O. B. Emerson Collection (William Faulkner)

Identifier: MSS.0131

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

The O. B. Emerson Collection is comprised of correspondence, newspaper and magazine clippings, newsletters, and graphic items collected by O. B. Emerson. The bulk of these items relate to William Faulkner and his life and work, but the collection also contains information on other Southern writers.


  • 1922 - 1990

Conditions Governing Access

This collection may be viewed only in the reading room of Special Collections in the Jean and Alexander Heard Library. Collections should be requested 2-3 days prior to visiting in order to facilitate easier access. For questions or to request a collection, contact specialcollections@vanderbilt.edu.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research.

Biographical Notes

O. B. Emerson (1921-1990) was a professor of English at the University of Alabama from 1946 to 1986. He earned a BA in 1943 from Lambuth College, an MA in 1946, and a PhD in 1962 from Vanderbilt University. He taught at the Webb School in Bell Buckle, TN, and his research interests included Southern literature, African American literature, and the works of William Faulkner. In 1984, he published Faulkner's Early Reputation in America. He retired from the University of Alabama in 1986.

William C. Faulkner (1897-1962) was a Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, poet, and screenwriter. Born and raised in Mississippi, Faulkner was best known for creating the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, which was the setting of many of his novels. As a young man, he spent time in New Orleans where he met and befriended Sherwood Anderson, and in later life traveled for the US State Department to Japan. He was also Writer-in-Residence at the University of Virginia.


3.13 Linear Feet (4 Hollinger, 1 oversize)

Language of Materials



The O. B. Emerson Collection, 1922-1990, consists of material that literary scholar O. B. Emerson, 1921-1990, collected about author William Faulkner, 1897-1962.


The O. B. Emerson Collection contains nine series: I. Oversized, II. Correspondence, III. Emerson's Personal Info, IV. Southern Studies, V. Faulkenr Publicity, VI. Info on Faulkner's Texts, VII. Faulkner's Own Words, VIII. Faulkner Biographical Info, and IX. Family Family Info.

Physical Location

Offsite Storage, Special Collections & Archives

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1989

Finding Aid for the O. B. Emerson Collection
Jill E. Anderson
June 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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.