Collection Number: 70121

Collection Title: Martha Flowers Papers, 1940s-1990s

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


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Size 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 800 items)
Abstract Collection of Martha Flowers (1926-2022), a singer, performer, and the first Black faculty member in the Department of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was known for her role as Bess in the production of Porgy and Bess which toured internationally in the 1950s and whose cast also included Maya Angelou, with whom Flowers developed a lifelong friendship. The Martha Flowers Papers consist primarily of programs, clippings, and photographs documenting the career and personal life of Martha Flowers (1926-2022). Many of these items highlight her performances in Porgy and Bess in the 1950s. Also included are two scrapbooks, a small number of letters and telegrams received, and printed material.
Creator Flowers, Martha.
Curatorial Unit University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. University Archives.
Language English, German, Russian
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Restrictions to Access
This collection contains additional materials that are not available for immediate or same day access.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Martha Flowers Papers #70121, University Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Martha Flowers, September 2021 (Acc. 20220404.2).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Martha Flowers (1926-2022) was a singer, performer, and the first Black faculty member in the Department of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was known for her role as Bess in the production of Porgy and Bess which toured internationally in the 1950s and whose cast also included Maya Angelou, with whom Flowers developed a lifelong friendship. Flowers performed around the world prior to joining the faculty at UNC in 1973 and settling in Chapel Hll, NC, and she remained in that area for the rest of her life.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The Martha Flowers Papers consist primarily of programs, clippings, and photographs documenting the career and personal life of Martha Flowers (1926-2022). Many of these items highlight her performances in Porgy and Bess in the 1950s. Also included are two scrapbooks, a small number of letters and telegrams received, and printed material.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

This summary description was created in May 2022 to provide information about unprocessed materials in Wilson Special Collections Library.

Encoded by: Jodi Berkowitz

Since August 2017, we have added ethnic and racial identities for individuals and families represented in collections. To determine identity, we rely on self-identification; other information supplied to the repository by collection creators or sources; public records, press accounts, and secondary sources; and contextual information in the collection materials. Omissions of ethnic and racial identities in finding aids created or updated after August 2017 are an indication of insufficient information to make an educated guess or an individual's preference for identity information to be excluded from description. When we have misidentified, please let us know at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu.

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