The Princeton University Library has announced that a major portion of the Toni Morrison Papers collection is now available for researchers. The papers were donated to the university in 2014. Professor Morrison is the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities Emerita and the 1993 Nobel Prize winner for literature. She joined the faculty at Princeton in 1989 and taught creative writing classes until 2006.
The Toni Morrison Papers include correspondence from a wide range of scholars including Maya Angelou, Houston Baker, Toni Cade Bambara, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Leon Higginbotham, Randall Kennedy, Ishmael Reed, and Alice Walker. The collection also includes unpublished plays and lectures and early handwritten drafts of the author’s novels. The drafts include editing changes that allow researchers to study Morrison’s creative process.
Tracy K. Smith, professor of creative writing at Princeton, stated that the fact that “Morrison’s papers will be made accessible is a watershed for scholars of her writing. And for writers like myself, the opportunity to track Morrison’s process as a writer and editor — to see where she saw fit to make changes, and to observe her manner of revision and reflection — will be of immeasurable value.”