Skip to main content

Richard B. Harwell papers

Identifier: M084

  • Staff Only
  • Please use the Collection Organization section below to place requests.

Scope and Content

The Richard B. Harwell papers include professional and personal correspondence, typescripts and notes, and writings and articles that Harwell created and collected during his tenure as Bowdoin College's librarian from 1961 to 1968.


  • Creation: 1960 - 1984


Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions.

Biographical Note

Richard (Barksdale) Harwell (1915-88) was Bowdoin College's librarian from 1961 to 1968. Born on June 6, 1915 in Washington, Ga., the son of Davis Gray and Helen (Barksdale), Harwell received his Library of Science degree at Emory University in 1938. For the next two years (1938-40), he was assistant to the director of the George Washington Flowers Memorial Collection of Southern Americana at the Duke University Library. He worked at Emory as cataloger of special collections (1940-43), leaving to serve his country as lieutenant for the U.S. Navy during World War II (1943-46). He returned to his alma mater and was named assistant librarian in 1948, a position he held until 1954. From 1954-56, he was the director of the Southeastern Interlibrary Research Facility; from 1956-57, he was the director of publications for the Virginia State Library, and from 1957-61, he was the executive secretary of the Association of College and Research Libraries. At Bowdoin (1961-68), he was instrumental in the planning and development of the Hawthorne-Longfellow Library. A noted Civil War historian, Harwell was also author of several books, numerous articles and hundreds of reviews. Among his notable books are: Confederate Belles-Lettres (1941), Cornerstones of Confederate Collecting (1952), More Confederate Imprints (1957), The Union Reader (1958), and Gone With the Wind as Book and Film (1983). He died on March 9, 1988.


.75 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Material from Richard Harwell's tenure as librarian at Bowdoin College.


The collection is broken up by material type and arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The materials were recieved in 1984 and were restricted until 2014. Materials were partially processed in 2013 when the rest of the collection was deaccessioned.

Related Materials

At the University of Georgia Archives: Richard B. Harwell collection, UA0084

Library records, A05.01

Separated Materials

The bulk of Harwell's papers were deaccessioned and transferred to the University of Georgia Libraries in 2013. Bowdoin College Library retained the materials specifically about Harwell's work here at Bowdoin.

Guide to the Richard Harwell Collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011 Repository

3000 College Station
Brunswick Maine 04011 USA
(207) 725-3288