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Olive Bell Davis papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS79

Scope and Content

The bulk of these papers are drafts and finished versions of Davis' literary work, including the novels Inquest to Love and Exodus 20, the short stories, poems, and one-act plays published in Between two Novels (1965), an unpublished novel “A Year to Love," and articles published in the Atlanta Constitution and the Atlanta Times. The collection also contains correspondence about her works, literary reviews, and clippings. Of particular note is a letter written by Flannery O’Connor concerning her refusal to allow the publication of biographical articles (1958).


  • 1950-1968, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

Olive Bell Davis (1921-1969) was an Atlanta author of poems, short stories, plays, and novels. Her father was Charles Milton (1895-1970) and her mother was Olive Bell (1899-1983). She published her first book, Exodus 20 in 1959, and her second book, Between Two Novels, in 1965. Both works earned her literary awards, including a resolution from the State of Georgia Legislature. One of the plays she wrote, An Evening with O.B.D., was performed at the Harlequin Playhouse in 1966. After her writings became popular, Davis spoke to audiences around the country. In addition, she was an active member of numerous organizations and was the vice-president of the Georgia Writers Association.


2.09 linear ft. (five document cases)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1969

Olive Bell Davis papers
Brittany Walters
May 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305