The Florida-based writer Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896-1953) is best-known for her Pulitzer-prizewinning novel The Yearling (1938). This exhibition covers the whole of her writing career, from her earliest magazine stories for McCall's, her discovery by Scribner's Magazine and Scribner's legendary editor Maxwell Perkins, and the success of her subsequent books, notably The Yearlingand Cross Creek (1942).
This exhibition is the first from the Robert D. Middendorf Collection of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, which the library acquired in 2005 from Mr. Middendorf with a majority of gift from the collector and with additional support from donations to the library's Treasures Acquisition Program. Along with first editions and periodical writings, in fine condition, some signed or inscribed, the Middendorf Collection also includes letters, proofs, and movie memorabilia.
The exhibition was opened with a reception for Thomas Cooper Society members and a talk about Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings by a distinguished USC alumnus, Professor Rodger L. Tarr of Illinois State University, who has published five books on Rawlings including an edition of Rawlings’s letters to Maxwell Perkins. In Professor Tarr’s standard Pittsburgh Bibliography of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, which is cited as “Tarr” in the exhibit descriptions, items in the Middendorf Collection are cited by the location symbol “RM.”
The Middendorf collection supports other recent acquisitions made through the Donna I. Sorensen Endowment for Southern Women in the Arts, and (through the Rawlings/Scribner/ Perkins connection) it relates closely also to Thomas Cooper Library’s other collections of Scribner authors and editords: the Matthew J. & Arlyn Bruccoli Collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Speiser & Easterling-Hallman Collection of Ernest Hemingway, the James Dickey Library, letters of Maxwell Perkins, and the John Hall Wheelock Archive.
Director of Special Collections