Literature & Arts History Sources at The McCall Library

A WKAB-AM radio station jamboree, 1950. History Museum of Mobile Collection.

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Founded on October 10, 1914, this women's group met to study literature and the arts. It was at one point affiliated with the Federation of Women's Clubs. This small collection consists of the group's year-long programs from 1973 through 1987. The programs include organizational histories as well as its constitution and by-laws. .5 linear foot.

The papers of noted Alabama author Robert E. Bell (1926-1999) contain correspondence with publishers, family, and friends, many of whom were contemporary authors. The materials also include numerous unpublished manuscripts, personal journals (1940, 1950-1999), photographs, and scrapbooks. 12 linear feet.

Frances Beverly (1865-1954) was related to the noted botanist, William Bartram. Beverly worked as a reporter for the Louisville Courier Journal and later wrote about Mobile's past for the Works Progress Administration. Using her collection of WPA manuscripts, she set out to publish "The Story of Old Mobile" in 1947 at the age of 82, which she later apparently self-published. Her papers consist of typed and handwritten manuscripts, including essays, short stories, poems, and brief biographical sketches that have been divided into subject files. The original Beverly Collection was microfilmed in the early 1990s by the Historic Mobile Development Commission. That microfilm is also available. The collection also includes Beverly's journals, which contain handwritten versions of most of her typed manuscripts. 1.5 linear feet.

A diary written in 1912-1913 by Mattie May Jordan, an older sister of Anna Busby. The diary describes fur trading and farming activities in Washington County, Alabama. The diary has been published under the title Where the Wild Animals is Plentiful: Diary of an Alabama Fur Trader's Daughter (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1999). A typed transcript of the diary is also available. 1 linear foot.

This collection consists of correspondence between various Croom family members and friends from 1840 to 1906, as well as personal papers and literary manuscripts. Most of the letters were written between 1850 and 1870 by Cicero Stephens Croom, his sister Elizabeth Whitfield Croom Bellamy, and their parents, William Whitfield Croom and Julia Stephens Croom. The personal papers include a journal kept by Stephens in 1863 during the siege of Vicksburg while he was serving on General Forney's staff. Also included are numerous school essays written by Stephens while he was attending college at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and by Elizabeth who studied at the Spingler Institute in New York City. The literary manuscripts in the collection--poems, short stories, and novels--were written by Elizabeth between 1865 and 1900. Her early works were published in national magazines under a pseudonym, Kamba Thorpe. In later works she used her married name, Elizabeth W. Bellamy. The collection also contains her notes for lectures on literary subjects. Appointment required for the use of this collection. 5 linear feet.

Consists of 30 journals dated from 1938 to 1973 and 23 undated pocket notebooks (ca. 1920s-1970s) written by and 1 photograph of Edmund L. Deasy and a small number of news clippings and correspondence. Deasy (1884-1977) was the son of Jeremiah Deasy (d. 1887) and Kate Cox (1850-1931). Deasy graduated with a business degree from Columbia University in 1922. His journals indicate that he lived in Washington, D.C. and in New Orleans. Deasy was a rare book enthusiast and he frequented used book stores throughout the country. His journals contain detailed information about dates and amounts of book purchases, as well as poetry, quotes, and other interesting vignettes. They also contain details of his daily life and business dealings, ranging from rental properties to stock dividends. The newspaper articles (1930s-1970s) cover a variety of subjects and range from current events to marriage articles by Dorothy Dix. 1 linear foot.

DELANEY, CALDWELLThese papers contain correspondence, articles, manuscripts, photographs, newspaper clippings, and other published materials relating to Caldwell Delaney's career as Dean of the University Military School (1941-1956), Headmaster of Julius T. Wright School for Girls (1956-1965), and Director of the Museum of Mobile (1965-1992). Of particular interest is correspondence with local authors Eugene Walter, Julian Lee Rayford, and Thomas Atkins, and materials relating to Ernest F. and Mary McNeil Fenollosa.
31 linear feet.

