Soto's entry into the southeastern United States. A few of the documents and maps are from the United States De Soto Commission of 1935. Still others relate to the Columbian quincentenary observance.

The series are: SERIES I: De Soto Working Papers SERIES II: Published Monographs SERIES III: Unpublished Monographs SERIES IV: Off-Prints SERIES V: Maps and Graphic Materials SERIES VI: Miscellaneous Materials and Projects SERIES VII: Scholarly Correspondence SERIES VIII: Alabama De Soto Commission Reports SERIES IX: De Soto Mapping Project SERIES X: De Soto Trail Commission Papers SERIES XI: Columbian Quincentenary Documents

There are many variations of Hernando de Soto's name used in the various documents; they are copied as they appear in the works cited.


  • 1917 - 1991


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are responsible for using the materials in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright claimants in collection materials. Copyright for official University records is held by The University of Alabama. The library claims only physical ownership of many manuscript collections. Anyone wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights. Please contact Special Collections ( with questions regarding specific manuscript collections. For more information about copyright policy, please visit: Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal implications, for which the University of Alabama assumes no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

Hernando de Soto (c.1496/1497–1542) was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who, while leading the first European expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States, was the first European documented to have crossed the Mississippi River. A vast undertaking, de Soto's North American expedition ranged throughout the southeastern United States searching for gold and a passage to China. De Soto died in 1542 on the banks of the Mississippi River in Arkansas or Louisiana.

Source: Wikipedia contributors. "Hernando de Soto." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 12 Jun. 2011. Web. 29 Jun. 2011.


9.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Correspondence, publications, maps, and ephemera relating to Hernando de Soto, his expedition of 1540, and the effects of Spanish exploration and colonization in Alabama and the Southeastern United States.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Edward C. Moore; additional gift Walter B. Jones


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Processing Information

Processed by C.E. Doughty January, 2009; updated by Andrew Harris, 2013; updated by Martha Bace, 2015, 2018
Guide to De Soto Expedition Commission Records
April 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266