MSS 0113 - Alice Dunbar-Nelson papers

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The Alice Dunbar-Nelson Papers consist of the literary, professional, and personal papers of Alice Dunbar-Nelson. The papers include an extensive collection of her incoming correspondence. Of particular note is her correspondence (1895-1904) with Paul Laurence Dunbar, which also includes her letters to Dunbar. The Alice Dunbar-Nelson Papers also include a comprehensive collection of manuscripts of her writing, including novels, stories, poetry, drama, and essays. Dunbar-Nelson maintained a daily diary for most of her adult life and the extent portions of her diaries are present in her papers. The Alice Dunbar-Nelson papers also include significant collections of family papers, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, ephemera, and memorabilia.

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  • Unless indicated otherwise, letters are from Paul Laurence Dunbar and addressed to Alice Moore, and following their marriage to Alice Moore Dunbar. Letters from Alice Moore Dunbar to Paul Laurence Dunbar are identified as "Alice to Paul." Note: original mailing envelopes are shelved separately at the end of the collection in Box 31. 380 items.
  • Consists primarily of Alice Dunbar-Nelson's incoming literary, professional, business, and personal correspondence. Correspondence is arranged chronologically and generally directed to Alice Dunbar-Nelson. Occasional outgoing letters from Alice Dunbar-Nelson are present; also present are occasional incoming letters directed to Paul Laurence Dunbar and various family members.
  • Consists of an extensive file of letters (1907-1911) from Edwina Kruse, founding principal of Howard High School in Wilmington, Delaware, and a close friend of Alice Dunbar-Nelson. Kruse wrote Dunbar-Nelson almost daily during the period 1907-1911 concerning her social and professional activities, family matters, and current events. Dunbar-Nelson's unpublished novel, This Lofty Oak(See Ser. II.1.c) is based on the life of Edwina Kruse.
  • Consists of a small group of miscellaneous letters to Paul Laurence Dunbar. Correspondents include his mother, Matilda Dunbar; his sister, Lillie Dunbar; P. Moore (Alice Dunbar-Nelson's mother); and Leila Moore. Of particular interest is a letter from Richard P. Hallowell (Buffalo, NY, 1900: January 9) which describes in detail the recruitment of blacks for the Union Army during the Civil War.
  • Consists primarily of incoming letters from various newspaper editors with whom Nelson corresponded as editor of The Washington Eagle. The majority of the letters respond to Nelson's efforts to sell Alice Dunbar-Nelson's syndicated column to other papers. Also present are seven letters from Alice Dunbar-Nelson, and a typed obituary and card noting the death of Robert J. Nelson in February 1949.
  • Consists of three small diaries compiled by Mary Leila Moore Young, Alice Dunbar-Nelson's sister. 3 items.
  • Consists of eight scrapbooks described individually below. 8 items
  • Consists of a bound datebook and three bound volumes containing Alice Dunbar-Nelson's detailed records of books she has read. Record books are unfoldered and shelved separately next to Box 13. 4 items.
  • Consists of autograph and typescript drafts of Alice Dunbar-Nelson's novels. 7 items.

Items in this collection are presented for their historic and research value. We note that viewers may find some content objectionable.

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder.

Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,