The papers of anti-segregationist Lillian E. Smith are now open for research at the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
The papers have been closed to researchers without prior approval from the representatives of Smith’s estate. The collection was given to the UGA Libraries in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Earlier this year Piedmont College acquired the physical properties and legal rights previously belonging to the Lillian E. Smith Foundation, leading to the foundation’s dissolution. Nancy Smith Fichter, president of the Lillian E. Smith Foundation, recommended that Piedmont College drop the prior approval requirement for researchers.
Smith was one of the most prominent and vocal white opponents of segregation, beginning in the 1930s. She captured national recognition, and denunciation, with the publication of her 1944 novel “Strange Fruit.”