Gloria Naylor, the renowned late-20th-century writer whose extensive work chronicles the experiences of Black women in America, maintained a collection of her published and unpublished writing, as well as correspondence with both contemporary writers and fans. In 2009, Naylor donated all these documents to Sacred Heart University, drawing Naylor scholars to the university’s Fairfield, Conn., campus.
Today, thanks to an innovative multi-year institutional collaboration between Sacred Heart and Lehigh, researchers, teachers, students and fans the world over can engage with Naylor’s life and works.
Suzanne Edwards, associate professor of English, and Mary Foltz, associate professor of English, worked with Sacred Heart’s Michelle Loris, professor and associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Gavin Ferriby, university librarian, to temporarily relocate the 50-plus boxes of materials in the Gloria Naylor Archive to Lehigh for processing in 2019. Over the following two years, an interdisciplinary team of faculty, staff and graduate researchers processed and digitized the materials to make them accessible to all in a variety of ways.