Yale Library Acquires Digital Collection of Langston Hughes Papers

In December 2023, the Yale University Library added 5800 new images to their digital library collections. Included in this upload was a collection of digitized personal correspondence and papers from Langston Hughes, a Black writer and poet from the Harlem Renaissance era.

The Langston Hughes papers include letters from novelists Zora Neala Hurston and Fanny Hurst, as well as a postcard Hughes sent to Mohammed Ali. The collection also contains photographs from a trip Hughes took to Nevada with poet Norman MacLeod and Loren Miller, a journalist, civil rights attorney, and judge.

Hughes was born in 1902 in Joplin, Missouri and grew up in a series of midwestern towns. Upon graduating from high school in Ohio, he briefly attended Columbia University in New York. In 1929, he received his bachelor’s degree from historically Black Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania. As a novelist, poet, and playwright, Hughes wrote across many different mediums. His body of work includes titles such as Not Without Laughter and The Ways of White Folks. Although he mainly focused on his writing, Hughes had two brief lecturing positions at Atlanta University and the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Hughes passed away on May 22, 1967 in New York City at the age of 66.

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