The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
CredoResearch digital collections in Credo

You searched for: "edgell"

Edgell, Zee

Zee Edgell Papers

ca. 1963-2009
45 boxes 67.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1206

Acclaimed writer, women’s rights advocate, journalist, and educator, Zelma (Zee) Inez Edgell was born in Belize City, Belize in 1940. Zee Edgell holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from Polytechnic-Regent Street (now the University of Westminster) and a Master’s in Liberal Studies from Kent State University. Edgell has published four novels and several short stories throughout her illustrious career. Her breakout novel, Beka Lamb, published in 1982, was the first book to be released in a newly independent Belize (formerly British Honduras) and would gain international notoriety going on to win the Fawcett Society Book Prize. Before becoming a celebrated novelist Edgell spent her early years working as a journalist, first for Jamaica’s The Daily Gleaner and then as founding editor of the Belize-based newspaper The Reporter. Edgell also served as director of the Belize Women’s Bureau, a position she held under two different administrations. As an educator, Edgell taught for many years at Belizes’ St. Catherine Academy, an all-girls catholic school she attended as a youth. She lectured at the University College of Belize as well. Edgell would spend the remainder of her teaching career as a tenured professor in the English department at Ohio’s Kent State University beginning in 1992. While at Kent State, Edgell taught courses in creative writing, fiction writing, and post-colonial literature. In 2009, Edgell received an honorary doctorate in literature from the University of West Indies. That same year she retired from teaching and moved with her husband to St. Louis to be closer to her children and grandchildren until she died in 2020.

The Zee Edgell Papers features not only a deeper look into the author’s professional life but her personal life as well. The collection includes personal letters, postcards, and notes between Edgell and her loved ones; professional correspondence between and her publisher; drafts of her short stories and book chapters; newspaper articles; letters from her global travels with husband Alvin Edgell during his tenure with CARE; documents related to her time serving as director of the Belize Women’s Bureau; and literature on Belizean history. There are also materials related to her time as a faculty member in Kent State’s English Department.

Subjects

Women’s rights—Belize
Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive

Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive

ca. 1920-2023
Call no.: MS 1182
Depiction of Maya Angelou at James Baldwin's birthday party, 1984. Photo by Irma McClaurin.
Maya Angelou at James Baldwin's birthday party, 1984. Photo by Irma McClaurin.

The Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive (BFA) is an archival home for Black women and their allies. Founded by Dr. Irma McClaurin, Black feminist anthropologist, academic administrator, award-winning poet and author, past president of Shaw University and leader in higher education, the BFA seeks to identify Black women from all walks of life who are artists, activists, and academics but may not be well known, and document their wide array of contributions at many levels: community, state, national, and global. In addition to being an ongoing resource for academic and community researchers, the BFA also aims to be a training center, where Black archivists can actively participate in their own history and uplift and protect the endangered legacy of Black women. Articles about Dr. McClaurin and the BFA have appeared in the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, UMass Magazine and on the the Black Presence website.

The BFA is an umbrella collection, made up of a growing and diverse group of collections documenting Black women, allies, movements, and organizations. Highlights include the papers of renown anthropologists Sheila Walker and Carolyn Martin Shaw; Belizean writer Zee Edgell; activist and educator Cheryl Evans, who founded the Black Pioneers Project documenting the experience of Black students at UMass Amherst during the late 1960s; Lawrence (Larry) Paros, a UMass alum and forerunner of the Alternative Education movement in America, past director of the 1968 Yale Summer High School (YSHS); and the papers of Dr. Irma McClaurin, BFA founder, which include her photographs of iconic Black figures. The development of the BFA has been supported by two grants from the Wenner Gren Foundation: The Historical Archive Grant and The Global Initiative Grant (GIG) for “The Black Feminist Archive Pandemic Preservation Project of Black Women Practicing Anthropologists” project

Collections include: