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Eudora Welty’s family papers now open to the public

Eudora welty house
Welty sitting on a wicker bench holding two rabbits given as an Easter present (left) and the Belhaven house Welty lived in for 76 years (right)

In honor of what would have been Eudora Welty’s 113th birthday, a previously restricted series of Welty’s family papers is now open to the public. 

The iconic writer, who passed away in 2001, left in her will that The Eudora Welty Collection, Series 45: Welty Family Papers were to be restricted to the public for 20 years after her death. Now, the papers can be viewed by anyone and everyone interested.

According to Welty’s niece, Mary Alice White, the series begins with the courtship of Chestina and Christian Welty.

The letters in this series begin with the courtship letters of my grandparents,” White said. “Also included are personal papers of the family, Eudora’s correspondence with family members, and papers and letters from my father, uncles, and other family members. Because these letters were not technically the property of Eudora—they belong to the letter writer—I think Eudora wanted them sealed to respect the privacy of those still living.”

The Eudora Welty Collection was established in 1957 when the Pulitzer Prize-winning author donated a portion of her papers to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. To learn how to research the collection, click here.

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