Series 1
Correspondence, 1958-2014
Box 1 - 34, 249-251

Scope and Content Note

The correspondence series contains letters Walker wrote and received from 1958-2014. The series includes correspondence from family, friends, editors, and fans of her writing. The correspondence ranges from birthday cards and fan letters to detailed correspondence with editors and personal correspondence to family members.

This series offers a sustained perspective on Walker's personal relationships. Significant personal correspondence includes letters with family and friends, including Mel Leventhal, Walker's sisters, mother, and other family members, Maryam Lowen, Charles Merrill, Gloria Steinem, and Howard Zinn. Early letters with Mel Leventhal in the 1970s document their relationship and views on politics. Numerous letters between Walker and Gloria Steinem document their extensive friendship, pieces in Ms. Magazine, and their perspectives on the issues of the day. Letters to and from Howard and Roslyn Zinn document events and opinions in Walker's life from her Spelman College days to the present.

In addition to personal correspondence, the series also contains correspondence documenting Walker's writing career. Significant correspondence between Walker, her literary agents and editors, and other writers is also part of the collection and includes letters from John Ferrone, bell hooks, Langston Hughes, June Jordan, Susan Kirschner, Tillie Olsen, and Wendy Weil. The series also includes correspondence regarding the filming of The Color Purple and features letters from Whoopi Goldberg, Quincy Jones, Steven Spielberg, and Oprah Winfrey. Letters to and from Evelyn White document White's efforts in researching and writing Walker's biography. Walker's popularity with her readers is documented through the large amount of fan mail included in the correspondence series.

The series also charts Walker's activism and involvement in political causes such as civil rights and female genital mutilation. In addition to mailings from various organizations the collection includes items from Fidel Castro, Barbara Christian, Angela Davis, Joanne Edgar, Audre Lord, and Wilma Mankiller.

The correspondence series includes a number of unidentified correspondents, undated letters, fragments and correspondence from others to others. Some correspondence originally undated has been filed in folders with bracketed dates to indicate that the dates on those letters were approximated during processing. Writings by others that accompany correspondence remain within the correspondence series but are indexed and cross-referenced in Writings by Others (Series 6) series.

Other correspondence can be found throughout the Walker papers. Business correspondence can also be found in the Publishing files (Series 4) and some correspondence relating to specific writings can be found in the Writings by Walker (Series 2). Correspondence can also be found in the Born digital materials (Series 13).

Arrangement Note

Arranged in chronological order; undated correspondence arranged in alphabetical order by correspondent.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Researchers are not permitted to copy or download any digital files from the computer workstation.

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Selected correspondence is closed during Alice Walker's lifetime or until October 2027, whichever is later. Access to born digital materials is only available in the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (the Rose Library).

