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Stella Brewer Brookes papers

 Collection — Box: 1-3
Identifier: 0000-0000-0000-0087

Scope and contents

This small collection of materials documents a portion of the professional life of Stella Brewer Brookes, Ph.D., scholar, educator, and author. Having earned the B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in English from Wiley College, University of Michigan, and Cornell University, respectively, Dr. Brookes served on the faculty at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia for 45 years as an esteemed professor.

The Stella Brewer Brookes collection primarily highlights Brookes’ writings and opinions regarding Joel Chandler Harris. Various drafts of Brookes’ book are found within the collection. Also included is correspondence between Brookes and publishing companies as well as some biographical information on her, her husband, and her brother, J. Mason Brewer, a noted folklorist. Also of note is correspondence between Brookes and Julia Collier Harris, Harris’s daughter-in-law and author of two books about him. The collection contains many newspaper clippings regarding Brookes’ family, Joel Chandler Harris, and race relations in Atlanta.


  • Creation: 1932-1976


Rights statement

All materials in this collection are either protected by copyright and/or are the property of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc., and/or the copyright holder as appropriate. For more information, please contact

Biographical note

Born in Fanin, Texas, Stella Brewer Brookes married Dr. E. Luther Brookes, a professor of chemistry and Director of the Science Department at Clark College, in 1928 on the campus. After his death in 1944, she pursued the doctoral degree he encouraged her to obtain, and remained loyal to Clark College.

Brookes became the authority on Joel Chandler Harris, noted folklorist. Harris’s famous Uncle Remus character was a “wise, genial, old Negro” who read animal stories to his slave owner’s son; in 1879, he first appeared with a distinctive dialect – which had rarely been used in fiction prior – in the Atlanta Constitution thus securing Harris a place in American literature. Harris went on to author several novels including Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings and Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit. Brookes wrote several biographical entries about Harris and authored Joel Chandler Harris, Folklorist in 1950.

Biographical Timeline

1903 January 22
Born in Fannin, Texas to J. H. and Minnie Brewer; fifth of six children (Noted folklorist J. Mason Brewer was older brother).
Graduated magna cum laude and valedictorian from Wiley College (Wiley, Tex.).
Became member of Clark College faculty.
Married Dr. Enes Luther Brookes in Crogman Chapel (on old Clark University campus), Professor of Chemistry and Director of Science Department.
Earned Master of Arts in English Literature from University of Michigan. Ranked among top five of her class in scholastic excellence.
Husband, Enes Luther Brookes died in Atlanta.
Earned Ph.D. from Cornell University; elected to membership in Pi Lambda Theta and Phi Delta Gamma Honor Societies.
Chosen as "Bronze Woman of the Year in Education" in Atlanta by Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Incorporated.
Authored Joel Chandler Harris, Folklorist; published by the University of Georgia Press.
Elected to honorary membership in the International Mark Twain Society.
Chosen by prestigious Encyclopædia Britannica to write biographical sketch on Joel Chandler Harris.
Wrote the Introduction to Schocken Books publication of the Uncle Remus Stories.
Second printing of Joel Chandler Harris, Folklorist issued.
1968 April 1
Wrote special article for the Centennial Edition of the Atlanta Constitution, "Brer Rabbit: Master Trickster"
Retired from Clark College after 45 years; received an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Clark College; relocated to Brewer family home in Austin, Texas.
1993 November 15 (or 23)
Died in Austin, Texas.


1.5 Linear feet

Language of Materials



There are ten series within the collection: Biographical information; Correspondence; Joel Chandler Harris: Folklorist; Speaking engagements; Awards, certificates and special recognitions; Other writings; Photographs; The Wren's Nest; Joel Chandler Harris: Uncle Remus; and Scrapbooks.

Stella Brewer Brookes papers,1944-1969
Finding aid prepared by Andrea Jackson and Hans Sprenckle, 2007 April, 2010 June.
2007 April, 2010 June
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc. Repository


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