Introduction to Collections
Emory's Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) acquires, preserves, and makes available to researchers rare and unique materials of permanent research value. The library's holdings span the 15th to the 21st centuries and support research in a wide array of fields and disciplines.
Subject areas of special strength include:
- African American history and culture
- History of Atlanta, Georgia, and the South
- Emory University's history
The Library's holdings are not limited to print—MARBL houses and cares for rare and unique materials in a wide variety of formats, including rare books, periodicals, pamphlets, sheet music, broadsides, maps, manuscripts, film, born-digital materials, and audio and video recordings.
MARBL holds particularly rich manuscript collections documenting:
- The Irish literary revival (e.g., W. B. Yeats and his circle)
- 20th-century American, British, and Irish poetry (e.g., Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, and Anthony Hecht)
- African American literature (e.g., Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, and the Camille Billops and James V. Hatch Archives)
- Georgia authors (e.g., Flannery O'Connor, Joel Chandler Harris, and James Dickey)
MARBL's manuscript holdings in these fields are complemented by strong collections of rare books and printed materials, including British poetry of the Romantic Period, the 19th-century English novel, and the detective novel (e.g., the Glover-Greene Collection of Victorian Detective Fiction and the Sir Hugh Greene Collection).
MARBL is also home to the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library, an extensive collection of more than 75,000 volumes of English-language poetry. Additional poetry collections include:
- The J. M. Edelstein collection of American poetry, which is particularly strong in Wallace Stevens and includes detailed holdings of works from Cummington Press, Abattoir Editions, Stone Wall, Windhover Press, and the Jargon Society.
- The Julius M. Cruse collection, which numbers more than 3,000 volumes of T. S. Eliot's printed works.
MARBL has six principal areas of focus within the broad field of African American history and culture. Areas of strength include:
- Civil rights and post–civil rights movements
- Black print culture (the world of literature created by and for, and often published within, the African American community)
- African Americans and the left
- African American literature
- Expatriate literary and cultural figures
- Beginning in 2011, MARBL has expanded its collecting to include the history of African-Americans in sports.
MARBL is strong in research collections devoted to the social and cultural history of the American South, with a particular emphasis on Georgia and Atlanta.
Areas of particular strength include the Civil War; Methodism; civil rights (with a particular focus on civil rights and the Left, as well as the role of women in the civil rights struggle); journalism; women's lives and work; and Jewish history and culture.
Manuscript collections of note include the papers of:
- Methodist leaders John Wesley and Warren Candler
- Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists Ralph McGill and Claude Sitton
- Women's activists including Josephine Wilkins, Frances Pauley, Constance Curry, and Joan Browning
- Political and civic leaders, including William B. Hartsfield, Sam Nunn, and Morris Abram
- Business leaders and philanthropists Asa Candler and Robert W. Woodruff
- Figures central to Southern Jewish history, such as Rabbi Jacob Rothschild
MARBL continues to build its holdings of books printed in the South, with the J. Durelle Boles Collection of Southern Imprints adding significant strength in this area.
MARBL is also home to the Emory University Archives, which document the history of the University from its founding in 1836 in Oxford, GA, through to the present day.
The Emory University Archives include:
- Official University records
- Dissertations, theses, and honors papers
- Records of affiliated organizations