The Mary E. Mercer Collection of Carson McCullers-Mary Tucker Correspondence, 1959-1976, contain letters written primarily to Dr. Mercer by Mary Tucker, Carson McCullers's piano teacher and a long-time close friend. Most correspondence concerns the life and work of McCullers; however, there are also several letters written after the death of the author, regarding her biographers and the allocation of her papers to various libraries. Topics include the writer's mental and physical health, her work, and Tucker and Mercer's love and admiration for the author. There is also correspondence between Tucker and Mercer regarding various biographers of McCullers and the purchase of her papers by Duke University. The papers also include several copies of Mercer's own letters and a slide of Mary Tucker taken by Mary Mercer. Arranged in chronological order.
The Carson McCullers Papers span the years 1941-1995 and are divided into six series: Correspondence, Writings, Jordan Massee Notebooks, Photographs, Printed Materials, and Clippings. The Correspondence Series includes numerous letters from Carson McCullers to Jordan Massee, Paul Bigelow, Edith Sitwell, and other friends and family members. Most significant in the series is the correspondence between McCullers and Tennessee Williams, in which both writers touch on a variety of topics such as the writing process, health, marital problems, and their travels. Carson's relationship with her husband, Reeves McCullers, is a frequent topic.
The Writings Series, the largest in the collection, comprises typewritten manuscripts of several long as well as short published works of McCullers, including The Member of the Wedding (which has handwritten revisions) and The Clock Without Hands. Notable short writings include verses that McCullers wrote for children, an essay on literary criticism, and two short works that are inscribed and signed by the author. At the end of the series there are also two poems by Edith Sitwell.
The Jordan Massee Notebooks Series contains a catalogue that Massee compiled about the McCullers papers he owned, as well as a notebook with notes about McCullers and extracts from his journals.
The Photographs Series consists of five photographs, most of which are of Carson McCullers. Particularly noteworthy is a photograph taken by Henri Cartier-Bresson, where McCullers appears with the editor of Harper's Bazaar, George Davis.
The Printed Materials Series and the Clippings Series both contain reviews of writings by McCullers and materials related to their dramatization. The latter series includes two short essays by Tennessee Williams as well as numerous obituaries published after McCullers's death.
Carson McCullers papers, 1941-1995 and undated (bulk 1945-1970), bulk 1945-1970 1.2 Linear Feet — 300 Items
The Mary Sames Tucker Papers are dated from 1936 to 1967, and are divided into two series, the Correspondence Series and the Printed Materials and Clippings Series. The bulk of the first series consists of letters written by Carson McCullers to her former piano teacher, Mary Tucker. They reveal the closeness of the relationship between the two women (Tucker is often referred to as a 'foster mother'). Other letters are addressed to Carson's husband Reeves; her mother, Marguerite Smith; and her physician and longtime friend, Mary E. Mercer. Together, the correspondence documents the writer's relationships, marital problems, and especially the suffering caused by her chronic poor health. The Printed Materials and Clippings Series contains several clippings of obituaries that appeared in newspapers after the death of McCullers and a booklet published by the Empire Theatre.
The John Ziegler correspondence spans the dates 1927-2013, with the bulk of the material consisting of World War II-era correspondence between lovers/partners John Zeigler and Edwin Peacock and their close friend George Scheirer, although there is also extensive correspondence between Zeigler and his family present. After the war, Zeigler and Peacock co-founded of a bookstore in Charleston, S.C., while Scheirer lived most of his adult life in Washington, DC. Recipients and names mentioned in letters throughout the collection include family members of all three men, as well as friends, including Carson McCullers. Other materials include documentation of Scheirer's work as a bookbinder; selected copies of Zeigler's writings and publications; photographs of all three individuals; and official military documents relating to Zeigler's and Peacock's service during WWII.
The Edwin Peacock Papers span the dates 1915 to 1997, with the majority of the items dating from the 1940s to 1997, and provide many insights into the life and work of Carson McCullers through materials in three series: Correspondence, Photographs, and Printed Materials. The Correspondence Series, largest in the collection, is comprised primarily of letters to Edwin Peacock and John Zeigler. Many are from translators and biographers of McCullers (Virginia Carr, Jacques Tournier, and Robert Duparc). There is also significant correspondence by the author's husband, Reeves McCullers, and copies of letters to each other while Reeves served in the armed forces in France during World War II.
The bulk of the Photographs Series consists of black and white snapshots primarily from the 1940s and 1950s. The majority of them represent Carson McCullers, her friends and family, including Edwin Peacock, John Zeigler, Mary Mercer, her sister, and her mother.
The Printed Materials and Clippings Series consists of documents related to the work of Carson McCullers. Formats include playbills, critical articles, reviews, and clippings. There is also a high-school essay on McCullers by the niece of John Zeigler, and materials related to various conferences and symposiums about the author.
The Virginia Spencer Carr Papers span the years 1867 to 2009 and document the research and production of Carr's biography of Carson McCullers, The Lonely Hunter. Formats include correspondence, notes, drafts, and clippings. The collection consists of four series: Alphabetical Files, Research Files, Correspondence by McCullers Family, and Drafts and Proofs. The Alphabetical Files Series consists primarily of correspondence and interview notes between Carr and the many individuals she contacted while doing research for her book. Prominent correspondents include David Leo Diamond, Jordan Massee, Edwin Peacock, Mary Mercer, Mary S. Tucker, and Doubleday Publishing. Materials in the Research Files Series also include a large number of copies of correspondence, primarily letters written by Carson McCullers. There are also some clippings, notes from interviews that Carr conducted and letters she received in reaction to the publication of her book. The Correspondence by McCullers Family Series consists of copies of letters written primarily by Carson McCullers to her friends and family, including Reeves McCullers, David Leo Diamond, and her mother, Marguerite Waters Smith. There is also a series of letters McCullers wrote John Huston in the last year of her life. Finally, the Drafts and Proofs Series includes a copy of Carr's doctoral dissertation on Carson McCullers and notes that served in its preparation. There are also edited sections of the manuscript of the The Lonely Hunter, as well as a foundry proof and a galley of the same.