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Emma Gelders Sterne papers

Identifier: W-0099

Scope and Contents

This collection contains contracts and business correspondence between Alabama author Emma Gelders Sterne and her publishers at Dodd, Mead, and Company. The correspondence and contracts are dated from 1934 to 1953 and mostly include republication agreements between Sterne and the publishers. The collection includes materials related to The Calico Ball, Some Plant Olive Trees, and Drums of Monmouth.


  • 1934-1953


Conditions Governing Access


Biographical / Historical

Emma Gelders Sterne was born on May 13, 1894, in Birmingham, Alabama. She graduated from Smith College in 1916, receiving a BA. After college, Sterne returned to Birmingham, where she was involved in a number of activist efforts, including the suffrage movement.

In 1917, she married lawyer Roy M. Sterne; the couple had two daughters, Ann and Barbara. The family moved to New York, where Roy worked for the Liggett Drug Company and Emma became involved in a number of activist groups, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union.

A prolific children's author, Sterne published a total of forty-four books during a literary career that spanned four decades. Several of her books, including No Surrender, Amarantha Gay, M.D., and The Calico Ball are set in Birmingham; another work, Some Plant Olive Trees, was inspired by the French settlement of Demopolis, Alabama.

Sterne spent her final years in California; she died on August 29, 1971, in San Jose.

Source: Encyclopedia of Alabama


0.1 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Contracts and business correspondence related to the publication of books written by Alabama author Emma Gelders Sterne.

Physical Location

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


Gift of A. S. Williams III, 2010

Related Materials

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection has several other collections relating to Alabama authors. Please contact staff for assistance.


Title of phase box spine: Emma Gelders Sterne

Processed by

Haley Aaron, 2013



Guide to the Emma Gelders Sterne papers
December 2013
Description rules
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