In the city of Atlanta, Georgia, there’s a wonderful special collection in the Central Library (part of the Fulton County Library system). It was given to the library according to the writer’s wishes, so after the death of her second husband, John Marsh, the collection came to the library. That author was Margaret Mitchell, and the collection contains manuscripts, her typewriter, publicity material about Gone with the Wind (book and film), first editions, photographs, correspondence and foreign editions. It is a static collection, which means it cannot be added to and nothing can be removed.
As she worked on her Civil War story, Margaret was a big user of libraries. She needed to check details about fashions, medical treatments for wounded soldiers, troop movements and much more. Before writing her novel, Margaret worked as a reporter, another job that made her aware of the importance and usefulness of libraries. Her library card is one of the items on display.
I loved visiting this collection with my tour groups and seeing so many things associated with such a famous novel. In Atlanta, you can also visit Margaret Mitchell’s apartment (which she liked to call ‘The Dump’), an incredibly modest living space for such a famous author. But to spend time in the library looking through albums, to see translated versions of the book, to examine the amazing collection of unique material, and to look at her typewriter and think of the hours she spent tapping away about Scarlett and Rhett, is moving and exciting.