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Dr. Reginald Martin Papers to Memphis Public Lib

>>INFO: dr. reginald martin papers to memphis public library

Martin Donates “Massive” Papers Collection to Memphis Public Library

Dr. Reginald Martin, author and professor at the University of Memphis, has
donated a massive collection of letters, papers, records, manuscripts and
digital media to the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library of the Memphis Public
Library System. The collection, including 32 numbered boxes and 21 alphabetized file
cabinets, spans 35 years of collecting and research and will be housed in “
The Dr. Reginald Martin African American Literature and Writing Collection.” The
collection was appraised at over $45,000 by Menza-Barron Appraisers of New
York. Dr. Jerry W. Ward, Jr., Chair of Excellence in Africana World
Literatures of Dillard University in New Orleans, said, “The collection will actually
continue to grow in worth as Martin's career is on-going, and, thus, his
donation may increase in value to the library as he continues to publish.”

“If you could see some of the holographs of original manuscripts that Martin
has meticulously saved, collected, edited and catalogued, that, in itself, is
invaluable to anyone studying African American Literature, southern culture of
the last 40 years, or studying how a manuscript changes in different
editorial phases,” said Ward. The collection has over 15,000 catalogued individual
entries, and thousands of uncatalogued letters and notes, including letters from
Martin's first publishing efforts in 1974. There are also digital media in
tape and disc form, and note exchanges between famous writer/scholars, such as
Ernest Gaines, who awarded Martin the Distinguished novel Award for the Deep
South Writers Contest in 1988, for Everybody Knows What Time It Is. There are
also extended letter and editorial exchanges between Martin and Ishmael Reed,
winner of the MacArthur Foundation Genius Award.

“Several other entities wanted the collection-most of them universities or
privately funded foundations-but the collection really belongs in a public
library where average citizens can have access to the material. I think such access
is especially important to inner city kids and products of public schools, as
I, myself, am both,” said Martin.

Dr. Reginald Martin, MFA, PhD., holds five earned degrees in computing,
writing, and literatures; he has published nine books and numerous articles and
presentations. His “Critical Thinking Library” is housed at The Lord's
Tabernacle Holiness Church in Memphis, and an earlier donation of original manuscripts
is housed by the Malachi Andrews Foundation in Washington, DC.

A reception and talk for the acceptance of the collection will be held at The
Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library at 3030 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN
38111-3527, Thursday, October 23rd, from 6-7pm. There will also be a book signing of
Martin's two new books on Ishmael Reed and Ntozake Shange.

For further information, please contact Ms. Lillian Johnson, Public Relations
Supervisor, Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, at (901) 415-2846 or

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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