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Frances Newman Papers

Frances Newman Papers

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Frances Newman Papers
Identification: MS005
Date: 1920-1981 (bulk 1923-1929)
Size/Quantity: 3.0 linear feet (two document cases and two flat file boxes)
Language: This collection is written in English.
Creator: Newman, Frances, d. 1928
Repository: Archives & Records Management, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology
Abstract:Frances Newman served as Georgia Tech's librarian from 1924 to 1926. Her papers are comprised of correspondence and newspaper clippings dealing with her untimely death, as well as typescripts of some of her published and unpublished works.

Biographical/Historical Note

Frances Newman was born on September 13, 1888 in Atlanta, Georgia, the daughter of William Truslow and Frances Perry Alexander Newman. Her mother was a descendant of early Tennessee settlers (the great-granddaughter of the founder of Knoxville, Tennessee).

Newman's schooling included Calhoun Street School, Washington Seminary, and Agnes Scott College (Decatur, Ga.). She graduated from the Atlanta Carnegie Library (later Emory University School of Library Science) in June 1912.

After completing her education, Newman worked as the librarian at the Florida State College for Women in 1913. In 1913 or 1914, she was the librarian for the Atlanta Carnegie Library (now Atlanta-Fulton Public Library). In 1923, she left Atlanta for a year to study at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1924, she returned to Atlanta and became head librarian for the Georgia School of Technology. She held this position for two years.

She started her literary career by reviewing books. A friend, James Branch Cabell, encouraged her to work on other literary pieces. She wrote her first short story in 1924, titled Rachel and Her Children, which won the O Henry Memorial Prize. That same year, she published The Short Story's Mutations. By 1926, Newman had completed her first novel, The Hard-Boiled Virgin. The second followed in 1927, Dead Lovers are Faithful Lovers. Her last work, Six Moral Tales from Jules Laforgue (translation), was published posthumously. She died suddenly on October 22, 1928 in New York City. Although it was reported that she died of pneumonia and a brain hemorrhage, it was discovered that a drug overdose was the true cause of death.

Newman never married, but raised her nephew, Louis Rucker, after the death of her sister. She also had a brother, Henry, and three other sisters, including Margaret (Mrs. John) Patterson, of Richmond, Virginia.

Scope and Content Note

The Frances Newman papers primarily include correspondence and newspaper clippings. The correspondence was used in the posthumously-published book, Frances Newman Letters. Newspaper clippings constitute a large portion of the collection, touching on subjects such as Newman's life and book reviews of her work. Also within the collection are various items dealing with Newman's social life, such as her calling card.

SERIES 1. Correspondence, 1920-1929 includes incoming and outgoing correspondence with family members and friends during her travels through Europe and while writing her short stories and books. Her primary correspondents include Hansell Baugh, James B. Cabell, Compton Mackenzie, H. L. Mencken, and her sister, Margaret (Mrs. John L.) Patterson.

SERIES 2. Newspaper Clippings, 1923-1981 includes clippings of reviews by Newman, reviews of her writings, and biographical information, primarily pertaining to her death in 1928.

SERIES 3. Writings, 1924-ca. 1928 includes an unbound typewritten copy of Newman's unpublished short story, Atlanta Biltmore. There are handwritten notes in the margins, but the handwriting is not identifiable. A copy of Rachel and Her Children, which was published in the American Mercury, vol. 2. no. 5, May 1924, is also included. Bound typescripts of The Hard-Boiled Virgin and Dead Lovers Are Faithful Lovers, both of which contain handwritten corrections, possibly by the author herself, also form part of this series. The typescript of The Hard-Boiled Virgin is signed by the author.

SERIES 4. Miscellaneous Material, 1925-1961 includes several letters from the Atlanta Journal regarding Newman's death and her literary works. A letter from Frank Daniel, Atlanta Journal, to Dorothy Crosland, former director of the Georgia Tech library, discusses Newman's years at Georgia Tech and her travels to New York. Newman's calling card is also included.

SERIES 5. Scrapbook, 1926-1930 is a scrapbook apparently kept by Frances Newman during her lifetime. The scrapbook is made up of reviews, advertisements, correspondence, and other paper materials on the subject of her published writings.

SERIES 6. Artifact, 1928 is a dried flower (lavender peony) from Newman's gravesite, collected on October 24, 1928.


SERIES 1. Correspondence, 1920-1929.

SERIES 2. Newspaper Clippings, 1923-1981.

SERIES 3. Writings, 1924-ca. 1928

SERIES 4. Miscellaneous Materials, 1925-1961.

SERIES 5. Scrapbook, 1926-1930.

SERIES 6. Artifact, 1928.

Index Terms

American literature--20th century.
Cabell, James Branch, 1879-1958
Mackenzie, Compton, Sir, 1883-1972
Mencken, H. L., (Henry Louis), 1888-1956
Newman, Frances, d. 1928
Short stories.
Women authors, American.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Please cite Frances Newman Papers (MS005), Archives, Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology.


Unknown (Accession #1985.0802 and #1987.0703; old numbers: 85-08-02 and #87-07-03).

Processing Information

Jody Lloyd processed these papers in 2001.

Revisions to Finding Aid

December 2005:
  • Finding aid converted from Encoded Archival Description Version 1.0 to Version 2002. March 2010: Finding aid imported into Archivists' Toolkit. June 2011: Typewritten manuscripts for The Hard-Boiled Virgin and Dead Lovers are Faithful Lovers added to Series 3.

  • Restrictions

    Restrictions: Access


    Restrictions: Use

    Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.

    Related Material

    Dorothy M. Crosland Papers, 1922-1983 (MS001); James P. Smith Papers, 1914-1978 (MS085).

    Other Finding Aids

    A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.

    Container List

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    SERIES 1: Correspondence, 1920-1929.



    11Cabell, James B., 1920-1927
    12Hines, Mrs. Robert (Delia Page Johnston), 1925-1928
    13Mable (last name unknown), 1926-1928
    14Mackenzie, Compton, 1927-1928
    15Mencken, H. L., undated
    16Patterson, Mrs. John L., 1923-1929
    17Patterson family, 1928-1929
    18Trotti, Lamar, 1926-1929
    19Miscellaneous outgoing, 1921-1928

    SERIES 2: Newspaper clippings, 1923-1981.



    110Biographical, 1924-1940
    111Articles by Frances Newman, 1923-1928
    112Book reviews and literary criticism by Frances Newman, 1923-1928
    113Review - Hard-Boiled Virgin, 1926-1927
    114Review - Dead Lovers are Faithful Lovers, 1928
    115Review - Short Story's Mutations, 1924
    116Review - Six Moral Tales, 1928-1981
    117Review - Frances Newman Letters, 1929-1980
    118Miscellaneous, 1938-1981

    SERIES 3: Writings, 1924-ca. 1928



    119 Atlanta Biltmore (unpublished), undated
    120 Rachel and Her Children, 1924



    41 The Hard-Boiled Virgin typescript, ca. 1926
    42 Dead Lovers Are Faithful Lovers typescript, ca. 1928

    SERIES 4: Miscellaneous materials, 1925-1961.



    121Letters and memoranda, 1925-1961
    122Calling card, undated

    SERIES 5: Scrapbook, 1926-1930.


    2Scrapbook, 1926-1930

    SERIES 6: Artifact, 1928.


    3Dried flower from Newman's grave site, October 24, 1928