Lou Bellamy Rare Book Collection
This outstanding collection, donated in honor of Penumbra Theatre founder and Artistic Director Lou Bellamy, contains over 850 titles, many of which are first editions or signed by the author. The collections includes the self-published Narrative of Sojourner Truth as well as other books that predate the Emancipation Proclamation.
Penumbra Theatre Company Archives
The Penumbra Theatre Company Archives document the theater's founding in 1976 by Lou Bellamy, its extensive repertoire of productions, and its unique collaboration with Pulitzer prize-winning playwright August Wilson. From annotated scripts to costume designs, programs, educational materials, reviews, and administrative records, the Penumbra Theatre Archives capture the inner-workings and history of one of the country's preeminent African American theater companies. Penumbra Theatre playbills have been digitized and are available online.
An original first-edition copy of her work Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral, published in 1773. It is the first book published by an African American writer.
Countee Cullen Correspondence
An intimate collection of letters from 1918-1930s, including drafts of many published and unpublished poems, between the Harlem Renaissance poet to his childhood friend and literary confidante William Fuller Brown. Brown spent much of his career as a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Minnesota.
Clarence Major Papers
The Clarence Major Papers include the manuscripts, correspondence, and personal papers of the poet, novelist, and painter who was active in the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s and 1970s. Clarence Major is a professor of English at the University of California Davis.
Select images and book covers from the Givens Collection are available online.