General Manuscripts are a diverse group of collections, ranging in size from the hundreds of boxes of papers of mystery writer John D. MacDonald to a small group of Batak manuscripts, written on alim bark. The collections are strongest in the areas of the literature and book arts, social activism and research, performing arts, natural sciences, broadcasting, drama, music, biography and history, human sciences, African history, and Haitiana, Caribbean and Latin America. Further description of these topical areas is available below, but this page is NOT a comprehensive list of all collections.
Access to these collections is provided by the alphabetically arranged complete list of General Manuscripts collections. In addition, you can search the finding aids in the department or browse certain collections that have been grouped under subject headings.
Note that the collections described below are specifically General Manuscripts collections. This page does not describe the collections of the Belknap Collection for the Performing Arts, the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, or the University Archives.
Literary Papers, the manuscripts and correspondence of authors and papers relating to literature and historical writing, comprise the largest group. Major writers include the Irish short story writer Frank O'Connor and the "classic" Florida writers Zora Neale Hurston, John D. MacDonald, and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. There are also papers of more recent bestselling authors, such as Carl Hiaasen and Ernest Mickler. Papers of other American authors include correspondence and manuscripts of novelist Lillian Smith and documents about Ellen Glasgow, collected by Marjorie Rawlings. A small group of French authors adds a Continental flavor to the collection. The Creative Writing Collection contains manuscripts of one or more works of 150 major and minor writers. Manuscripts of ten novels by Taylor Caldwell are included. The papers of authors Alden and Allene Hatch contain much of the source material gathered for their thirty biographies and histories.
Collections pertaining to Latin America and the Caribbean form the second major emphasis of the General Manuscripts unit. Haiti's revolutionary period is represented in papers of Count Rochambeau (1802-1803). The Braga Brothers Collection is an archive of the Cuban sugar industry, believed to surpass any found outside of Cuba. The Jeremie Papers includes the records of Jeremie's civil administration, legal documents, ecclesiastical records, and the archives of over thirty notaries who operated both in Jeremie and in outlying areas of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti). Other manuscript groups document Venezula, Belize, British Guiana, Jamaica, Cuba, St. Kitts (St. Christopher), and Brazil from the early 18th through the late 20th century.
Africa and the study of its peoples and lands is a subject area of increasing emphasis for General Manuscripts. The LeMarchand Collection of African Political Papers documents the develoment of independence in African countries as well as recent civil wars and genocide. In addition, the papers of anthropologist Ron Cohen and entomologist Lewis Berner provide valuable information about the culture and environment of the Gold Coast, West Africa, and the state of Borno (Bornu) in Nigeria. The papers of Gwendolen M. Carter document her research in southern Africa, particularly in the state of South Africa during the 1970s and 1980s.
Noteworthy for Social and Human Sciences research are the papers of the trade unionist and social activist Margaret Dreier Robins. The papers of applied anthropologist Mary Elmendorf yield primary material on the life of modern Maya women as well as on applied technology in Central America, Africa, and Asia. The study of pshycology and human behavior is documented in the papers of Isabel Briggs Myers, a pioneer in psychological testing and profiling, as well as those of Claire Lashley and Karl Lashley.
Several groups relate to Broadcasting, Drama, and the Arts. These include the papers of legendary baseball broadcaster Red Barber, the papers of landscape architect John Ormsbee Simonds, and the papers of Tracy L'Engle Angas, who had careers in theater, broadcasting and lecturing. The book arts are documented by the papers of Oriole Press publisher Joseph Ishill, which emphasize both his artistic and anarchistic contacts.
Papers of Natural Scientists include those of the noted Florida ornithologist Oliver Austin and of sea turtle scientist and international conservationist Tom Harrisson, a close colleague of Archie Carr whose professional papers are in the University Archives. The Arthur Marshall papers are a resource for the study of conservation in Florida, especially the restoration of natural water flow in south Florida and the Everglades.
For further information on the diverse General Manuscripts collections, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.