The papers of George P. Garrett span the years 1929 to 2000 with the bulk of the material being dated between 1960 and 1990. The papers were initially collected and assembled by author, bibliographer, and publisher Stuart T. Wright. Wright published a number of Garrett's works at his Palaemon Press and also assembled the Stuart Wright Bibliographic Collection of George Garrett (see related materials held by the Rubenstein Library). Additional materials were received by the Library directly from George Garrett.
The collection primarily documents Garrett's literary career as an author of novels, short stories, poetry, and dramatic works (including filmscripts) and the tremendous influence he had as an English professor and an editor on an entire generation of writers, particularly in the South. Correspondence with numerous authors, publishers, and educators offers much information about the history of 20th-century Southern literature, publishing, and literary education. The collection is divided into the Writings Series (with subseries of Writings by Garrett, Writings Edited by Garrett, Writings by Others, and Proofs); the Correspondence Series (with 5 subseries of alphabetically and chronologically arranged correspondence); the Audiovisual Material Series; and the Miscellaneous Papers Series.
The Alphabetical Correspondence Subseries: Group A contains letters from numerous contemporary American authors, among them Madison Smartt Bell, who wrote regarding the progress of his fiction, his experience with publishers and literary agents, and his interview with Garrett for Paris Review; and Fred Chappell, whose letters provide commentary on his own works The Inkling and Dagon as well as praise for Garrett's Death of the Fox,The Magic Striptease, and Welcome to the Medicine Show. The Writings by Others Subseries contains Bell's interview with Garrett, in which Garrett discusses his writing process, and critical essays by Fred Chappell (including one on Garrett's The Stranger in the Mirror and one on the work of Sylvia Wilkinson). The Proofs Subseries contains a proof of Reynolds Price's Collected Stories, with brief comments by Garrett.
Garrett's own literary career is documented throughout the collection. The Writings by Garrett Subseries contains manuscripts, typescripts, notes, and drafts of his work, some of it bearing notes for revision. The Chronological Correspondence Subseries contains letters in which Garrett wrote about his works in progress and letters from friends and publishers regarding his work. The comments of noted literary figures regarding Garrett's work frequently appear in letters in the Alphabetical Correspondence Subseries: Group A. This series also affords researchers a detailed view of literary criticism and support exchanged between Garrett and the many authors represented in the collection. His negotiations with publishers are best documented in the Alphabetical Correspondence Subseries: Group B. The Audiovisual Material Series contains some recordings of Garrett reading from his own work.
The Audiovisual Material Series, which contains many recordings of Garrett's lectures, classes, and addresses to groups of writers, students, and literary scholars, documents Garrett's teaching style and his ideas on the teaching of writing. Recordings of lectures and readings by many other well-known authors also appear in this series. Garrett's impact on his students and fellow authors is again visible in the Writings by Others Subseries, which consists of numerous manuscripts, typescripts, and drafts (some bearing notes by Garrett) of work sent to Garrett for commentary and revision.
The addition (Acc. 1998-0356) (5500 items, 15 linear feet; dated 1980-1998 [bulk 1995-1997]) further documents the life, career, and writing of the author and educator. It consists of audiotapes of various authors, including Garrett reading their works; a videocassette entitled "The Great Gatsby"; printed materials and writings, including published books, journals, drafts, and bound proofs; a large amount of personal and business correspondence; and manuscripts submitted to Garrett for comment.
The addition (Acc. 1999-0268) (1 item, 0.3 linear feet; dated [ca. 1996]) consists of a photocopied typescript of Garrett's novel The King of Babylon Shall Not Come Against You with handwritten annotations.
The addition (Acc. 1999-0379) (450 items, 0.6 linear feet; dated 1956-1972) is primarily comprised of incoming correspondence, chiefly professional; a number of writings are interfiled with or attached to letters. Also included are miscellaneous printed materials such as brochures and clippings.
The addition (Acc. 2000-0085) (9100 items, dated 1964-1999) further documents Garrett's literary career with additional manuscripts, often parts of or related to The King of Babylon Shall not Come Against You. There are audiotapes of readings by Garrett and others, literary correspondence, and clippings.
The addition (Acc. 2000-0303) (15 items, 1 linear foot; dated 1995-2000) documents some of Garrett's writing process and his direct comments in readings and on videotape. Included are page proofs and a revised typescript of The King of Babylon Shall Not Come Against You, a revised typescript of Entered From the Sun, 11 cassette tapes of readings and lectures presumably by Garrett, and a videotape entitled "Writers - East of the Blue Ridge" on which he is interviewed.
The addition (Acc. 2002-0034) (1 item, 1 lin. ft.; dated 2002) comprises an uncorrected page proof, with color cover, for Garrett's Going to See the Elephant: Pieces of a Writing Life. This accession is unprocessed and has been interfiled.
Additions (Acc. 2005-0067) (1875 items, 3.0 lin. ft.; dated 1990s-2003) and (Acc. 2004-0133) (2 items, 0.1 lin. ft.; dated 2004) comprise manuscripts, drafts, notes, typescripts, and correspondence for Double Vision, The Year in Fiction, and Every Bitter Thing. Also includes typescripts, notes, holograph manuscripts, and typescripts with holograph corrections for essays, stories, and other writings; and a broadside of Garrett's poem, Luck's Shinning Child, printed for the 2004 Virginia Festival of the Book.
The addition (Acc. 2006-0090) (750 items, 1.2 lin. ft.; dated 2005-2006) contains proofs for Bad Man Blues and The King of Babylon Shall not Come Against You.; manuscripts for Godfather and several short stories; print materials including books and journals authored or edited by Garrett; 2 DVDs; and 12 computer diskettes. The content of these diskettes has been migrated to archival storage server. Closed pending processing.
The addition (Acc. 2007-0075)(5,400 items; 7.2 lin. ft.; dated 1971-2006) primarily contains drafts of Garrett's writings as typescripts and electronic files on diskettes. Also included are books and journals that feature his works and works of other authors; audiocassettes and CDs of interviews and readings by Garrett; and correspondence. Closed pending processing.
The addition (Acc. 2008-0181) (760 items; 1.2 lin. ft.; dated 1999-2008) contains notes, research, and drafts of Garrett's short story "The Source", eventually renamed "Thanksgiving". There are also some folders of correspondence, transcripts of interviews, and some audiovisual material including four audiocassette tapes and one DVD.
The addition (Acc. 2008-0271) (375 items; 0.6 lin. ft.; dated 1985-2008) contains correspondence; drafts and notes for poems and other projects, including an "Armies of Occupation" project; and copies of newspaper clippings and interviews with Garrett.
Addition (Acc. 2013-0168) (50 items, 0.1 lin. ft.; dated 1964-1972) comprises a file of letters to Garrett from those whose last names begin with the letter "P."