The Extraordinary World of MARBL: Ralph McGill’s Paper Bag Letter

52weeks_logo4.jpgThe Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library is a place of discovery. All are welcome to visit and explore our unique holdings, whether as a researcher or an observer. The breadth and depth of our collections are vast, and it is nearly impossible to investigate every nook and cranny. We invite you this year, through our blog, to tour some of those places you didn’t know existed, and get acquainted with collections you might not have previously explored. Check back in with us weekly over the course of 2013 as we offer you a delightful look into some of the favorite, but perhaps lesser-known, corners of our collections. These pieces are visually interesting, come attached with fascinating stories, and are often 3D objects you might not have realized are part of what makes up The Extraordinary World of MARBL.

Ralph McGill Paper Bag

Framed in MARBL is a brown paper bag on which is written a letter from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ralph McGill to his friends, some of the greatest journalists covering the south during the Civil Rights Movement. McGill starts off with a parenthetical stating that he is writing “In the manner of the Arkansan who always wrote on a brown paper sack.” He then goes on to address his friends as “Dearly Beloved” and signs it “Affectionately, Ralph.” Added later to the frame is a note listing the recipients as Bill Baggs, Harry Ashmore, Harold Fleming, Bill Emerson, John Popham, Claude Sitton, and John Griffin as well as a date of April, 1964 and a location of Tallahassee, Florida. Come up to MARBL to further investigate the contents of this interesting form of correspondence.

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