Research Materials


Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

The papers of Frank Lawrence Owsley which cover the period 1913 –1959 consist of ten cubic feet of materials and are primarily concerned with the professional life and career of this historian, author, and teacher. The major series in the papers include the Correspondence, the Writings, Personal and Biographical Materials, Agrarians, Publication Material, Academic Career, Professional Activities, and Research Materials.

In the Correspondence series the letters date from 1913 – 1956 (incoming) and 1927 –1956 (outgoing). 145 letters make up the Outgoing Correspondence sub series, and 2167 letters comprise the Incoming Correspondence. The letters cover a variety of topics: politics and issues of the period; academic concerns and correspondence with colleagues and former students; writings for various journals and other publications. There is correspondence with members of The Fugitive and Agrarian groups including Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren, Donald Davidson, Andrew Lytle, and Herman Clarence Nixon. And there is substantial correspondence with his Colleagues Albert Burton Moore (93) from the University of Alabama and Oliver Perry Chitwood (94) with whom he wrote the two volume textbook A Short History of the Amercican People. Agrarian Herman Clarence Nixon also collaborated on this book.

The Writings series comes next with sub series of Book Manuscripts including Plain Folk of the Old South, King Cotton Diplomacy, and Selected Essays of Frank Lawrence Owsley. Unpublished Book Manuscripts; Articles, Essays, and Speeches; Unpublished Articles, Essays, and Speeches; And Book Reviews are other sub series . The series Personal and Biographical Material includes World War I documents, newspaper clippings, a 44 page photocopy of a memoir by Owsley, and other items. The Agrarian series consist of 3 folders: one on the 1936 Who Owns America?; a 1936 newspaper article on the South; and one on collecting papers of the Fugitives/Agrarians.

The series Publication Material includes reviews of books by Owsley and a list of his articles. Professional Activities is a series which is comprised of the sub series Organizations and Events and includes minutes of the meetings of the Southern Historical Association and material of the Fugitive Reunion in 1956. Owsley’s Academic Career is the next series in the Papers and includes course syllabi, exams, lecture notes and class notes, his grade books from Vanderbilt University and the University of Alabama, and four student papers on the Civil War and Reconstruction. The final series in the papers and the most voluminous are the Research Materials and Notecards from his research for King Cotton Diplomacy. Blockade Running, Confederate Finances, Diplomacy, Mercenaries, Surveillance, Slavery Issues and many other subjects for his research for the book are included in these 20 boxes of Research Materials.


  • 1913 - 1959



From the Collection: 12.6 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Library
1101 19th Ave. S.
Nashville TN 37212 United States


About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

Requesting Materials

Each finding aid contains a link to request materials from the collections. Collections can also be requested by emailing the repository directly through the library website. Each repository has its own location, hours, and contact information. Please consult the repository with questions about using the materials. Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the repository’s reading room. In many cases, the collections are stored off-site and require advance notice for retrieval.