Zora Neale Hurston Papers

1919-2002 | bulk 1926-1960

Correspondence, newspaper clippings, articles, manuscripts, photographs, and miscellaneous personal papers of author, Zora Neale Hurston.

6 Linear feet. 16 boxes; 1 binder.
MS Group 6



Creator: Zora Neale Hurston

Author, folklorist, anthropologist. Born in Eatonville, Florida; educated at Barnard College and Colombia University. Did research on African-American folklore in the American South, Haiti, and the West Indies. Published works include: Of Mules and Men (1935); Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934); Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), Moses: Man of the Mountain (1939), Seraph on the Suwanee (1948); and her autobiography Dust Tracks on a Road (1943). Hurston also wrote short stories, plays, and non-fiction articles. She taught at North Carolina College for Negroes.


Scope and Content

Correspondence, newspaper clippings, articles, manuscripts, photographs, miscellaneous personal papers. Correspondence concerning race relations, Hurston's writings and fieldwork, personal matters; manuscripts of articles, short stories, plays; biographical material about Zora Neale Hurston. The majority of the papers have been encapsulated and bound.



The collection is open for research.

The Zora Neale Hurston literary estate is represented by: Victoria Sanders Literary Agency, 241 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 11H, New York, NY 10014.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Zora Neale Hurston Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.


After Hurston died on January 28, 1960 in a Fort Pierce, Florida, hospital, her papers were ordered to be burned. A law officer and friend, Patrick DuVal, passing by the house where she had lived, stopped and put out the fire, thus saving an invaluable collection of literary documents for posterity. The nucleus of this collection was given to the University of Florida libraries in 1961 by Mrs. Marjorie Silver, friend and neighbor of Hurston. Other materials were donated in 1970 and 1971 by Frances Grover, daughter of E. O. Grover, a Rollins College professor and long-time friend of Hurston's. In 1979 Stetson Kennedy of Jacksonville, who knew Hurston through his work with the Federal Writers Project, added additional papers.


African American authors -- Biography.
African American authors -- Correspondence.
African American women -- Biography.
African Americans -- Folklore.
American fiction -- African American authors.
Hurston, Zora Neale -- Correspondence.
Hurston, Zora Neale -- Political and social views.
Novelists, American -- 20th century -- Biography.