Category Archives: Authors

Talking Leaves

Sometime around 1981, the library’s TV station produced a series of interviews with regional writers from around Tennessee entitled Talking Leaves: A Regional Focus.  Somehow, our copies of the program did not survive, but thanks to the good folks of the Paul Meek Library at the University of Tennessee at Martin, we now have digital copies of all eight episodes of the series:

  1. Episode 1 – George Scarbrough
  2. Episode 2 – Robert Drake
  3. Episode 3 – Christine Noble Govan
  4. Episode 4 – Jeff Daniel Marion
  5. Episode 5 – John Egerton
  6. Episode 6 – Will Davis Campbell
  7. Episode 7 – Etheridge Knight
  8. Episode 8 – Analysis and Discussion with Dr. Ramsey Fowler (Memphis State) and Dan Gann.

If you’re not sold yet, perhaps I could throw in classic early 80’s fashion and a catchy theme song?  Happy viewing!


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Filed under Authors, Dig Memphis, Video

A Brief History of Memphis

Book Cover

This week we celebrate the release of History Senior Manager Wayne Dowdy’s latest book.  We will, of course, have a copy here in the Memphis Room, but the book will also be available from local booksellers.  Don’t forget to take a look at other books from current and former staff members – They make wonderful Christmas presents!

Book CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook Cover

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Filed under Authors, Books, History Department

Meet the Author

Join us on Thursday, August 4th at 5:00 pm in the Memphis & Shelby County Room for the opening reception for the Perre Magness Collection.

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Filed under Archival Fellows, Authors, Collections, Events

New Digital Collection: Perre Magness Collection

This summer, we are very fortunate to have two Archival Fellows from Rhodes College working with us.  Jordan Redmon and Lauren Peterson will be with us for 8 weeks this summer, as they learn about archival methods and digitization workflows.

Amazingly, they have already processed a collection – the Perre Magness Collection – and created a digital gallery of highlights.

Perre Magness, a well-known local historian and author, donated many of her research files to us in 2010.  Very thorough and organized, she kept all sorts of documents–news clippings, notes, maps, brochures–and filed them by subject.  Her subject headings are used as part of the title in the digital collection. 

Happy browsing!

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Filed under Archival Fellows, Authors, Collections, Digital Archive, Volunteers

Memphis Room: In The News

Wow.  We feel so popular.  Thanks for all of the attention!

Author, professor Dr. Miriam DeCosta-Willis donates civil rights collection to library

Theories hit dead end on how world-famous Beale Street got its name

Digital history: New online archive displays vast collections of library’s Memphis Room

Telling the Story: Library’s Memphis Room grows with Decosta-Willis donation

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Filed under Authors, Civil Rights, Collections, Digital Archive, Gifts

William Faulkner and… Shelby Foote?

We know that it’s Faulkner on the right, with the pipe.  But could that be Shelby Foote in the center of the picture in profile?  In Conversations with Shelby Foote by William C. Carter (ed.), Foote was interviewed by Dick Cavett and said that he met Faulkner on the day that Mr. Faulkner finished writing If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem, which would have been around 1939.  He added, “I’ve spent other times with him–couple of days riding around in cars and we would go get ourselves a bottle of whiskey and drink it.”  Was this one of those days when they were riding around?

What say you?

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Filed under Authors, Photographs, Portraits

Coming Soon: Miriam DeCosta-Willis

On Saturday, February 26th, join us at 2:00 pm in the Memphis Room to celebrate the release of Miriam DeCosta-Willis’ new book, Black Memphis Landmarks.  At the same time, the Miriam DeCosta-Willis Collection will be made available to the public for the first time.

Mrs. DeCosta-Willis has had a remarkable career as a scholar, a writer and as a civil rights leader, and the collection will include materials from all aspects of her life and career.

Until then, let us tease you with some of the photos from her collection.  Approximately 30 photos from the Miriam DeCosta-Willis Collection have been added to the Civil Rights Photograph Collection.  Enjoy!


Filed under Authors, Black History, Books, Buildings, Civil Rights, Collections, Events