Douglas Turner Ward Archives at Emory University.


Emory University's Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library ( which collects and connects stories of human experience, promotes access and learning, and offers opportunities for dialogue for all wise hearts who seek knowledge by preserving distinctive collections; fostering original research; bridging content and context; and engaging diverse communities through innovative outreach, programming, and exhibitions has obtained the archives of playwright Douglas Turner Ward, co-founder of the groundbreaking Negro Ensemble Company (NEC), which provided a platform and carved space for Black actors and playwrights in American theater.

The Douglas Turner Ward visited the Emory campus in October as the Rose Library hosts the NEC's "Legacy Leaders of Color," currently celebrating 50 years of diversity in theater. The free event was open to the public and took place in White Hall; the event featured a screening of the Legacy Leaders video, appearances by NEC alumni and a panel discussion with Ward and producer, actor and NEC co-founder Robert Hooks.

Emory's Douglas Turner Ward Collection, circa 1957-2012 includes manuscript materials, correspondence and drafts of Ward's creative output (38.75 linear feet, 6 oversized papers boxes and AV Masters: .25 linear feet which includes scripts, records of the Negro Ensemble Company, photographs, and printed material).

The archive most notably contains correspondence with the poet and writer Amiri Baraka; the ground-breaking educator Jeanne Noble, who wrote to Ward in a response to his 1966 New York Times article; and Ward's copy of "A Raisin in the Sun," dated June 16, 1960.

The Rose Library also is collaborating with Emory's Theater Studies Program on their collection. NEC alumni at the October event special invites included Pearl Cleage and Carlton Molette, Atlanta-based playwrights who have been produced by the NEC; Ruben Santiago-Hudson, a Tony winner who stars in "The Quad," which is shooting in Atlanta; Jefferson Byrd, a Tony winner for August Wilson's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"; Oz Scott, currently directing a series in Atlanta; Wynn Thomas, production designer for "Hidden Figures," "When Mars Attacks" and "A Beautiful Mind"; and Lisa Watson.

In 1967, Ward joined with Hooks and theater...

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