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Frances Newman Papers

Identifier: MS005

  • Staff Only


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and newspaper clippings dealing with her untimely death, as well as typescripts of some of her published and unpublished works.


  • 1920-1981 (bulk 1923-1929)
  • Majority of material found within 1923 - 1929


General Physical Description note

(two document cases and two flat file boxes)

Restrictions: Access


Restrictions: Use

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


3 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

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 Writings, 1924-ca. 1928 includes an unbound typewritten copy of Newman's unpublished short story, Atlanta Biltmore.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.

Biography of Frances Newman

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.


Missing Title

  1. SERIES 1. Correspondence, 1920-1929.
  2. SERIES 2. Newspaper Clippings, 1923-1981.
  3. SERIES 3. Writings, 1924-ca. 1928
  4. SERIES 4. Miscellaneous Materials, 1925-1961.
  5. SERIES 5. Scrapbook, 1926-1930.
  6. SERIES 6. Artifact, 1928.

Other Finding Aids

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


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

Related Materials

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

General Physical Description note

(two document cases and two flat file boxes)

Processing Information

Jody Lloyd processed these papers in 2001.

Inventory of the Frances Newman Papers, 1920-1981 (bulk 1923-1929)
Jody Lloyd
Copyright 2002.
Description rules
Finding Aid Updated Using Rlg Best Practice Guidelines For Encoded Archival Description
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository

Georgia Institute of Technology
266 4th Street, NW
Atlanta 30332-0900 USA