Roi Ottley Collection  

St. Bonaventure University

Archival Holdings

1) "Notes, observations, and memoranda concerning travels in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England, France, Belgium, Italy, and North Africa."  Written while Ottley was a war correspondent (June-December 1944).  194 typed pages, lacking 4 pages and incomplete (page 194 ends in mid-sentence).  Presumably typed after his return to the U.S., unpublished.  Published as:  Roi Ottley's World War II : The Lost Diary of an African American Journalist. Mark A. Huddle, ed. Lawrence: Univ. of Kansas Pr, 2011.

2) No Green Pastures  Complete in 290 typed pages.  Numerous holograph corrections.  The book was published by Scribner's in 1951.  Some fraying and wear with a loss of a few words on a couple of leaves.  

3) Black Odyssey Complete in 372 typed pages.  Extensive holograph corrections.  Published by Scribner's in 1948.  

4) White Marble Lady  Published by Farrar, Strauss & Giroux in 1965 from drafts that Ottley wrote before his death from a heart attack in 1960.  We have perhaps 80% of what was probably the original draft of his work in much different form, with several versions, of one chapter.  We also have what we assume was Ottley's final draft from which the publisher produced the first 158 pages of the book, with their editorial revisions, together with some accompanying letters from John Farrar and the entire typed manuscript as revised by the editors.  Also included are the uncorrected galley proofs for White Marble Lady,  Ottley's only novel.  

5) 2 large manila envelopes filled with clipped reviews of Black Odyssey and No Green Pastures

6) A large wall paper sample book in which someone (we were told it was Mrs. Ottley) has pasted clippings of columns and book reviews by Ottley which appeared in the Chicago Tribune from 1951-1958, as well as a few other publications.

7)  A large scrap book kept by Ottley while he and his brother Jerome were students here at St. Bonaventure.  Ottley came here on a track scholarship in 1926 and much of the material in the scrap book relates to the 1927-1928 school year, including a few items that he did for the Laurel, a campus literary magazine.  There is also quite a bit of material from from his active social life in New York City in the late 1920's and early 1930's-ticket stubs, photos, playbills, restaurant menus, party invitations, wedding invitations, (Adam Clayton Powell Jr.), a photo of the 1925 Abyssina Baptist Basketball Team that included the Ottley brothers, Powell, and W.C. Handy Jr. etc.  Ottley had added a few later items and had also had some brief later annotations about some of the people and events featured in the scrapbook.  A real treasure!

8) A few miscellaneous items - A partial manuscript for a magazine article.  Posters announcing serialization of 2 of his books in the Chicago Defender.  Alpha Chi Pi Omega merit award certificates for Ottley and his wife.  22 issues of PM Daily which contain Ottley articles from his 1944 stint as a war correspondent these are on a high acid newsprint in various stages of disintegration.

9) Material collected related to research on Ottley's life and transferred to the collection in 2011.  This includes two boxes of files concerning Ottley and his family.  Photographs and audio tapes of his WGN radio show and family activities are part of the file. 2011.26 & 2011.27

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Last updated: 05 December 2011