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Maya Angelou Memorabilia Collection

Finding Aid & Inventory

Dr. Maya Angelou was a writer, singer, actor, and dancer who was active in the Civil Rights movement. The Marquetta and Herman Glass Collection of Maya Angelou Memorabilia contains items from Dr. Maya Angelou's partnership with Hallmark and Mattel's Dr. Maya Angelou Barbie Doll from their Inspiring Women collection. Items from Angelou's work with Hallmark include a blanket, Treasure Keeper boxes, greeting cards, mugs, and a teapot.

Biographical and Historical Note

Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. Her parents divorced when she was three years old, and she and her four-year-old brother Bailey were sent to live with their paternal grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. The children were eventually reunited with their mother in San Francisco, but Maya returned to Stamps to live with her grandmother again as a teenager. Maya gave birth to her only child, a son named Guy Johnson, when she was 16.

Angelou began her professional career as a singer and dancer. She was also active in the Civil Rights movement. Angelou traveled widely, touring Europe and Africa in the cast of Porgy and Bess, and married several times. In 1969 she published  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the first of her autobiographical works, for which she is best known. Angelou went on to publish four more books of memoirs, as well as many volumes of poetry. She also worked as an actor, stage and screen director, and writer of plays and screenplays. In 1993 she read her poem  "On the Pulse of Morning" at the inauguration ceremony for President Bill Clinton.

Although her formal education ended with high school, Angelou has received many honorary degrees and held the Z. Smith Reynolds chaired professorship in American Studies at Wake Forest University from 1982 until her death. Angelou passed away at her home in Winston Salem on May 28, 2014, at the age of 86.

Collection Overview

This collection contains items from Dr. Maya Angelou's partnership with Hallmark and Mattel's Dr. Maya Angelou Barbie doll from their Inspiring Women collection. Items from Angelou's work with Hallmark include a blanket, Treasure Keeper boxes, greeting cards, mugs, and a teapot. Many of these items feature quotes from Angelou.

The initial donation for this collection was Hallmark branded items donated by Marquetta and Herman Glass and Shayla Herndon-Edmunds, Director of Diversity Education within the WFU Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Collection Inventory

  • Hallmark branded memorabilia
    • Blanket (2003) box 1
    • Framed greeting card (2001) box 2
    • Freestanding décor plaque (2) (circa 2001) box 2
    • Greeting cards (2001-2007) box 3 folder 2-4
    • Mug (2) (circa 2000-2004) box 2
    • Notebooks (2001) box 3 folder 5-6
    • Teapot (circa 2000-2004) box 2
    • Treasure Keeper box (2) (circa 2001) box 2
    • Treasure Keeper box (2003) box 1
  • Other memorabilia
    • And Still I Rise PBS film cards (2017) box 3 folder 1
    • Barbie doll (2021)
    • Crystallized And Still I Rise  (2021)

Summary Information

Repository
Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives
Title
Maya Angelou Memorabilia Collection
ID
MS902
Date [inclusive]
circa 2001-2021
Extent
3.02 Linear Feet  2 record cartons, 1 document box

Administrative Information

Publication Information
Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives
Revision Description
 Revised by Stephanie Bennett 2021
Access Restrictions
This collection is open for use. 
Copyright Notice
The nature of the WFU Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Archives and Special Collections of ZSR Library claims only physical ownership of most materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. 
Preferred Citation
Maya Angelou Memorabilia Collection (MS902), Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA. 

Maya Angelou Film and Theater Collection (MS597), Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.

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