Scope and arrangement
The Sadie P. Delaney Papers (1921-1958) consist primarily of incoming letters from such diverse notables as W.E.B. Du Bois (vol.1), Leigh Whipper (vol.3), Mary McLeod Bethune (vol.3), Langston Hughes (vol.1), Ralph Bunche (vol.3), James Weldon Johnson (vol.1) and Fannie Hurst (vol.1), as well as letters from librarians and other professionals at black institutions.
The seven bound volumes of correspondence include, “Letters Rich and Rare” (vol.1, 1921-1949), so titled by Mrs. Delaney, with letters from Booker T. Washington, Franz Boas, Benjamin Brawley, Countee Cullen, and others.
Volume 2, “Letters of Congratulations on Achievement,” (1948-1950) include congratulations for Mrs. Delaney's honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities (1950) from Atlanta University, and her honors as “Outstanding Woman of the Southern Region” (1948) and as Tuskegee's “Woman of the Year” (1949), presented by the Iota Lamba Sorority and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority respectively.
Volumes 3-6 and an additional volume contain letters of personal and professional content and letters of congratulation. Mailgrams appear frequently, and photographs of Mrs. Delaney are included in each bound volume of letters.
Her papers also include programs, articles, the text of a speech given by Mrs. Delaney at the Commencement Banquet at Atlanta University on June 5, 1950 (vol.3), the minutes of the meeting of the Bi-Racial Committee, dated January 18, 1952 in which the motion to establish a separate Alabama Negro Library Association was passed (vol.5), and her curriculum vitae (vols.2, 3, 5). A bound Congressional Record, dated January 17, 1957, contains remarks by Senator James E. Murray of Fontana in which he asks unanimous consent to have Clyde C. Cantrell's article, “Sadie P. Delaney: Bibliotherapist and Librarian” printed in the appendix. In addition to the many congratulatory letters in the scrapbooks, Dr. Delaney's correspondence points to the difficulties she faced as a black professional librarian, particularly in the South.
Other correspondents of particular note and interest include George Washington Carver (vol.3), Dorothy B. Ferebee (vol.3), Georgia Douglas Johnson (vols.3, 5), J.A. Rogers (vol.5), William Grant Still (vol.6), Ernestine Rose (vol.1), Frederick D. Patterson (vols.3, 6 & unnumbered volume), Emmett J. Scott (vol.1), Matthew Henson (vol.1, letter accompanied with a photograph of Mr. Henson), Jessie Redmon Fauset (vol.1), and a letter from Club Imperial, Birmingham, Alabama (vol.5). Correspondence from schools within Tuskegee Institute and from Clyde C. Cantrell, Director of Libraries, Alabama Polytechnic Institute, appear in the volumes of letters. Volumes 3-6 and the unnumbered volume are dated: 1923-1953; 1951-1954; 1937-1956; 1965-1957; and 1950-1957, respectively.
The Sadie P. Delaney papers are arranged in seven series: