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Loretto Chappell Collection

Identifier: MC 29

Scope and Contents

The Loretto Chappell Collection consists of 12.5 liner feet of material housed in thirteen separate boxes which consists of primarily vertical file type material that Miss Chappell collected at her home; it should not be confused with her vertical file in the Reference Room of the Bradley Library, even though they probably should be viewed as companion collections.

Boxes 1 through 4 (4 linear feet) contain a mix of newspaper and magazine clippings that deal with general historical, cultural and social topics from Georgia and other southern states, clippings of historical and contemporary Columbusites, and clippings of contemporary southern literary figures.

Boxes 5 through 10 (6 linear feet) contain materials that are a mix of personal items that include several letters of Lucius H. Chappell and notes documenting the Lamar/Chappell genealogy. Also included in these boxes are the diaries of Loretto Chappell and a transcript of an oral history with Miss Chappell that highlight family and everyday life in Columbus, Georgia.

½ linear feet of material are housed in Box 10. The box contains 10-framed Chappell family photographs and a photograph album.

Boxes 12 and 13 contain 2 linear feet of books that document the historical and literary legacy of Georgia and the South.


  • 1890 - 1970

Biographical / Historical

Miss Loretto Lamar Chappell (1895-1987) was born in Columbus, Georgia. For several generations of Columbusites, Miss Chappell was known as the public library. Her 46 year library career began when she volunteered in 1908 at the Carnegie Library on Motts Green. A graduate of the Baldwin School at Bryn Mawr near Philadelphia and the Library School (later part of Emory) in Atlanta, she rejoined the Columbus Library System in 1926 and would be named City Librarian in 1942.

Chappell, a student of Georgia literature, was considered an authority on the works of Sidney Lanier, Chattahoochee Valley history and West Georgia genealogy. Her special province at the Bradley Library was the Georgia Collection. For Miss Chappell, life in the library was never dull and was a never-failing guide to the world of books and learning.

Without the cooperation of Miss Chappell, the Columbus College Archives would not have been established. Her endorsements played a significant role in establishing the Columbus College Archives and in acquiring its initial and many of the subsequent collections.


12.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Custodial History

This material was donated to Columbus State University Archives by Loretto Chappell, except for the photo album in Box 11, which was given to the Archives in May of 2013 by Connie Miller.

Related Materials

Ballad of the Sad Cafe Playbill (SMC 60)

The Bradley Memorial Library Carson McCullers Collection (MC 184)

Virginia Spencer Carr Collection (MC 23)

Loretto Chappell/Bradley Library Vertical Files (MC 361)

Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians

Carson McCullers Society Records (MC 192)

Carlos Dews Collection (MC 175)

Mary Martha Johnson Photograph Collection (SMC 53)

Clason Kyle Collection (MC 86)

Jordan Massee—Carson McCullers Collection (MC 170)

The Valley Reads: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Collection (MC 179)

John Zeigler and Edwin Peacock Collection (MC 182)

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Columbus State University Archives and Special Collections Repository

4225 University Ave
Columbus Georgia 31907 United States