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Sue Spencer Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS-1323

Scope and Contents note

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.

Dates

  • 1956 - 2008
  • Majority of material found within 1956 - 1964

Creator

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 archives@ua.edu.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to and use of materials that were created by Nelle Harper Lee in this collection require written permission from the Lee estate. 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. Patrons may not use cell phone cameras or any other recording devices when accessing restricted portions of this collection. For information contact The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections staff at archives@ua.edu.

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. 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 staff at archives@ua.edu with questions regarding specific manuscript collections. For more information about copyright policy, please visit: https://www.ua.edu/copyright/. 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 note

Sue Spencer (1919-2017), née Townsend McDaniel, was an author from Northport, Alabama. In September 1935, she entered The University of Alabama School of Law at age 15. On 22 January 1937 she married Robert V. Spencer, a 1936 graduate of The University of Alabama in mining engineering. They subsequently spent several years at different locations in the South, before moving to British West Africa where Robert worked as a mining engineer for the next decade. In 1967 they then moved to Kilgoorlie, West Australia where Robert continued his work in mining engineering. They had five children.

Extent

0.4 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Overview

This collection chiefly consists of correspondence from Sue Spencer to her family and friends during the time she spent with her husband and three sons living in Africa, an experience from which she published African Creeks I Have Been Up. Both the manuscript and galley proofs are included in this collection, as well as notes and observations for Mrs. Spencer's other publications, and newspaper clippings and other items related to Mrs. Spencer's life as an author and mother.

Provenance

Gift of Sue Spencer, 1964, 2012, and 2014.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Sue Spencer Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid updated by Jessica Rayman, 2018.
Date
2015; updated December 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266
205.348.0500