Scope and Content Note The correspondence series contains letters Walker wrote and received from 1958-2014. The series includes correspondence from family, friends, editors, and fans of her writing. The correspondence ranges from birthday cards and fan letters to detailed correspondence with editors and personal correspondence to family members. This series offers a sustained perspective on Walker's personal relationships. Significant personal correspondence includes letters with family and friends, including Mel Leventhal, Walker's sisters, mother, and other family members, Maryam Lowen, Charles Merrill, Gloria Steinem, and Howard Zinn. Early letters with Mel Leventhal in the 1970s document their relationship and views on politics. Numerous letters between Walker and Gloria Steinem document their extensive friendship, pieces in Ms. Magazine, and their perspectives on the issues of the day. Letters to and from Howard and Roslyn Zinn document events and opinions in Walker's life from her Spelman College days to the present. In addition to personal correspondence, the series also contains correspondence documenting Walker's writing career. Significant correspondence between Walker, her literary agents and editors, and other writers is also part of the collection and includes letters from John Ferrone, bell hooks, Langston Hughes, June Jordan, Susan Kirschner, Tillie Olsen, and Wendy Weil. The series also includes correspondence regarding the filming of The Color Purple and features letters from Whoopi Goldberg, Quincy Jones, Steven Spielberg, and Oprah Winfrey. Letters to and from Evelyn White document White's efforts in researching and writing Walker's biography. Walker's popularity with her readers is documented through the large amount of fan mail included in the correspondence series. The series also charts Walker's activism and involvement in political causes such as civil rights and female genital mutilation. In addition to mailings from various organizations the collection includes items from Fidel Castro, Barbara Christian, Angela Davis, Joanne Edgar, Audre Lord, and Wilma Mankiller. The correspondence series includes a number of unidentified correspondents, undated letters, fragments and correspondence from others to others. Some correspondence originally undated has been filed in folders with bracketed dates to indicate that the dates on those letters were approximated during processing. Writings by others that accompany correspondence remain within the correspondence series but are indexed and cross-referenced in Writings by Others (Series 6) series. Other correspondence can be found throughout the Walker papers. Business correspondence can also be found in the Publishing files (Series 4) and some correspondence relating to specific writings can be found in the Writings by Walker (Series 2). Correspondence can also be found in the Born digital materials (Series 13).
Undated correspondence
Box Folder Content
1 1 A-B
1 2 C-H
1 3 J-L
1 4 M-O
1 5 P-S
1 6 Gloria Steinem
1 7 T-V
1 8 W-Walker
2 1 W-Z
2 2 Unidentified
Dated correspondence
2 3 1958-1965
2 4 circa 1966-1967
2 5 1966
2 6 1967
2 7 circa 1968
2 8 1968
3 1 circa 1969
3 2 1969
3 3 circa 1970
3 4 January-September 1970
3 5 October-December 1970
3 6 circa 1971
3 7 January- March 1971
3 8 April- June 1971
3 9 July- December 1971
3 10 circa 1972
3 11 January- May 1972
3 12 June- August 1972
4 1 September- December 1972
4 2 circa 1973-1974
4 3 January- February 1973
4 4 March- April 1973
4 5 May- June 1973
4 6 July- August 1973
4 7 September- October 1973
4 8 November- December 1973
5 1 circa 1974
5 2 January- March 1974
5 3 April- July 1974
5 4 August- December 1974
5 5 circa 1975
5 6 January- July 1975
5 7 August- December 1975
5 8 circa 1976
6 1 January- April 1976
6 2 May- July 1976
6 3 August- September 1976
6 4 October- December 1976
6 5 circa 1977
6 6 January- March 1977
6 7 April- August 1977
6 8 September- December 1977
6 9 circa 1978
6 10 January- April 1978
7 1 May- August 1978
7 2 September 1978
7 3 October 1978
7 4 November- December 1978
7 5 circa 1979
7 6 January- February 1979
7 7 March 1979
7 8 April 1979
7 9 May 1979
8 1 June- July 1979
8 2 August 1979
8 3 September 1979
8 4 October- December 1979
8 5 circa 1980
8 6 January 1980
8 7 February- March 1980
8 8 April- June 1980
8 9 July- September 1980
8 10 October- December 1980
9 1 circa 1981
9 2 January- February 1981
9 3 March- July 1981
