Central Collection: Margaret Mitchell


The Margaret Mitchell Collection is housed in the Special Collections Department. The collection was donated to the library, in keeping with Margaret Mitchell’s wishes, as part of a bequest outlined in the will of her second husband, John Marsh.

This collection includes numerous items received from the Mitchell family via the terms of the will of Mr. John Marsh. This is a static collection and nothing may be removed or added to this collection (per the terms of the will).  This collection includes the typewriter used to write Gone With the Wind, Margaret’s Pulitzer Prize, her American Book Award, photos, her personal collection of books, various important editions of Gone With the Wind and other pieces of ephemera and books.

While writing Gone with the Wind, Margaret relied heavily on her personal book collection and the resources of the Carnegie Library. She visited the library almost daily to check historical facts related to the book. She checked such facts as: When did hoop skirts became unfashionable? Did a lady use 'scent' in the 1860’s or perfume? Did a lady use prepared chalk or powder? And, was iodine used in Civil War hospitals?

On August 11, 1949, Margaret was struck by an automobile while she and John were on their way to see a movie. She died five days later, on August 16. Margaret Mitchell is buried in Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery. The week after her death, the staff of the Atlanta Public Library established a small memorial collection in honor of the author. John Marsh's bequest made a true memorial possible.  As her brother Stephens wrote: "The estate feels it is very important to keep these materials together for the public to see.” These days people from around the world visit the Special Collections Department of the Central Library to see her typewriter, library card, awards, book collections and memorabilia.


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