Ophelia Devore-Mitchell papers

Emory University

Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322


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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Devore-Mitchell, Ophelia, 1922-
Title: Ophelia Devore-Mitchell papers
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1224
Extent:109 linear ft. (109 boxes), 4 oversized papers (OP), 1 extra-oversized paper, and 11 oversized bound volumes (OBV)
Abstract:Papers of Ophelia Devore-Mitchell, an African American model and businesswoman including correspondence, professional papers, publicity materials, printed material, photographs, and audiovisual material.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Use copies have not been made for audiovisual material in this collection. Researchers must contact MARBL in advance for access to this material.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Purchase, 2012.


[after identification of item(s)], Ophelia Devore-Mitchell papers, Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Unprocessed collection.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Ophelia DeVore-Mitchell (1922-), African American model and business woman, was born in Edgefield, South Carolina or August 12, 1922. Her parents were John Walter DeVore, who was of German and French descent, and Mary Emma Strother, of Native American and African American heritage. In 1933, DeVore was sent to New York City to live with her aunt and complete her education. She graduated from Hunter College High School and attended New York University.

DeVore began modeling in 1938 at the age of 16 and worked primarily for Ebony magazine. In 1941 she married Harold Carter, with whom she had five children. The couple eventually divorced. In 1946, she and four friends co-founded Grace del Marco Models, which represented such notable figures as Diahann Carroll, Richard Roundtree, Cicely Tyson and Helen Williams. The agency sought to encourage media to portray African-Americans in non-stereotypical ways.

DeVore married publisher Vernon Mitchell in 1968. He passed away in 1972, but she continues to operate his newspaper, the Columbus Times.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of African American model and business woman Ophelia DeVore Mitchell, including correspondence, professional papers, publicity materials, printed material, photographs, and audiovisual material. Correspondence includes both professional and personal correspondence. Professional papers include materials relating to Grace del Marco Models, Ophelia DeVore Associates, Inc., Ophelia DeVore Cosmetics, the Ophelia DeVore School of Self-Development and Modeling, the Columbus Times, and various community programs in which DeVore is involved. Publicity materials include scrapbooks and photographs.

Arrangement Note

Unprocessed collection.

Container List

Box Folder Content
1-84 Professional and publicity files
85-88 Correspondence
89-90 Printed material
91 Certificates and awards
92-109 Audiovisual material
OP1-4 Printed material and photographs
XOP1 Poster
OBV1-11 Scrapbooks and portfolios