Campus News Society & Culture

UGA Libraries observe 75th anniversary of Gone With The Wind

Athens, Ga. – An exhibit of rarely seen materials from a beloved and reclusive author, a one-woman play based on her own words and a series of seminars are among the events planned at the UGA Libraries to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind.

Most events scheduled for the celebration are open and free to the public; however, space is limited and reservations are requested by April 29.

A reception to open “In a Weak Moment I Wrote a Book,” an exhibit featuring letters Margaret Mitchell wrote about Gone With The Wind, will be held May 6 from 6-8 p.m. in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The cost is $35 and attendees will hear author Terry Kay, a member of the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, who will speak on “Remembering Prissy & Other Such Thoughts.”

Seminars begin May 7 at 9 a.m. in Room 101 of the Miller Learning Center. Author John Wiley will discuss his book, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind: A Bestseller’s Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood.

At 10:10 a.m., Herb Bridges, the author of six books on Gone With The Wind, will chronicle the early life of Mitchell in Atlanta and explore the writing of her epic novel. Bridges has presented lectures and exhibits throughout the U.S. His memorabilia collection has been displayed in Canada, France and Japan and is now on permanent exhibit at the Road to Tara Museum in Jonesboro.

At 11:10 a.m., Mary Ellen Brooks, director emeritus of the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, will give a talk entitled “‘Did She Get Him Back?’ The No. 1 Question of Fans of GWTW: Exploring Margaret Mitchell’s fan mail and her gracious and humorous responses.”

UGA holds the largest collection of Mitchell’s private papers, correspondence, notes and historical family material, and Brooks is intimately familiar with the assortment.

Mitchell’s correspondence figures prominently in the documentary Change in the Wind, by filmmaker CB Hackworth and producer Andrew Young. From 12:30-3 p.m., Hackworth and Mary Rose Taylor, former director of the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum, will discuss the documentary, which looks at the surprising friendship between Mitchell and Benjamin Mays, president of Morehouse College. For more information about Change in the Wind, see

Author Susan Lindsley, a niece of Sue Myrick, who was one of Mitchell’s closest friends, will speak at 3:15 p.m. Concerned about the South being treated as a stereotype by Hollywood, Mitchell recommended her friend be hired as technical adviser. In 1939, Myrick reported to work on the set for her role as “arbiter of manners and customs.” Lindsley will discuss her book, Susan Myrick of Gone With The Wind,which is based on Myrick’s diary.

Following a break, the one-woman play, Mrs. John Marsh-The World Knew Her as Margaret Mitchell, will be performed at 8 p.m. in Room 102 of the Miller Learning Center. Cost to attend the play is $25. Written by Atlantan Melita Easters, the play tells the story of Mitchell’s life using her own words-her one recorded radio interview and the thousands of letters she wrote as well as books and articles written about her. Easters has updated the script to incorporate more recent scholarship into Mitchell’s life, including her sponsorship of scholarships for Morehouse medical students and her letters to actress Hattie McDaniel, who played “Mammy” in the movie version of Gone With The Wind.

The UGA Libraries cares for the largest collection of personal papers and memorabilia from Mitchell, including the only copies of two short stories Mitchell wrote and made into books when she was 11 years old. Much of the collection came from Stephens Mitchell, the author’s brother, who gave a cache of some 60,000 items to the libraries in 1970. Although the collection begins chiefly in 1936, the year Mitchell finished the book, her individual letters refer to her childhood and family, providing rich historical depth.

The 75th anniversary event is sponsored by the UGA Libraries with support from the UGA Alumni Association and Reynolds Plantation.

For more information about the UGA Libraries, see