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Staff of the Ina Dillard Russell Library established the Flannery O'Connor Collection shortly after the first publication of O"Connor"s short story "The Geranium" in 1946. The early collection consisted of newspaper clippings, magazines containing the first publications of stories, the published works, and some early items from O"Connor's student days at Peabody High School and Georgia State College for Women. While best remembered for her fiction, O'Connor was also an accomplished cartoonist; numerous examples of her artwork appear in the college newspaper, literary magazine and yearbook. Many of these publications are placed on display throughout the year.
The first manuscripts were given to the library by Regina Cline O'Connor in 1970. With the receipt of these manuscripts, the Collection became a significant research source for serious scholars. Since that time, additional manuscripts have been added. Over 7,000 pages of manuscripts include early drafts of Wise Blood, portions of The Violent Bear It Away and most of the short stories. The catalog of the manuscript collection, TheManuscripts of Flannery O'Connor at Georgia College (University of Georgia Press), by Stephen G. Driggers, Robert J. Dunn and Sarah E. Gordon, was published in 1989.
In addition to the manuscripts, O'Connor's personal collection of over 700 books and journals is housed in the Special Collections. This collection consists of theology, fiction, poetry and critical studies of some of the major literary figures of O'Connor's era. Because many of these books were annotated by O'Connor, they are used by scholars to identify influences on her writing. Arthur F. Kinney completed the catalog of the private library, Flannery O'Connor's Library: Resources of Being (University of Georgia Press), in 1985. Various editions and translations of O'Connor's works as well as critical writings, photographs, tape recordings, films, letters and memorabilia are included in the Collection. Also, the O'Connor Collection maintains a vertical file which includes articles, clippings, biographical information and other material pertaining to O'Connor's life and work.
Please schedule an appointment at least two weeks in advance for O'Connor research.