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Special Collections Online at UT

William Broadway Collection on Peter Taylor

Identifier: MS-2553

  • Staff Only

The William Broadway Collection of Peter Taylor contains letters, articles, photographs, and writings concerning the Southern author Peter Taylor. Most of the items date from the mid-1980s to Taylor's death in 1994. There are articles on Taylor, including some written by or with photographs by Broadway.

The collection consists of six series:

Series I -- Ceremonies/Conferences Series contains four folders from four different occasions, including award ceremonies for Peter Taylor and conferences in which Taylor was a major player.

Series II -- Writings Series contains articles, book reviews, short stories, and interviews concerning Taylor divided into four folders.

Series III -- Photographs and Prints Series contains four folders. The first two each hold one matted print of Taylor by Bill Broadway from 1985. These have been removed as oversized items to a different box. The third folder consists of Taylor photographs by Broadway, removed from a photo album but kept in the same order. The fourth folder contains pictures from 1968 or 1969 of Taylor at his house and a Xerox copy of an image plate from a book.

Series IV -- Scrapbooks Series contains two scrapbooks, removed from two binders but kept in the same order. Scrapbook 1 was arbitrarily divided into Part 1 and Part 2 to fit into two folders. Scrapbook 2 is in the third folder.

Series V -- Other Series contains a correspondence folder, a folder on the death of Peter Taylor, and three cassette tapes of an interview with Peter Taylor by Bill Broadway in a third folder.

Series VI -- Oversize contains items in the collection too large to be stored with related materials.


  • 1938-1994 (bulk 1985-1994)

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite and must be requested in advance. See for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.

Conditions Governing Use

The UT Libraries claims only physical ownership of most material in the collections. Persons wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants on for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.


1.8 Linear Feet


The William Broadway Collection on Peter Taylor consists of six series, containing letters, articles, photographs, and writings concerning the Southern author Peter Taylor. Most of the items date from the mid-1980s to Taylor's death in 1994.

Biographical/Historical Note

Esteemed short story author, Peter Hillsman Taylor (1917-1994), was born in Trenton, Tenn., to a notable political family (he was grandson of Tennessee Governor and U. S. Senator Robert Love Bob Taylor). Taylor's father, Hillsman Taylor, a prominent attorney, moved the family to Memphis. Taylor was educated at Southwestern at Memphis, Vanderbilt, and Kenyon College (where he studied with John Crowe Ransom). He also did graduate work at Louisiana State University, which had become a center of literary creativity through teachers Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks. During World War II he served in the U. S. Army in England. In 1943 he married the poet Eleanor Ross of North Carolina. After the war, Taylor taught at The Woman's College of the University of North Carolina (now, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro).

His first book, A Long Fourth and Other Stories, was published in 1948 with an introduction by Robert Penn Warren. His earliest stories were published in the Kenyon, Sewanee, Southern, and Virginia Quarterly Reviews. Then he began to publish regularly in The New Yorker.

By the early 1960s he had achieved a national reputation in the short story form. The collections were Happy Families Are All Alike (1959) and Miss Lenora When Last Seen (1963). The Collected Stories (1969) was followed by In the Miro District (1977), the title of which alludes to an early name for part of Middle Tennessee. In 1979 the National Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters awarded him its gold medal for literature. In 1986 he won the PEN/Faulkner Award for The Old Forest and Other Stories (1985). His last collection of stories was The Oracle at Stoneleigh Court (1993), which deals with Tennessee families living in Washington, D.C., as members of his own family had done.

Taylor also wrote novels, which he tended to think of as extended short stories. They include A Woman of Means (1950), A Summons to Memphis (1986), and In the Tennessee Country (1994). He thought of the short story as a particularly dramatic form. In 1961 he was an associate of the Royal Court Theatre in London. His published plays are Tennessee Day in St. Louis (1956), A Stand in the Mountains (1971), and Presences: Seven Dramatic Pieces (1973).

Taylor's career as a teacher of creative writing led him beyond Greensboro to Kenyon, Ohio State University, and finally the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, which he made his home in the last years of his life. In the late 1960s, he taught briefly at Harvard but turned down a permanent position there because he feared the public would view him primarily as a teacher rather than a writer. Nevertheless he headed the creative writing program at Virginia until his retirement. In 1984 he received a $25,000 senior fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to American literature. Taylor died on November 2nd, 1994, and was buried in Sewanee, Tennessee.

At the time of his donation, William "Bill" Broadway was a staff writer for The Washington Post.


Collection consists of two boxes divided into six series: Ceremonies/Conferences; Writings; Photographs and Prints; Scrapbooks; Other; and Oversize.

Acquisition Note

This collection was a purchase and gift from William Broadway in June 2005.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA