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About the Thomas Wolfe Collection

American novelist Thomas Clayton Wolfe (3 October 1900 - 15 September 1938) was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from fall 1916 until his graduation in spring 1920. He died in Baltimore at age thirty-seven of tuberculosis of the brain. Thomas Wolfe

The Thomas Wolfe Collection, part of the North Carolina Collection in the University of North Carolina Library, includes correspondence, manuscripts, legal documents, family memorabilia, printed material by and about Wolfe, photographs, clippings, and recorded materials. It was formally established in 1950 with an initial gift of materials from the brothers and sisters of Thomas Wolfe in memory of their parents, William Oliver and Julia Elizabeth Westall Wolfe. For a description of the arrangement and holdings of the Thomas Wolfe Collection, please read the finding aid prepared by the North Carolina Collection.

The North Carolina Collection collects Wolfe comprehensively and adds to its Thomas Wolfe Collection by both gift and purchase. Two major recent acquisitions are a holographic manuscript of Wolfe's "What a Writer Reads," which was published in abbreviated form in The Book Buyer in December 1935, and approximately one hundred of the original Douglas Gorsline pen-and-ink drawings used in the first illustrated edition of Look Homeward, Angel, published in 1947. A small room inside the Reading Room of the North Carolina Collection is used to exhibit selected items from the Thomas Wolfe Collection, including manuscripts, printed works, photographs, and art.

Access to some parts of the Thomas Wolfe Collection is restricted, and persons wanting to use the collection should notify the North Carolina Collection before planning a research trip. Access to the correspondence and manuscripts in the several series requires prior written permission from the Executor of the Estate of Thomas Wolfe, whose name and address are available from the North Carolina Collection.

The North Carolina Collection actively promotes the study of Thomas Wolfe's life and writings by collecting and exhibiting materials by and about Wolfe, through involvement with The Thomas Wolfe Review, and through participation in the Thomas Wolfe Society.

This web site provides general information about the collection and reproduces selected letters and photographs, all of which carry copyright notices. In addition, the site provides biographical information about Wolfe, information about printed materials in the collection, and finding aids to the manuscript materials, including a partial index to correspondence in the collection.