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Erik Per Overbey Papers

Identifier: MSS-3973

Scope and Contents

The collection contains Overbey's correspondence with and collection of clippings about several University of Alabama alumni authors and one artist.


  • 1947-1989


Biographical / Historical

Erik Per Overbey was born in 1921, oldest son of noted Mobile photographer Erik and Ida C. Overbey, in Mobile, Alabama. He worked for many years as a wholesale salesman in Glendale, California, and died on May 11, 2013, in Sunland, California.

Beth Barnes was born on November 1, 1920, in Ozark, Alabama. She was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Alabama having studied writing until Professors Elizabeth Tyler Coleman and Hudson Strode. She was classmates with William Berney, Lonnie Coleman, Daniel Curley, and Arthur Phillips at the University. She married John Howard Whatley; the couple resided in the Los Angeles, California. She died on December 10, 1979, and is buried in Altadena, California.

William Berney was born in Albertville, Alabama, on May 20, 1920. He attended the University of Alabama in the late 1930s and early 1940s before going to the University of Iowa. At some point, he returned to Alabama and graduated in 1944. He and Howard Richardson co-authored several stage plays, the best known of which is Dark of the Moon. He never married and died of a drug overdose in November 23, 1961, at the age of 41, in Los Angeles, California.

Lonnie Coleman was born on August 2, 1920, in Bartow, Georgia. He attended grade and high schools in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, and graduated from the University of Alabama with a BA degree in 1942. He studied under Professors Elizabeth Tyler Coleman and E. Hudson Strode, and was classmates with Beth Barnes, William Berney, Daniel Curley, and Arthur Phillips. He worked as an editor for several magazines including Ladies Home Journal and Collier's. His book Beulah Land was a best seller in 1974 and with its sequel, Look Away, Beulah Land, were filmed in 1980 as a television miniseries titled Beulah Land, starring Lesley Ann Warren, Michael Sarrazin, Meredith Baxter, and Don Johnson. Coleman died on August 13, 1982, in Savannah, Georgia.

Daniel Curley was born in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, on October 4, 1918. He graduated from the University of Alabama where he was also a student of Professors Elizabeth Tyler Coleman and E. Hudson Strode, and was classmates with Beth Barnes, Lonnie Coleman, and Arthur Phillips. He taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where Roger Ebert was one of his students. He and Ebert co-authored The Perfect London Walk in 1986. Curley married (1) Helen Korman and (2) Audrey. He had four daughters and a stepdaughter. He died on December 30, 1988, from injuries sustained after being struck by a car while attempting to cross a thoroughfare in Tallahassee, Florida.

Arthur Gordon Phillips was born on September 24, 1916, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He graduated from the University of Alabama where he was also a student of Professors Elizabeth Tyler Coleman and E. Hudson Strode, and was classmates with Beth Barnes, and Lonnie Coleman. He married Elaine Doris Rosner and taught freshman English at the University of Miami for several years. He wrote Victory in the Dust in 1942. He died in Florida on May 12, 1986, at the age of 69.

John Rembert was born on November 30, 1920, and grew up in Montgomery, Alabama. He graduated from the University of Alabama and was a classmate of Lonnie Coleman. He married Virginia C. Pitts and taught art at Meredith COllege (Bessemer, Alabama), the Institute of Art (Raleigh, North Carolina), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Beloit College (Beloit, Wisconsin). He died on May 30, 1978, in Little Rock, Arkansas, and is buried in Deatsville, Alabama.

died May 30, 1978


0.4 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Overbey's collection of correspondence with and clippings of several University of Alabama alumni


gift of Erik Per Overbey, 1993


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Processed by

Martha Bace, 2014



Guide to the Erik Per Overbey Papers
November 2014
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266