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George Pickett Wilson Papers

Identifier: MSS 0026

Scope and Contents

The George Pickett Wilson Papers date from 1937 to 1972 and contain manuscript material, correspondence, clippings, and biographical notes. The manuscript material is the original typed manuscript with handwritten corrections of Ozark Speech (first revision of Down in the Holler); the manuscript material is approximately 600 pages.

The correspondence features letters to Wilson from author Henry Louis (H.L.) Mencken and English instructor George R. Coffman, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Correspondence subjects include the possibility of a graduate student compiling a bibliography of American language as a master's thesis, comments to the American Dialect Society, and Mencken's work on a second supplement to The American Language. Two reprints of articles by Mencken for American Speech (inscribed for Wilson) are also included.

There are also six letters from Wilson to Emory University librarian Guy Lyle dealing with academic and family news, and various writing and editing projects.

Miscellaneous items include memos concerning changes in the Annual Catalog, (especially the use of clearer, simpler language, etc.), written while Wilson was a member of the Catalog Committee. Also included is a small pamphlet, To those who have lost, a biographical sketch compiled by his son, George Jr., and read at his father's funeral. Finally, there are clippings about his life and his work.


  • 1937 - 1972


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.

Biographical or Historical Information

George Pickett Wilson (1889-1972) taught in the English department at Woman's College (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) from 1927 until his retirement in 1958. Wilson specialized in Southern folklore and dialect. He published numerous articles in scholarly journals and two college textbooks, served as associate editor of The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, and co-authored the book Down in the Holler with Vance Randolph. In 1944, Wilson was named secretary-treasurer of the American Dialect Society. He also served as president of the North Carolina Folklore Society and held memberships in the Modern Language Association, American Folklore Society, American Name Society, and Southeastern Folklore Society. He was married to Helen Leeson; they had two sons and a daughter.


0.40 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



George Pickett Wilson (1889-1972) taught in the English department at Woman's College (now UNCG) from 1927 until his retirement in 1958, specializing in Southern folklore and dialect.

The George Pickett Wilson Papers date from 1937 to 1972 and contain manuscript material, correspondence, clippings, and biographical notes.

Arrangement Note

Materials are divided by material type.

Method of Acquisition

Gift of George P. Wilson in November 1967.

Offensive Language Statement

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Processing Information

Processed by Archives Staff, Encoded by Jason Alston, July 2009;

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Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US