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Outgoing correspondence from Sue Spencer in Freetown, Sierre Leone, Africa, June 1957-August 1957

 File — Box: 1478, Folder: 3

Scope and Contents note

From the Collection: The bulk of the collection includes correspondence from Spencer to her two daughters while she was living in Africa with her husband—a mining engineer—and their three sons. Sue and her husband, Robert, lived in Africa for ten years. Mrs. Spencer published a majority of the correspondence in her book, African Creeks I Have Been Up. Not all of the letters in this collection appear in the book.

The earlier correspondence details the family's life in Africa, including their experiences, the food, the people they encountered, and the land. This correspondence also illustrates the family's effort to communicate while residing on different continents. There is also correspondence between Robert Spencer and the children, and from the children to their parents. Later correspondence is solely from Nelle Harper Lee, whom Mrs. Spencer met in a Shakespeare class while attending The University of Alabama.

The collection also includes a manuscript for an untitled book, possibly Bitten in the Outback, Around the World with a Stiff Knee, or More Creeks I Have Been Up, as well as notes and observations that Mrs. Spencer recorded during her travels abroad. In addition to the materials Mrs. Spencer created, there are also a number of newspaper clippings, predominately concerning African Creeks I Have Been Up.


  • June 1957-August 1957

Conditions Governing Access

Portions of the collection are 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. 

Access to and use of materials that were created by Nelle Harper Lee in this collection require written permission from the Lee estate. Patrons may not use cell phone cameras or any other recording devices when accessing restricted portions of this collection. University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections staff will not photocopy or digitize letters written by Nelle Harper Lee without written permission from the Lee estate. For information contact The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections staff at


15 items

Language of Materials



Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266