Padgett Powell papers, 1972-2018

Navigate the Collection

Using These Materials Teaser

Using These Materials Links:

Using These Materials

Collection is restricted. During Powell's lifetime, access to all correspondence and business records (now held in the Correspondence and Professional Materials Series) require prior written...
More about accessing and using these materials...


Powell, Padgett
Author and professor at the University of Florida. Published works include Edisto, A Woman Named Drown, Typical, Mrs. Hollingsworth's Men, and The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?. Collection includes writings and drafts of Powell's early novels, including Edisto and A Woman Named Drown, as well as essays, short stories, and articles for popular magazines and literary anthologies. Some of these appear in Typical, a collection of Powell's short stories. The collection also includes correspondence, publishing contracts, reviews, interviews, and travel files, many relating to the publication of Edisto.
12 Linear Feet
9000 Items; 34 boxes
Material in English
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

The Padgett Powell Papers contains 4 series: Writings, Professional Materials, Correspondence, and Oversize Materials. The majority of the collection lies in the Writings Series, which includes drafts and publishing materials from Powell's books. The Writings Series also has a large run of Powell's "General Writings," which includes essays and articles for various publications, travel pieces, short stories (some of which later appeared in published books), and other drafts. These files may include multiple versions of the text, as well as correspondence with the piece's publisher.

Additional correspondence can be found in the Correspondence Series, which includes Powell's communications with editors, publishers, awards committees, and various literary figures. This series has been arranged to reflect Powell's initial arrangement: general and literary correspondence has been filed first, followed by an alphabetized subject and name file. Dates are included when known.

The collection's Professional Materials include both travel files, interview files, and some of Powell's academic work and records from his student days at the College of Charleston and at the University of Houston. The Oversize Materials series includes miscellaneous objects, usually related to publicizing or advertising Powell's readings or books.

Biographical / historical:

Padgett Powell is an American author who teaches writing at the University of Florida. His first novel, Edisto, was published in 1984 to wide acclaim, and was nominated for the American Book Award. He has since published several more books, including A Woman Named Drown (1987), Typical (1991), Edisto Revisited (1996), Aliens of Affection (1998), Mrs. Hollingsworth's Men (2000), The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? (2009), and You and I (2011).

Acquisition information:
The Padgett Powell Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a purchase in 1993, 2012, and 2015.
Processing information:

Processed by Meghan Lyon, July 2012; upated 2016

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 1993-0276, 2012-0129, 2015-0039, 2015-0182

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.

American literature -- 20th century
Authors, American -- 20th century
College teachers as authors
Authors, American -- 20th century -- Correspondence
University of Florida -- Faculty
Powell, Padgett -- Typical
Powell, Padgett -- Edisto
Powell, Padgett -- A Woman Named Drown


Using These Materials

Using These Materials Links:

Using These Materials


Collection is restricted. During Powell's lifetime, access to all correspondence and business records (now held in the Correspondence and Professional Materials Series) require prior written permission from him. Commercial use of any materials requires prior approval from Powell or his agent.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

Terms of access:

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Before you visit:
Please consult our up-to-date information for visitors page, as our services and guidelines periodically change.
Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Padgett Powell Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.