Dr. William M. P. Dunne was a professor at SUNY at Stony Brook. His area of expertise was naval history, in particular marine architecture, and he authored a number of books on the subject. Dunne spent a year conducting research in Mobile on the schooner Alabama, later writing a history of the vessel. Dunne's son subsequently sent his father's research materials to Alabama Public Television for their documentary on Mobile Bay. APT later deposited the material with us. The information contained in the collection relates to the Mobile Bar Pilots Association and various sailing ships. .5 linear foot.

Consists of short stories, newspaper articles, manuscripts, and correspondence written by Virginia Greer, author and reporter for the local newspaper. The papers also contain subject files on events and on various other local authors, as well as research notes and photographs. In addition, the papers are comprised of miscellaneous printed materials relating to Mobile General Hospital and the United States Department of State. 8 linear feet.

The Joe Jefferson Playhouse is a community theatre established in Mobile in the 1940s. The collection contains 23 scrapbooks with photos, programs, reviews, newspaper articles, video tapes, and advertisements for plays and events from 1947-2006. The video tapes include the after party of "Lil' Abner," the production of "The Reading of the Will," and "Foxhole Follies." Also included is the biography of actor Joseph Jefferson, with photos; correspondence for the organization's 40th anniversary; and the 40th Anniversary Gala Committee folder. 7 linear feet.

Contains copies of the Mobile Theater (1908-1910). Published by John T. Kern Jr., this was a combination event program and advertisement circular for theaters, hotels, and restaurants. 1 linear foot.

This small collection consists of several letters and postcards sent to the donor by Nobel Prize-winning authors and other famous people. The writers include William Golding (Nobel Prize 1983 and author of Lord of the Flies), Nadine Gordimer (Nobel Prize 1991 and author of A Guest of Honour), Doris Lessing (Nobel Prize 2007 and author of the Martha Quest series), Walker Percy (author of The Moviegoer), and Adlai Stevenson (1952 Democratic nominee for president of the United States). 1 folder.

Contains correspondence, notes, maps, publications, and other research materials relating to two books, Fleur de Lys and Calumet, Being the Penicaut Narrative of French Adventure in Louisiana (1953) and Iberville's Gulf Journals (1981), and several articles written by Richebourg McWilliams (1901-1986). McWilliams served as head of the Department of English at Birmingham-Southern College and Professor of English at the University of South Alabama. An inventory is available on site. 3 linear feet.

Notes and other research materials used in the production of Tennant McWilliams's book Hannis Taylor: The New Southerner as an American(1978). Dr. McWilliams was professor of history and dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 1 linear foot.

The Mobile native and American author, actor, poet, and editor Eugene Walter was one of the founding members of the Mobile Chamber Orchestra. This collection contains 13 letters written in 1948 and 1949 to Walter while he was living in New York. Nine of the letters are from Max McGill and two are from Catherine Middleton, both Chamber members. The collection also includes programs from the 1947 through 1950 seasons and news clippings. A number of the programs have handwritten annotations remarking on the performance. .25 linear foot.

This collection contains 11 complete and 1 incomplete scrapbooks (1979-1991) of the Mobile Junior Music Club. Within the scrapbooks are photographs, awards, programs, and other material. 1.25 linear feet.

Contains four notebooks of poetry, street cries, chants, and stories written or collected by Rayford and three manuscript versions of Rayford's novel about Mike Fink entitled Child of the Snapping Turtle (1951). The earliest manuscript is undated and incomplete, the second is dated 1948, the third carries revisions of the 1948 manuscript. They are available on microfilm. 2.25 linear feet.

Scrapbooks, programs, and minutes of the Clara Schumann Music Club (1894-2004), an organization founded to "advance the interest, and promote the culture of music in the city of Mobile." 2.5 linear feet.

