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A. S. Williams III Americana Collection's Alabama authors collection

 Collection
Identifier: W-0064

Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, signed book pages, publication announcements, catalogs, and newspaper clippings related to the careers of several Alabama authors. In addition to materials related to individual authors, the collection also contains a small number of records related to two Alabama literary clubs: the Alabama Writers Conclave and the Birmingham Branch of the National League of American Pen Women.

While some of the authors featured in this collection are represented by a single document, the collection contains slightly more extensive holdings related to Thomas Chalmers McCorvey, Frank Owsley Jr., and Mary Behrendsen Ward. Material related to Thomas Chalmers McCorvey include a handwritten speech entitled "Marriage and its Customs" from 1877 and a letter from McCorvey's father. The Frank Owsley Jr. papers consists of a series of correspondence between Owsley and book dealer Pat Cather, dated from 1983-1984. The Mary Behrendsen Ward papers consist of a collection of personal correspondence dated from 1929-1948, and approximately ten manuscripts, including the short stories "That Danged Woman," "Behind the Mask," "Birmingham's Amusing Sign Language," and a collection of Christmas poems.

The second box includes materials that Patrick Cather created and collected. While the collection contains materials written by multiple authors, the bulk of the material consists of Cather's professional and personal correspondence. Most of this correspondence is dated between 1980 and 1994 and includes orders placed to Cather and Brown Books and correspondence related to Cather's personal collection of Alabama books and pamphlets.

The third phase box contains publication announcements, book catalogs, and newspaper clippings relating to Alabama authors and publishers. Although most of the material in this group dates between 1920 and 1988, the bulk are dated from 1980 to 1988. In addition to announcements released by small local publishers, University of Alabama Press materials are also included.

Dates

  • 1868-1989

Creator

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.

Biographical / Historical

Brief biographies of six of the authors featured in this collection are listed below.

Octavus Roy Cohen was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 26, 1891. He attended Porter Military Academy, and Clemson College, and received an honorary Litt.D. from Birmingham Southern College, in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1927. Cohen worked as newspaper reporter at the Birmingham Ledger, the Charleston News and Courier, and the Newark Morning Times. He published a total of fifty-six books, many of which were detective novels. Cohen died in 1959.

Born in Haleburg, Alabama, on January 11, 1888, Grover Cleveland Hall worked as the associate editor and editor of the Montgomery Advertiser from 1910-1926. In 1928, he won the Pulitzer Prize for best editorial writing for a series of editorials published in the Advertiser. He died in 1941.

Thomas Wesley Martin was born in Scottsboro, Alabama, on August 13, 1881. While serving as Alabama Power Company chairman of the board, Martin petitioned Congress for the creation of Horseshoe Bend National Military Park. Martin published a brief history of the battle, titled The Story of Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, in 1960. Martin died on December 8, 1964.

Historian Frank Owsley Jr. was born on June 13, 1928, in Nashville, Tennessee. He received his BA and MA from Vanderbilt University and his PhD from The University of Alabama in 1955. Owsley taught at George Washington University, the U.S. Naval Academy, and Auburn University.

Samuel Minturn Peck was born on November 4, 1854, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. A doctor and writer, Peck was named the first poet laureate in Alabama, serving from 1930-1938. Peck died on May 3, 1938.

Mary Behrendsen Ward was born in 1898. She was a member of the Alabama Writers Conclave and the National League of American Pen Women, and was named Alabama's poet laureate, serving from 1954-1959. She died in 1985.

Extent

0.4 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Overview

Correspondence, manuscripts, signed book pages, publication announcements, catalogs, and newspaper clippings related to the careers of several Alabama authors as well as the Alabama Writers Conclave and the Birmingham Branch of the National League of American Pen Women.

Physical Location

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, The University of Alabama

Provenance

Gift of A. S. Williams III, 2010

General

Titles on phase box spines: Alabama Authors - Letters and Manuscripts; Letters to Patrick Cather from Alabama Authors; and Ephemera Relating to Alabama Books and Authors

Processed by

Haley Aaron and Martha Bace, 2014

Creator

Source

Title
Guide to the A. S. Williams III Americana Collection's Alabama authors collection
Status
Completed
Date
February 2014
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