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Guide to the Mary E. Mercer Collection of Carson McCullers-Mary Tucker Correspondence, 1959-1976

Abstract

Carson McCullers' psychotherapist, friend, and physician; resident of Nyack (Rockland Co.), N.Y.

Chiefly letters to Dr. Mercer from Mary Tucker, Carson McCullers' piano teacher and long-time close friend, mostly about McCullers, with a few copies of letters from Mercer to Tucker. Topics include McCullers' mental and physical health; Mercer's care of the young woman; McCullers' work, long illness, death, and funeral; Tucker and Mercer's love and admiration for the author; and their opinions on various McCullers biographers. Later letters contain mostly information about Tucker's family. An unsigned letter from Carson McCullers, dated 5 May 1962, is also in the collection.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Mercer, Mary E. (collector)
Title
Mary E. Mercer Collection of Carson McCullers-Mary Tucker Correspondence 1959-1976
Language of Material
English
Extent
0.4 Linear Feet, 132 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The Mary E. Mercer Collection of Carson McCullers-Mary Tucker Correspondence, 1959-1976, contain letters written primarily to Dr. Mercer by Mary Tucker, Carson McCullers's piano teacher and a long-time close friend. Most correspondence concerns the life and work of McCullers; however, there are also several letters written after the death of the author, regarding her biographers and the allocation of her papers to various libraries. Topics include the writer's mental and physical health, her work, and Tucker and Mercer's love and admiration for the author. There is also correspondence between Tucker and Mercer regarding various biographers of McCullers and the purchase of her papers by Duke University. The papers also include several copies of Mercer's own letters and a slide of Mary Tucker taken by Mary Mercer. Arranged in chronological order.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

1959 Nov. 1
Box 1
1961 June 18-Sept. 8
Box 1
1962 Feb. 2-July 12 and undated
Box 1
1962 July 20-Dec. 19
Box 1
1966 July 14-Aug. 31
Box 1
1967 Jan. 4-Dec. 20
Box 1
1968 Mar. 30-Sept. 5
Box 1
1970 Sept. 15-Dec. 29
Box 1
1971 Mar. 1-Dec. 30 and undated
Box 1
1972 Mar. 14-Aug. 26
Box 1
1973 Apr. 17-Dec. 22

Contains a slide of Mary Tucker on Columbus trip, taken by Mary Mercer.

Box 1
1974 July 2-Dec. 27
Box 1
1975 Jan. 18-Nov. 26
Box 1
1976 Jan. 6-June 19
Box 1

Historical Note

Mary Mercer was born in Connecticut, graduated from Simmons College in Boston, and received her M.D. from the University of Colorado. Before opening a private practice in Nyack in 1958, she worked in New York Hospital and at the Payne Whitney Clinic. In 1958, she became Carson McCullers's therapist and eventually a close friend and correspondent.

Subject Headings

Related Material

Related Material

Related materials include the Carson McCullers Papers, the Virginia Spencer Carr Papers, the Edwin Peacock Papers, and the Mary Sames Tucker Papers, all housed at Duke University's David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Mary E. Mercer Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The Mary E. Mercer Collection of Carson McCullers-Mary Tucker Correspondence was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2001.

Processing Information

Processed by Pavla Vesela and other staff, May 15, 2004

Encoded by Pavla Vesela, Brittany E. Wilson, Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, Michael Shumate, February 2006

Encoding updated by Meghan Lyon, February 2010

Accession 2001-0077 is described in this finding aid.

The Mary E. Mercer Collection of Carson McCullers-Mary Tucker Correspondence was formerly known as both the Mary E. Mercer Papers and the Carson McCullers-Mary Tucker Correspondence. It was initially described as part of the Collections on Carson McCullers.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.