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Gwendolyn E. Porter Collection

Identifier: M474

Scope and Contents

This collection contains Gwen Porter’s papers, media, and miscellaneous items related to literature and literary history in Mississippi, particularly to the author Will Campbell. The materials date primarily to the years 1967-1995 and document the literary interests of Ms. Porter. Included are letters between her and Campbell, as well as members of Campbell’s family. Some of Campbell’s manuscripts are included, with proofreading marks made by Ms. Porter. Many articles written by and about Campbell are included, often dealing with issues of Civil Rights (which was a major topic of interest for Campbell), as well an numerous Kudzu newspaper cartoons, which bases one of its fictional characters on Will Campbell. Also included in the Porter Collection are the collector’s teaching materials related to Mississippi literature and history.


  • Creation: circa 1961-1995

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

Gwendolyn E. Porter was a Southern Miss graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in reading, and later was a teacher for twenty-two years in McComb, Mississippi. In 1977 she met writer and Mississippi native Will D. Campbell when she came to USM to hear him lecture. Upon accepting Porter’s offer to give him a ride home, Campbell was impressed with her analysis of his first book, Brother to a Dragonfly, and asked that Porter review his subsequent books before he sent them to the publisher. Over the years she collected papers and materials related to Will D. Campbell and to Mississippi literature.

Porter, at Campbell’s suggestion, offered her collection to the USM Archives but died before University Archivist Bobs Tusa left for St. Francisville, Louisiana to pick up the collection. Porter’s daughter, Claudia Parker, carried out her mother’s wishes by donating the material.


2.50 Cubic Feet : MC2.D13

Language of Materials



The collection documents her literary interests, correspondence, and media related to Mississippi literature.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Claudia Parker in 1999.

Related Materials

M341 Will D. Campbell Papers

Gwendolyn E. Porter Collection
Andrew Rhodes
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001