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Eva Rutland papers, 1949-1979

Overview of the Collection

Rutland, Eva
Eva Rutland papers
1949-1979 (inclusive)
1.5 linear feet, (3 containers)
Collection Number
Coll 063
Eva Elsie Rutland (1917- ) is a writer of books and short stories primarily relating to the African American experience and race relations in America. The collection includes correspondence, literary manuscripts and miscellaneous records that reflect her writing career.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Eva Elsie Rutland (née Neal) was born January 15, 1917 in Atlanta, Georgia. She earned her B.A. in Economics from Spelman College (Atlanta) in 1937. She has lived in Alabama, Washington, D.C., Ohio, and Germany. She now lives in Sacramento, California. She is married and has four children.

Mrs. Rutland had already written several short stories and articles (three of which were published in the 1950's) when her book, The Trouble With Being a Mama, was published in 1964 by Abingdon Press. The book is about the troubles and joys of being a wife and mother of four in a middle-class black family. The book was well-received and popular at its release, but is no longer in print.

Mrs. Rutland has written material for several other books. One, entitled In Defense of Uncle Tom, was contracted by Abingdon in 1968. Despite months of work, however, the book was never published. At least one of her short stories, "Sex and Mr. Pumpernickel," has been published abroad. In 1978, her play, Pride, Prejudice and Pollution, with music and lyrics by Mel Lawson, was produced in Sacramento.

Although her eyesight, which began troubling her in 1970, has now failed her, she continues to write.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Eva Rutland Papers consist largely of correspondence and manuscripts, both published and unpublished, combining material received from Mrs. Rutland in 1970 and 1980.

The correspondence is arranged chronologically and includes both business and personal correspondence from 1949 to 1979. The bulk of the business correspondence is between Mrs. Rutland and Lenniger Literary Agency, where she was a client, and Abingdon Press, which published The Trouble With Being a Mama. The business correspondence, in particular the years 1964-1965 and 1969-1970, traces the development and ultimate failure of In Defense of Uncle Tom. The history of Mrs. Rutland's vision problem is revealed through her correspondence with Lenniger Literary Agency, beginning with a letter dated June 24, 1970. Mrs. Rutland's personal correspondence sometimes provides a contemporary perspective of race relations and the civil rights movement. A noted personal correspondent is Kathryn Crosby; the Papers include letters from her in 1972, 1973, and 1976.

The manuscripts are divided into book length, plays, short works, and poetry. Works within these sections are arranged alphabetically by title. Rough drafts are filed with the final version. The manuscripts series contains three of five known published works. These are: "The Morning the Swings Were Empty," "Sex and Mr. Pumpernickel," and The Trouble With Being a Mama. As with the personal correspondence, most of the manuscripts record how race relations in the 1950's and 1960's affected everyday life. Of unpublished works included in the Papers, the most notable is In Defense of Uncle Tom. Mrs. Rutland's published works which are not included are: "Taught to Hate" ( Ladies Home Journal, June, 1952) and "Elsie and God" ( Redbook, June, 1952).

Aside from a photocopy of a newspaper article about the play Pride Prejudice and Pollution, all of the reviews are for The Trouble With Being a Mama. Following the reviews is a folder of memorabilia, consisting mostly of publicity for Pride Prejudice and Pollution.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Eva Rutland Papers, Coll 063, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series:  Biographical InformationReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 1
Biographical statement

Series:  CorrespondenceReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 2
1 3
1 4
April 1964-October 1964
1 5
November 1964-December 1964
1 6
January 1965-May 1965
1 7
July 1965-December 1965
1 8
1 9
1 10
1 11
January 1969-June 1969
1 12
July 1969-December 1969
1 13
January 1970-June 1970
1 14
July 1970-December 1970
1 15
1 16
1 17

Series:  Manuscripts: Book LengthReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
2 1
In Defense of Uncle Tom: Chapters 1, 2, 4
2 2
In Defense of Uncle Tom: Chapters 5, 7
2 3
In Defense of Uncle Tom: Chapters 8, 10
2 4
In Defense of Uncle Tom: Additional chapters, not numbered
2 5
In Defense of Uncle Tom: Notes, drafts, contract with Abingdon
2 6
Our World: Kenya: Chapters 1, 4-6
2 7
The Trouble With Being a Mama: Chapters 1-4
2 8
The Trouble With Being a Mama: Chapters 5-8
2 9
The Trouble With Being a Mama: Chapters 9-10; 1 draft page

Series:  Manuscripts: PlayReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 10
Pride Prejudice and Pollution: Act I
1 11
Pride Prejudice and Pollution: Act II, III; note

Series:  Manuscripts: Short WorksReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
2 12
Amicus Curiae
2 12
And a Child Shall Lead Them
2 12
As a Man Thinketh
2 12
Going Blind I Can See More Clearly
2 12
If I Were in Charge
3 1
Madge and the Lemon Cream Pie
3 2
Morning the Swings Were Empty
3 2
My Neighbor, Mr. Muggins
3 2
Sex and Mr. Pumpernickel
3 3
Such a Big Day for Such a Little Girl
3 4
Suffer the Children
3 4
Thanksgiving Must Be Perfect
3 4
The Trouble with Being an Uncle Tom
3 5
The Trouble with Being Black and Middle Class
3 5
Who Can I Hate?
3 6
With Love from the Five and Ten

Series:  Manuscripts: PoetryReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
3 7
Careerless Lady (with M.E. Barr and E. Payne)
3 7
From Mama to Teacher (with M.E. Barr)
3 7
Lullaby for Mommy (by Madeline Barr)
3 7
3 8
Miscellaneous pages
3 9
3 10