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Zora Neale Hurston Collection

Call Number: JWJ MSS 9

Scope and Contents

This finding aid encompasses accessions of single manuscripts and small groups of manuscripts and other papers, by or pertaining to Zora Neale Hurston, which the library has chosen to group and list as an artificial collection.


  • 1930-1972


Conditions Governing Access

Box 3: Restricted fragile material. May not be seen without the permission of the appropriate curator.

Conditions Governing Use

The Zora Neale Hurston Collection is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Zora Neale Hurston Collection contains items presented to the James Weldon Johnson Collection, principally by Hurston, with additional items from other persons.


1.05 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The Zora Neale Hurston Collection contains Correspondence, Writings, including drafts of her autobiography, Dust Tracks on the Road, the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and a play written in collaboration with Langston Hughes, "Mule Bone," as well as a study of Hurston written in 1972 by Robert Hemenway.


Following an itinerant upbringing, Zora Neale Hurston focused on anthropology studies at Columbia University. Her ethnographic work, however, soon was overshadowed by her creative work, such as her collaboration with Langston Hughes on the play, "Mule Bone," and her novel, "Their Eyes Were Watching God." In later years, she was distanced from the original group of Harlem Renaissance writers, but a resurgence of interest about her in the 1970s and 1980s brought a new generation of readers.

Processing Information

This finding aid was produced from a previously existing inventory. All pertinent information has been retained. Former call number: JWJ MSS Small Collections.

Guide to the Zora Neale Hurston Collection
by Beinecke Staff
August 1996
Description rules
Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977


121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.