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The Marguerite Cartwright papers: Open for Research!

by Jasmaine Talley, Curator of Manuscripts



Dr. Marguerite Cartwright and her husband Leonard Carl Cartwright boarding a Pan Am flight.
Dr. Marguerite Cartwright and her husband Leonard Carl Cartwright boarding a Pan Am flight.

The papers of Dr. Marguerite Cartwright are now open and available to researchers. This collection was processed with funding assistance from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).


Dr. Cartwright's papers chronicle her life as an entertainer, university lecturer and United Nations correspondent for the Pittsburgh Courier. Through her correspondence, one can see the connections she made with Harlem Renaissance-era poets and with leaders of newly independent nations such as Nigeria and Ghana. Her ability to weave her international travels and personal experiences into her lectures is reflected in the coursework she assigned her students; many examples of this coursework are included within her papers. Her writings cover a multitude of topics but are primarily focused around United Nations activities, in addition to her travels. Her papers also demonstrate her involvement with organizations related to the arts, anti-colonialism and with fostering relationships between the United States and countries in Africa. Her involvement in the Provisional Council of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is also reflected in the meeting minutes and correspondence that are included in her papers. All of these activities are supported by subject files containing newspaper clippings, articles and publications (often in the form of scrapbooks) she created for her personal research. These files encompass many contemporary topics, issues and events following World War II until the early 1980s, both nationally and internationally. Furthermore, she created a file for each member country or potential member country of the United Nations.


Dr. Cartwright (far left) at a meeting of the Provisional Council of the University of Nigeria.
Dr. Cartwright (far left) at a meeting of the Provisional Council of the University of Nigeria.

In short, there are many points of access to this collection for researchers, as reflected in the online finding aid. Some of the notable topics include civil rights; anti-colonialism; racism and anti-racism organizations; and African-Americans in the arts, theater, and in broadcasting; among others.



Click online finding aid to access the Marguerite Cartwright papers.






Previous blog posts about Marguerite Cartwright include:


Introducing Marguerite Cartwright


Marguerite Cartwright and the University of Nigeria


Broadcast Journalism Highlights from the Marguerite Cartwright Papers


The Cartwright Collection and a Personalized View of Interracial Marriage


(Click on hyperlinked title to access the blog post.)


National Archives | National Historical Publications & Records Commission


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