The Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois has acquired the literary archives of poet Gwendolyn E. Brooks. Brooks, who died in 2000, was the former poet laureate of the state of Illinois and in 1950 was the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize.
Since Brooks’ death the archives were kept by her granddaughter. The collection includes 150 boxes of manuscripts, drafts, journals, letters, scrapbooks, and awards. Also among the archives are the meticulous notes of everything Brooks ate for last 20 years of her life.
Brooks never graduated from college but obtained more than 70 honorary doctorates from colleges and universities throughout the world.