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Evelyn C. White papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00666

Scope and Contents

Primarily research files for White's biography of Alice Walker (Alice Walker: A Life). Many articles and book reviews by White are also included, as are research files for The Black Women's Health Book: Speaking For Ourselves. There is also correspondence with several of White's significant others (including the poet, Nikky Finney), many photographs of White alone and with family and friends, and a small amount of biographical material.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1959 - 2010


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use with following restrictions on access: Box 1 is closed pending settlement of access terms with donor.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that she owns copyright, Evelyn C. White has assigned the copyright in her works to Smith College; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Evelyn C. White, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical Note

Evelyn Corliss White was born in Chicago in 1954 to Amanda Cantrells and Andrew S. White. Her siblings are Andrew White, Jr., Antoine White, Angelo White, and Phyllis A. White. She grew up in a working class neighborhood in Gary, Indiana. After graduating from Wellesley College in 1976, she worked for a theatre company in Denmark. Returning to the United States, she studied theatre at the University of Washington and began writing professionally while living in Seattle. She graduated from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1985, where she received the Christopher Trump Award for her Master's thesis on "The Racial Development of Blind Black Children." She earned a Master's degree in public administration from Harvard University (1991) and edited The Black Women's Health Book: Speaking For Ourselves (1994). As a former legal advocate for the Battered Women's Program in the Seattle City Attorney's office, White also studied intimate partner violence as the author of Chain Chain Change: For Black Women in Abusive Relationships (1995). White took ten years to research and write her authorized biography of Alice Walker, Alice Walker: A Life (2004). Previously she published articles, essays and reviews on issues relating to women of African descent in publications that include The Vancouver Sun, Smithsonian, Essence, Ms., Wall Street Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Enquirer, The Seattle Times and The Washington Post. White also co-authored two photography books: The African Americans (1993), and Every Goodbye Ain't Gone: A Photo Narrative of Black Heritage on Salt Spring Island. As of 2010, she lives with her partner, Joanne Bealy, in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.


20.729 linear feet (20 containers)

0.000716 Gigabytes

Language of Materials



Evelyn Corliss White is a writer of books relating to women of African descent. Her papers include research files for her biography of Alice Walker, articles and book reviews by White, research files for The Black Women's Health Book: Speaking For Ourselves, correspondence, photographs, and a small amount of biographical material.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Staff are not expected to add Physical characteristics & Tech Requirements notes beyond the general notes shown here. The Digital Preservation Archivist will add information regarding any special technical requirements.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated to the SSC by Evelyn White in 2011.

Processing Information

The contents of computer media in this collection has been copied to networked storage for preservation and access; the original directory and file structure was retained and file lists were created. Some CDs were unable to be copied.

Finding aid to the Evelyn C. White papers
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2017-07-26T17:48:24-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2019-06-20: Updated finding aid and published.
  • 2020-04-23: Description added for born-digital content.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063