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John A. Rice, Jr. papers

Identifier: AC-318

Scope and Contents

Materials include the literary remains and personal papers of John Andrew Rice, Jr. Rice founded Black Mountain College in 1933. Correspondence relating to the college, over 200 pages of manuscript notes toward a memoir on the founding and early years of Black Mountain College, student evaluations, and other papers related to his time there are found in Series II.

Also found in this collection are unpublished short stories (along with drafts, notes and corrections), the typescript for "I Came Out of the Eighteenth Century", personal correspondence, papers about Rice's career at Rollins College and the University of Nebraska, research notes and materials on several topics, including the Swift writings and family history, and play scripts and drafts. Much of the draft & correction material could not be sorted so that is filed as 'Mixture' or 'Unfininshed Manuscripts'.

Series V: Audio Material consists of the original and user copies of four CDs of an interview of Rice by Martin B. Duberman, which took place June 10, 1967 in Barnesville, MD. The transcript of this interview can be found in Series I, Box 1, Folder 7.


  • 1711-2004, undated
  • Majority of material found within 1932 - 1959


The materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

No interlibrary loan.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use without restrictions in the Dougherty Reading Room.

Biographical Note

John Andrew Rice, Jr. was born in 1888 to Reverend Dr. John A. Rice, Sr. and his first wife Anna Belle Smith Rice, of an upper class South Carolinian family. He died in 1968. He attended Oxford and worked as the Head of the Classics Department in the New Jersey College for Women. He worked at Rollins College until he was dismissed in 1933. In 1933, he founded the Black Mountain College. He left Black Mountain amid controversy in 1939. From 1943 to 1957, he was a self-employed writer. He wrote the autobiographical "I Came Out of the Eighteenth Century" in 1942, "Local Color", and various short stories and plays.

Rice married Nell Aydelotte, the sister of Frank Aydelotte of Swarthmore College, and in 1942, Dikka Moen. He and Nell had three children: John A III (b. and d. 1914), Mary (1916), and Frank (b. 1918). He and Dikka had children: Peter N. (1943) and Elisabeth D. (unknown). Peter had a congenital heart problem and attended Shrub Oak Central School of Shrub Oak, New York. In the 1940s, Rice appears to have lived in Arkansas and Sarasota, Florida and been writing book. Dikka was a librarian.

Mary Rice was in the House of Delegates from Virginia in 1966. She married Roger B. Marshall.

Dr. John Andrew Rice, Sr. was born in Colleton County, South Carolina on September 25, 1862 to Richard Blake Rice, M.D. and Rachel Jane Liston Rice. His degrees include South Carolina College (1887), Presbyterian Seminary (1886), the University of Chicago, University of South Carolina (1894, D.D., 1905, LLD), and University of Alabama (1906, LLD). He worked as a Methodist Minister and founded Alabama Womens' College. He died in 1930.

In 1887, Rice, Sr. married Anna Belle Smith, who died in 1900. While enrolled in the University of Chicago, their sons lived with Rice's mother. In 1902, he married Launa Darnell, daughter of Reverend T.L. Darnell of Tennessee. His children with Anna were John Andrew Jr., Liston McCleod, Coke Smith and an unnamed son. His children with Launa were Richard Darnell, Elisabeth and William Mafil.

Missing Title

  1. Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N. C.)
  2. Rice, John Andrew (1888-1968)
  3. Rollins College


10 Linear Feet (10 boxes, 2 CD boxes, 1 large shoebox, 1 medium flip-top box, 1 oversize box)


The John A. Rice, Jr. Papers contain the literary remains and personal papers of John Rice, founder of Black Mountain College. Much of the collection relates to the founding and early years of Black Mountain College.


The collection is arranged into six series: Personal Correspondence and Related Papers, Black Mountain College, Academic Career and Research Papers, Literary Works & Related Papers, Audio Material, and Oversize. Within each series, folders are generally arranged alphabetically.

Acquisitions Information

The W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection purchased this collection in its entirety from L & T Respess Books in July, September 2004, October 2004. It was opened to the public in Spring 2007.

General Physical Description note

Collection is 8 LF - 15 boxes

Processing Information

Processed by Kathryn Staley, Rachel Critzer, February 2007; Encoded by Kathryn Staley, Rachel Critzer, February 2007; Reprocessed and finding aid revised by Anita Elliott, January 2013. This collection was reprocessed as part of a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grant funded extensive processing of the backlog within the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection between 2012 and 2014.

AC.318: John A. Rice, Jr. Papers, 1711-2004, undated
Processed by: Kathryn Staley; machine-readable finding aid created by: Kathryn Staley.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository