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Collection Number: 03804

Collection Title: Bernice Kelly Harris Papers, 1913-1973, 1996-1997

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size 11.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 8,000 items)
Abstract Bernice Kelly Harris (1891-1973) was an author and playwright, largely on southern topics, and leader in civic, cultural, and religious organizations of Seaboard, N.C. She participated in the W.P.A. Federal Writers' Project, collecting "life histories" of ordinary people in the South. The collection includes correspondence and writings of Bernice Kelly (Mrs. H. K.) Harris including letters from editors, publishers, other writers, and friends; fan mail; and writings. Correspondents include J. O. Bailey, W. T. Couch, Jonathan Daniels, Inglis Fletcher, L. H. Fountain, Harry Golden, Bernadette Hoyle, Sam Ragan, Thad Stem, Gilbert Thomas Stephenson, and Richard Gaither Walser. Also included are seventeen interviews conducted by Valerie Yow in 1996 and 1997 with relatives and friends of Bernice Kelly Harris.
Creator Harris, Bernice Kelly.
Language English.
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Restrictions to Access
This collection contains additional materials that are not processed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Research and Instructional Services staff. Please be advised that preparing unprocessed materials for access can be a lengthy process.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Provenance
Received from Bernice Kelly Harris in 1967; from her estate in 1974; from J. O. Bailey in 1974; and from Elizabeth Bullock in 1996 (Acc. 98414). Interviews about Harris given by Valerie Yow of Chapel Hill, N.C., in November 1997 (Acc. 97141).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Bernice Kelly Harris (8 Oct. 1891-13 Sept. 1973) was born in Wake County, N.C., daughter of William Haywood and Rosa Poole Kelly. She attended Mt. Moriah Academy and Cary High School. She graduated from Meredith College in 1913. Harris worked briefly as a principal for a school at Beulaville, Duplin County, N.C. She also taught for three years at the South Fork Institute, near Maiden in Catawba County, N.C., an academy for training rural Baptist preachers. In 1917, she went to Seaboard High School in Northampton County, N.C. She taught English there from 1917 to 1927 except for a year in Rich Square (1921-1922).

During this time, Harris continued to pursue her education by attending summer school at the University of North Carolina. She studied playwriting in 1919 and 1920 under Frederick H. Koch. Koch's love for the folk play inspired Harris. She returned to Seaboard determined to spread the "folk gospel," and to do some writing of her own. In May 1926, she married Herbert Kavanaugh Harris, a Seaboard farmer. Marriage did not dull Bernice Kelly Harris's enthusiasm for writing. She was instrumental in organizing the Northampton Players among the younger people, to write and produce plays at home before taking the best material to the state drama festival.

After 1930, began sending human interest stories and feature articles to Raleigh and Norfolk newspapers. Four of her character sketches appeared in These Are Our Lives (1939), a Federal Writers Project book. In 1939, she wrote Purslane, a novel which won the Mayflower Society Cup as the best North Carolina book of the year. Her other novels include Portulaca (1941), Sage Quarter (1945), Janey Jeems (1946), Hearthstones (1948), and Wild Cheery Tree Road (1951). She also wrote two Christmas booklets: The Very Real Truth about Christmas (1961) and The Santa on the Mantel (1964).

In 1961, Harris was president of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association. She also served on the boards of trustees of the State Library Commission and the North Carolina Arts Council, was active in the North Carolina Writers Conference and the Reannex-Chowan Group, and taught creative writing classes at Chowan College. From her classes at Chowan came two collections, Southern Home Remedies (1968) and Strange Things Happen (1971), for which she received a Brown-Hudson Folklore Award posthumously from the North Carolina Folklore Society.

Herbert K. Harris died on 13 July 1950. Bernice Kelly Harris died 23 years later in 1973.

[Source: William S. Powell, ed. Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Vol. 3 (Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press, 1988): 47-48.]

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Correspondence and writings of Bernice Kelly (Mrs. H. K.) Harris including letters from editors, publishers, other writers, and friends; fan mail; and writings. Correspondents include J. O. Bailey, W. T. Couch, Jonathan Daniels, Inglis Fletcher, L. H. Fountain, Harry Golden, Bernadette Hoyle, Sam Ragan, Thad Stem, Gilbert Thomas Stephenson, and Richard Gaither Walser. Also included are seventeen interviews conducted by Valerie Yow in 1996 and 1997 with relatives and friends of Bernice Kelly Harris.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated.

About 2,400 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Letters from publishers, editors, other writers, and a large circle of friends and fans. Letters included invitations to speak, information on literary engagements and honors, and some of Harris's own mail to her family.

