Scope and arrangement
Vivian Hewitt is a former librarian and, with her husband John Hewitt, a collector of Haitian and African American art. Her papers date from 1929 to 2015, with the majority of materials dating from the 1990s onward. The papers largely document her social life and volunteer activities, and her and her husband's art collection.
Biographical and family files contain personal memorabilia, biographical notes, CVs, awards, and other papers related to Hewitt's life, her immediate and extended family, and her friends. These files include papers concerning the annual reunion of the "Roberts, Borders, Mauney, Howell, Briggs and Related Families." Papers related to Hewitt's autobiography, The One and Only: Vivian Ann Davidson Hewitt, include transcriptions of stories Hewitt told to Annie Segan.
The largest component of the collection is Hewitt's correspondence, which discusses her social activities, professional activities, travels, volunteer work, and art collection. Among Hewitt's correspondents are artists, medical professionals, social workers, librarians, and actors. Most correspondence is sorted by year only, with no further internal order, though Hewitt created a small number of files dedicated to specific correspondents, which are arranged by name. Correspondence also contains files of greeting cards, Christmas newsletters, and a volume of family letters that Hewitt created as a gift for her son. Hewitt's activities and relationships are further documented in her appointment books, guest books, and address books.
Vivian and John Hewitt's art collection is represented by research files; articles written by John Hewitt; photographs and lists of artwork they owned; records of purchases, sales, and donations; and programs, pamphlets, and clippings related to the exhibition of their art collection. Artists documented in the collection include Romare Bearden, Tom Feelings, Olivia Gatewood, J. Eugene Grigsby, Jr. (a relative of Vivian Hewitt), Yolene Legrand, Ann Tanksley, and Luce Turnier. Photographs of Feelings and Turnier are filed in the "Photographs" section of the collection. The collection also contains lists of the Hewitts' books and correspondence related to the sale of their book collection.
Librarianship files concern Vivian Hewitt's work with the Carnegie Endowment, the Special Libraries Association (SLA), and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (ALA). Hewitt's participation in other organizations is documented through correspondence, clippings, event programs, and records of charitable gifts.
Photographs depict Hewitt, her family, and friends; there are also photographs from a 1978 SLA conference in Hawaii and a 1979 trip to Trinidad and Tobago. Printed matter comprises programs, pamphlets, and clippings, including obituaries and memorial programs for Hewitt's friends, family, and colleagues. The collection also contains files related to Hewitt's travels. Writings consist of research and drafts for biographical articles that were published in the book Notable Black American Men.
The Vivian Hewitt papers are arranged in the following categories:
- Biographical and Family Files
- Appointment Books, Guest Books, and Address Books
- Art Collection
- Book Collection
- Printed Matter