9 4 August- December 1981
9 5 circa 1982
9 6 February- June 1982
9 7 July- August 1982
9 8 September- December 1982
9 9 circa 1983
10 1 January- May 1983
10 2 June- August 1983
10 3 September- October 1983
10 4 November 1983
10 5 December 1983
10 6 circa 1984
10 7 January 1984
10 8 February 1984
11 1 March- April 1984
11 2 May- June 1984
11 3 July- August 1984
11 4 September- October 1984
11 5 November 1984
11 6 December 1984
11 7 circa 1985
11 8 January- February 1985
12 1 March 1985
12 2 April 1985
12 3 May 1985
12 4 June 1985
12 5 July 1985
12 6 August 1985
12 7 September 1985
12 8 October 1985
12 9 November 1985
13 1 December 1985
13 2 circa 1986 [A-L]
13 3 circa 1986 [M-Z]
13 4 January 1986
13 5 February 1986
13 6 March 1-17, 1986
14 1 March 18-31, 1986
14 2 April 1-14, 1986
14 3 April 15-30, 1986
14 4 May 1986
14 5 June 1986
14 6 July 1986
15 1 August 1986
15 2 September 1986
15 3 October 1986
15 4 November 1986
15 5 December 1986
15 6 circa 1987
16 1 January 1987
16 2 February 1987
16 3 March 1987
16 4 April 1987
16 5 May 1987
16 6 June 1987
17 1 July 1987
17 2 August 1987
17 3 September 1987
17 4 October- November 1987
17 5 December 1987
17 6 circa 1988
17 7 January 1988
18 1 February 1988
18 2 March 1988
18 3 April 1988
18 4 May 1988
18 5 June 1988
18 6 July 1988
18 7 August 1988
19 1 September 1988
19 2 October- December 1988
19 3 circa 1989
19 4 January- February 1989
19 5 March- April 1989
19 6 May 1989
19 7 June- July 1989
19 8 August- October 1989
19 9 November- December 1989
20 1 circa 1990
20 2 January- February 1990
20 3 March- April 1990
20 4 May- June 1990
20 5 July 1990
20 6 August- September 1990
20 7 October- November 1990
20 8 December 1990
20 9 circa 1991
21 1 January 1991
21 2 February-March 1991
21 3 April- May 1991
21 4 June- July 1991
21 5 August- October 1991
21 6 November- December 1991
21 7 circa 1992
22 1 January- February 1992
22 2 March- May 1992
22 3 June- July 1992
22 4 August- September 1992
22 5 October- December 1992
22 6 circa 1993
22 7 January 1993
23 1 February- March 1993
23 2 April- May 1993
23 3 June- July 1993
23 4 August 1993
23 5 September- October 1993
23 6 November 1993
23 7 December 1993
23 8 circa 1994
23 9 January 1994
23 1 February 1-20, 1994
24 2 February 21-28, 1994
24 3 March 1-16, 1994
24 4 March 17-30, 1994
24 5 April 1994
24 6 May 1994
24 7 June 1994
24 8 July 1994
24 9 August 1994
25 1 September- October 1994
25 2 November- December, 1994
25 3 circa 1995
25 4 January- February 1995
25 5 March- April 1995
25 6 May- June 1995
25 7 July- August 1995
25 8 September- October 1995
25 9 November- December 1995
26 1 circa 1996
26 2 January- February 1996
26 3 March- April 1996
26 4 May- July 1996
26 5 August- October 1996
26 6 November- December 1996
26 7 circa 1997
26 8 January- February 1997
26 9 March- May 1997
27 1 June- July 1997
27 2 August 1997
27 3 September- December 1997
27 4 circa 1998
27 5 January- February 1998
27 6 March- July 1998
27 7 August- October 1998
27 8 November- December 1998
27 9 January- March 1999
27 10 April- August 1999
28 1 September- December 1999
28 2 January- April 2000
28 3 May- August 2000
28 4 September- December 2000
28 5 January- June 2001
28 6 July- December 2001
28 7 January- April 2002
28 8 May- July 2002
29 1 August- December 2002
29 2 circa 2003
29 3 January- February 2003
29 4 March- April 2003
29 5 May 2003
29 6 June- August 2003
29 7 September- October 2003
29 8 November- December 2003
29 9 circa 2004
30 1 January- February 2004
30 2 March 2004
30 3 April 2004
30 4 May 2004
30 5 June 2004
30 6 July 2004
30 7 August 2004
30 8 September 2004
30 9 October 2004
30 10 November 2004
31 1 December 2004
31 2 circa 2005
31 3 January 2005
31 4 February 2005
31 5 March 2005
31 6 April 2005
31 7 May 2005
31 8 June- July 2005
31 9 August 2005
31 10 September- October 2005
31 11 November 2005
31 12 December 2005
32 1 circa 2006
32 2 January- March 2006
32 3 April- June 2006
32 4 July- September 2006
32 5 October 2006
32 6 November- December 2006
32 7 circa 2007
32 8 January 2007
32 9 February- March 2007
32 10 April- May 2007
32 11 June 2007-2010
250 1 2011
250 2 circa 2012
250 3 2012
250 4 2013
250 5 2014
251 21 2015-2016
33 1 Fragments
Correspondence to and from others
33 2 Undated
33 3 1966-1989
33 4 1990-2005
Restricted correspondence and personal files
34 Correspondence [RESTRICTED]
249 Personal files [RESTRICTED]
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