Folder 1

1913-May 1939 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 1

Folder 2

June 1939-December 1939 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 2

Folder 3

1940 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 3

Folder 4

1941-1942 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 4

Folder 5

1943-1944 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 5

Folder 6

1945-1946 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 6

Folder 7

1947-1948 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 7

Folder 8

1949-1951 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 8

Folder 9

1952-1954 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 9

Folder 10

1955-1956 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 10

Folder 11

January-July 1957 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 11

Folder 12

August-December 1957 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 12

Folder 13

1958 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 13

Folder 14

1959 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 14

Folder 15

1960 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 15

Folder 16

1961 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 16

Folder 17

1962 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 17

Folder 18

1963 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 18

Folder 19

1964 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 19

Folder 20

1965 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 20

Folder 21

January-August 1966 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 21

Folder 22

September-December 1966 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 22

Folder 23

January-July 1967 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 23

Folder 24

August-December 1967 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 24

Folder 25

1968 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 25

Folder 26

1969 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 26

Folder 27

1970 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 27

Folder 28

1971 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 28

Folder 29

1972-1973 #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 29

Folder 30-31

Folder 30

Folder 31

Undated fan mail #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 30-31

Folder 32

Undated from J. O. Bailey #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 32

Folder 33

Undated from Vaughn Holomon #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 33

Folder 34-38

Folder 34

Folder 35

Folder 36

Folder 37

Folder 38

Undated miscellaneous #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 34-38

Folder 39

Fragments #03804, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1913-1973 and undated. " Folder 39

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Clippings and Ephemera, 1930s-1960s and undated.

About 1,200 items.

Arrangement: roughly by topic.

Newspaper articles and clippings, awards, photographs, publishers' catalogues, and related material by or about Bernice Kelly Harris. The reviews of Harris's are from newspapers in North Carolina, as well as The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, and The New York Herald. Included are reviews by Eudora Welty and Doris Betts.

Folder 40-46

Folder 40

Folder 41

Folder 42

Folder 43

Folder 44

Folder 45

Folder 46

Clippings about BKH #03804, Series: "2. Clippings and Ephemera, 1930s-1960s and undated. " Folder 40-46

Folder 47-48

Folder 47

Folder 48

Clippings by BKH #03804, Series: "2. Clippings and Ephemera, 1930s-1960s and undated. " Folder 47-48

Folder 49

Clippings #03804, Series: "2. Clippings and Ephemera, 1930s-1960s and undated. " Folder 49

Folder 50

Reviews #03804, Series: "2. Clippings and Ephemera, 1930s-1960s and undated. " Folder 50

Folder 51

Plays, writers conferences programs #03804, Series: "2. Clippings and Ephemera, 1930s-1960s and undated. " Folder 51

Folder 52

Certificates #03804, Series: "2. Clippings and Ephemera, 1930s-1960s and undated. " Folder 52

Folder 53

Photographs #03804, Series: "2. Clippings and Ephemera, 1930s-1960s and undated. " Folder 53

Folder 54

Ephemera/miscellaneous #03804, Series: "2. Clippings and Ephemera, 1930s-1960s and undated. " Folder 54

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Writings, 1930s-1960s.

About 2,400 items.

Arrangement: by title.

Typescripts, galley proofs, draft copies, and revised editions of novels, short stories, and plays by Bernice Kelly Harris.

Folder 55-57

Folder 55

Folder 56

Folder 57

Purslane #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 55-57

Folder 58-60

Folder 58

Folder 59

Folder 60

These Are Our Lives #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 58-60

Folder 61-63

Folder 61

Folder 62

Folder 63

Folk Plays of Eastern Carolina #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 61-63

Folder 64-65

Folder 64

Folder 65

Bantie Woman #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 64-65

Folder 66

Portulaca #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 66

Folder 67-68

Folder 67

Folder 68

Sweet Beulah Land #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 67-68

Folder 69-72

Folder 69

Folder 70

Folder 71

Folder 72

Yellow Color Suit #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 69-72

Folder 73

Sage Quarter #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 73

Folder 74-76

Folder 74

Folder 75

Folder 76

Jamey Jeems #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 74-76

Folder 77-81

Folder 77

Folder 78

Folder 79

Folder 80

Folder 81

Wild Cherry Tree Road #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 77-81

Folder 82

A Land More Large Than Earth #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 82

Folder 83-85

Folder 83

Folder 84

Folder 85

The Santa on the Mantel #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 83-85

Folder 86-88

Folder 86

Folder 87

Folder 88

Southern Savory #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 86-88

Folder 89

Southern Home Remedies #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 89

Folder 90-96

Folder 90

Folder 91

Folder 92

Folder 93

Folder 94

Folder 95

Folder 96

Unfinished Work, 1973 #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 90-96

