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Noel Polk Collection

Identifier: M476

Scope and Contents

This collection contains Noel Polk’s correspondence, teaching documents, grant related documents, and other miscellaneous papers. Much of the collection is related to Polk’s scholarly work on the writings of William Faulkner and other southern writers, but also included are personal correspondence and university related materials. The materials date primarily to the years 1975-1998.


  • 1973-1999


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

Noel Polk was born in Picayune, Mississippi on February 23, 1943. He received his PhD from University of South Carolina in 1970, and went on to be professor the University of Southern Mississippi, where he taught English Literature and was editor of the Southern Quarterly. He later worked as a professor at Mississippi State University, where he edited the Mississippi Quarterly.

His scholarly work earned him praise throughout his career, particularly his work on southern literature. Polk was considered the top Faulkner scholar of his generation and did a great deal to promote and explain the work of William Faulkner, but also was recognized for scholarly work on writers like Eudora Welty and Robert Penn Warren. Over the course of his career, Noel Polk shared correspondence with literature teachers and experts all over the world. He passed away in August, 2012.


7 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



In 1999, English professor Noel Polk left to McCain Library and Archives many documents, namely correspondence related to his work as an English professor and researcher. Topics such as academia, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, southern literature, and Natchez before 1830 are covered.


Donated by Noel Polk in 1999.

Noel Polk Collection
Andrew Rhodes.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001