Zora Neale Hurston Papers
Scope and Content
Correspondence, newspaper clippings, articles, manuscripts, photographs, miscellaneous personal papers. Correspondence concerning race relations, Hurston's writings and fieldwork, personal matters; manuscripts of articles, short stories, plays; biographical material about Zora Neale Hurston. The majority of the papers have been encapsulated and bound. A microfilmed version of parts of the collection exists.
Collection recently updated with three cassette tapes of an interview of Hurston’s younger brother, Everette Hurston, Sr., conducted by Dr. Lillie P. Howard, Professor Emerita of English and formerly Senior Vice President for Curriculum & Instruction at Wright State University in Ohio, and the author of other publications on Zora Neale Hurston. Another significant addition is Hurston’s short story “Monkey Junk: A Satire on Modern Divorce,” originally published in a newspaper in 1927 and lost to researchers until the early 2010s.
- Majority of material found within 1926-1960
- Hurston, Zora Neale. (Person)
The collection is open for research.
The Zora Neale Hurston literary estate is represented by: Joy Harris Literary Agency, 1501 Broadway, Suite 2310, New York, NY 10036.
Author, folklorist, anthropologist. Born in Notasulga, AL in 1891. Grew up in Eatonville, Florida; educated at Howard University, Barnard College and Columbia University. Did research on African-American folklore in the American South, Haiti, and the West Indies. Published works include: Of Mules and Men (1935); Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934); Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), Moses: Man of the Mountain (1939), Seraph on the Suwanee (1948); and her autobiography Dust Tracks on a Road (1943). Hurston also wrote short stories, plays, and non-fiction articles. She taught at North Carolina College for Negroes.
6 Linear feet (16 boxes; 1 binder)
Language of Materials
Correspondence, newspaper clippings, articles, manuscripts, photographs, and miscellaneous personal papers of author, Zora Neale Hurston.
University of Florida Smathers Library Building
After Hurston died on January 28, 1960 in a Fort Pierce, Florida, hospital, her papers were ordered to be burned. A law officer and friend, Patrick DuVal, passing by the house where she had lived, stopped and put out the fire, thus saving an invaluable collection of literary documents for posterity. The nucleus of this collection was given to the University of Florida libraries in 1961 by Mrs. Marjorie Silver, friend and neighbor of Hurston. Other materials were donated in 1970 and 1971 by Frances Grover, daughter of E. O. Grover, a Rollins College professor and long-time friend of Hurston's. In 1979 Stetson Kennedy of Jacksonville, who knew Hurston through his work with the Federal Writers Project, added additional papers.
This finding aid was revised in September 2022. Recognizing that historical terms do not always completely or directly map to contemporary terms, that historical terms can be offensive or inaccurately describe a person or group, and that the presence of both historical and contemporary terms may be useful for researcher discovery, the archivist has attempted to employ historical terms as they originally appear in the context of the collection, in the description, along with contemporary terms in brackets. In the case of direct quotes and published works, the archivist has retained the language as it originally appeared.
Abbreviations Used to Describe Documents
- AL=Autograph Letter (handwritten but not signed by the author)
- ALS=Autograph Letter Signed (handwritten and signed by the author)
- TL=Typewritten Letter
- TLS=Typewritten Letter Signed
- AN or a.note=Autograph Note (handwritten note by author)
- l or ll.=Leaf or Leaves
- African American authors -- Biography.
- African American authors.
- African American women -- Biography.
- African Americans -- Folklore.
- American fiction -- African American authors.
- Hurston, Zora Neale.
- Novelists, American.
- Women novelists, American.
- electronic records (digital records)
- A Guide to the Zora Neale Hurston Papers
- Finding aid created by Dept. Staff (Photographs processed by Kimberly Burroughs)
- August 2008 (Updated August 2023)
- Description rules
- Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is written in English.
Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository
George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America