Folder 97

ALH #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 97

Folder 98

Amanda Pollock #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 98

Folder 99

American Way of Life #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 99

Folder 100

At the Washington Daffodil Show #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 100

Folder 101

The Brown Lady #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 101

Folder 102

Christmas Chimney #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 102

Folder 103

Christmas Eve #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 103

Folder 104

Davey and Judith #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 104

Folder 105

Don't Ask Miss Ann About the Old Days #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 105

Folder 106

Don't Break the Rhythm #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 106

Folder 107

Facts and Fiction #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 107

Folder 108

The Federation Wins #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 108

Folder 109

The Fifth Day of Christmas #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 109

Folder 110

Flash #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 110

Folder 111

The Fourth Stranger #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 111

Folder 112

Goodnight, Ladies #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 112

Folder 113

The Goose-Man #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 113

Folder 114

The Image #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 114

Folder 115

In Red Shirt Day #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 115

Folder 116

Incredible Idyll #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 116

Folder 117

It is Christmas Eve... #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 117

Folder 118

Jeptha's Daughter #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 118

Folder 119

Kathy Leen Baker #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 119

Folder 120

Lindo #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 120

Folder 121

The Little Address Book #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 121

Folder 122

Live Embers #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 122

Folder 123

Mr. Springtime #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 123

Folder 124

Mother of the Year #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 124

Folder 125

Music Hath Charms #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 125

Folder 126

Napoleon #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 126

Folder 127

News and Observer #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 127

Folder 128

The North Carolina Writers' Conference (speech) #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 128

Folder 129

One Village Sunday #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 129

Folder 130

Pink Honeymoon #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 130

Folder 131

The Prodigal Son #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 131

Folder 132

Red Berries at Christmas #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 132

Folder 133

Ruima... #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 133

Folder 134

Santa Claus Wore Blue #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 134

Folder 135

A Sheaf of Red Roses #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 135

Folder 136

State Literary Association (speech) #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 136

Folder 137

The Spire #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 137

Folder 138

Stet #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 138

Folder 139

The Veil #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 139

Folder 140

Women After Their Kind #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 140

Folder 141

Woodsman Extraordinary #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 141

Folder 142

Writing Class at Chown, 1963 #03804, Series: "3. Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 142

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Unidentified Writings, 1930s-1960s.

About 2,800 items.

Galley proofs, rough drafts, and typescripts of unknown works by Bernice Kelly Harris. Included are plays, short stories, and novels.

Folder 143-190

Folder 143

Folder 144

Folder 145

Folder 146

Folder 147

Folder 148

Folder 149

Folder 150

Folder 151

Folder 152

Folder 153

Folder 154

Folder 155

Folder 156

Folder 157

Folder 158

Folder 159

Folder 160

Folder 161

Folder 162

Folder 163

Folder 164

Folder 165

Folder 166

Folder 167

Folder 168

Folder 169

Folder 170

Folder 171

Folder 172

Folder 173

Folder 174

Folder 175

Folder 176

Folder 177

Folder 178

Folder 179

Folder 180

Folder 181

Folder 182

Folder 183

Folder 184

Folder 185

Folder 186

Folder 187

Folder 188

Folder 189

Folder 190

Unidentified Writings #03804, Series: "4. Unidentified Writings, 1930s-1960s. " Folder 143-190

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997.

About 50 items in addition.

Tapes, tape indexes, and field notes for seventeen oral histories by Valerie Yow about Bernice Kelly Harris. Dates represent the date of the interview.

T-3804/1: Bell, Clara Bond 24 April 1997 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/1: Bell, Holley Mack 24 April 1997 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/2: Bullock, Elizabeth 19 June 1996 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/3: Burrows, Alice K 14 July 1996 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/4: Ehle, John 30 July 1996 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/5: Faison, Madeleine 28 August 1996 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/6: Ford, Ann Bradley 19 June 1996 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/7: Hanes, Frank Borden 30 July 1996 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/8: Harris, Elizabeth 5 April 1996 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/9: Harris, Elizabeth 19 June 1996 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/10: Hodges, Betty A. 28 December 1995 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/11-12: Kelley, Gordon 26 June 1995 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/13: Lewis, Henry W. 17 February 1996 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/14: Merritt, Betsey B. 5 April 1996 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/15-16: Parker, Roy 19 March 1996 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/17: Poindexter, Sandra U. 18 March 1997 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/18: Pyne, George C. 12 February 1996 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/19: Ragan, Sam 31 January 1996 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

T-3804/20: Stem, Marguerite 3 May 1996 #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 143-190

Folder 191-192

Folder 191

Folder 192

Tape indexes and field notes. #03804, Series: "Addition of November 1997, 1996-1997. " Folder 191-192

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Processing Information

This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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