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A. S. Williams III Americana Manuscript Collections

Guide to the Emma Gelders Sterne papers W.0099


University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266

December 2013


This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-12-17T16:43-0600

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Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Collection Title:

Emma Gelders Sterne papers

Unit ID:



University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama


0.1 Linear feet




The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, The University of Alabama


Contracts and business correspondence related to the publication of books written by Alabama author Emma Gelders Sterne.


Sterne, Emma Gelders, 1894-1971


Williams, A. S., III

Acquisition Information:

Gift of A. S. Williams III, 2010

Preferred Citation:

Emma Gelders Sterne papers, A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Processing Information:

Processed by

Haley Aaron, 2013

Access Restrictions:


Biographical/Historical note

Emma Gelders Sterne was born on May 13, 1894, in Birmingham, Alabama. She graduated from Smith College in 1916, receiving a BA. After college, Sterne returned to Birmingham, where she was involved in a number of activist efforts, including the suffrage movement.

In 1917, she married lawyer Roy M. Sterne; the couple had two daughters, Ann and Barbara. The family moved to New York, where Roy worked for the Liggett Drug Company and Emma became involved in a number of activist groups, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union.

A prolific children's author, Sterne published a total of forty-four books during a literary career that spanned four decades. Several of her books, including No Surrender, Amarantha Gay, M.D., and The Calico Ball are set in Birmingham; another work, Some Plant Olive Trees, was inspired by the French settlement of Demopolis, Alabama.

Sterne spent her final years in California; she died on August 29, 1971, in San Jose.

Source: Encyclopedia of Alabama

Related Archival Materials note

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection has several other collections relating to Alabama authors. Please contact staff for assistance.

General note

Title of phase box spine: Emma Gelders Sterne

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains contracts and business correspondence between Alabama author Emma Gelders Sterne and her publishers at Dodd, Mead, and Company. The correspondence and contracts are dated from 1934 to 1953 and mostly include republication agreements between Sterne and the publishers. The collection includes materials related to The Calico Ball, Some Plant Olive Trees, and Drums of Monmouth.


Williams, A. S., III (local)

Alabama--Authors (lcsh)

Children's literature (lcsh)

Contracts (aat)

Correspondence (aat)

Papers Box W0099.01