Consists of 516 books written by or about or including mention of Albert Schweitzer, as well as binders of photocopied articles about Schweitzer; bibliographic information; calendars; cassette tapes; DVDs; ephemera; magazines; news clippings; periodicals; postcards; and video tapes. Also includes three letters signed by Albert Schweitzer. The material was compiled by Arthur E. Schultz, a Schweitzer aficionado. 4 linear feet.

Dancer, choreographer, and film maker, William "Billy" Skipper (1921-1987) spent much of his life in New York and on the West Coast, but this native Mobilian also maintained contact with artists in the Mobile area and made several films locally. This collection contains 26 letters from Julian Lee Rayford to William Skipper (1966-1975); slides, negatives, and photographs of Rayford and his folklore drawings; a tape recording of Rayford. There are also several versions of an unpublished play written by Skipper about Tempy Smith, a black woman from Macon County, Alabama, who was a spiritual healer and mid-wife. Films include "As the Grass" produced by Spottswood Studios and featuring Sally Maloney and William Skipper, and unedited footage showing construction of the Wallace Tunnel, the Mobile Civic Ballet, and the Blessing of the Fleet at Bayou La Batre. A finding aid is available on site. 1 linear foot.

The materials in this collection formed the basis for an article written by John Sledge, architectural historian with the Mobile Historic Development Commission, about Dr. Robert Rea, historian and professor emeritus at Auburn University. They include biographical and professional career notes written by Rea, correspondence between Sledge and Rea (1980-1995), copies of some of Rea's articles, and a few news clippings and photographs. Also included is a copy of Sledge's article which was published in the Gulf Coast Historical Review (Spring 1995). .25 linear foot.

Made up of poems written by Frances Toulmin around 1857 to 1860. .10 linear foot.

An unpublished manuscript by Mary Duggar Toulmin, "Annals of the Mobile Theater, 1808-1861," and supporting research material. 2.5 linear feet.

A photocopy of a diary written by Laura Roberts Pillans (1820-1883), great grandmother of Mary P. Van Antwerp, and a photocopy of a memoir written by Laura's husband, Palmer J. Pillans (1816-1898). Also includes news clippings about Eugene Walter, photocopies of letters from Eugene Walter to Van Antwerp, and miscellaneous Eugene Walter writings (some of which are photocopies) and drawings including "Ah Weeping Willoughby." .25 linear foot.

Seventy-nine original poems written by local real estate agent Joseph A. Walton. The poems cover such topics as plants, animals, "Randolph" the mouse, places, and water, and a group entitled "et cetera." In addition, the collection contains some introductory material, as well as genealogical and biographical information. Walton is also the author of History of the Mobile Real Estate Association (Mobile, 1959). .5 linear foot.

Eugene Walter was the recipient of an Arts Council Residency Grant prepared by W. W. Welch that allowed Eugene to live in Baton Rouge for five months in 1980. The grant application and materials relevant to it are contained in the collection. Other material in the collection include correspondence between Walter Wade Welch and Eugene from 1979 to 1994, newspaper clippings, and Alabama publications featuring Eugene Walter. Also included are recipes, drawings, and a Harlequin Intrigue novel that features Eugene as a major character. The collection also contains information and memorabilia from Eugene’s funeral, as well as information concerning the Renaissance Man Celebration and the book,Moment’s With Eugene. In addition, this collection contains colorful commentary by Eugene concerning Welch. .5 linear foot.

Transcripts and tapes for "Eugene at Large," a radio program featuring poet and writer Eugene Walter. The program aired on WHIL-FM from 1993 to 1998 and featured discussion of local cultural events, recently published books, and food history and recipes. The taped programs are available on CDs. 3linear feet.

This association was founded in 1929 as a "social society to create and maintain an organized center of thought and activity among the women of Mobile; to aid in the promotion of their mutual interests in the advancement of science, education, civics, patriotism, literature, art, community service; and to provide a place of meeting for the comfort and convenience of its members." The collection includes scrapbooks (1931-2003), minutes (1930-1970), programs, correspondence, and songbooks. 14 linear feet.