The Jack Conroy American Studies Collection is housed in the Kate Stamper Wilhite Library of Moberly Area Community College. The Collection of rare books embraces several thousand volumes of American history, literature, and folklore which Jack Conroy (1898-1990) collected over many years. Many are signed first editions, long out of print. Most relate to the broader topics of labor history, Black history, folklore, American literature, and politics, of both general and scholarly interest. The Collection contains each of the published works of Conroy, some in both English and foreign languages. A sampling of literary magazines that Conroy edited (The Anvil, The New Anvil, etc.) are also in the Collection. A collection of early American women’s fiction (1880’s-early 1900’s) belonging to Conroy’s mother is also housed in the American Studies Collection.
Another unique holding within the Collection is a large collection of book reviews that were written by Conroy on many of the books within the Collection. In many cases, the initial handwritten or typed copy of the review is available along with the final published copy of the review. These reviews were published in Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City newspapers in the 1940’s –1970’s.
The personal papers of Jack Conroy are at the Newberry Research Library in Chicago, Illinois.
Annual literary programs are sponsored by the Jack Conroy Literary Society at Moberly Area Community College. Gwendolyn Brooks, Jack Carter, Vincent Ferrini, Dr. Alan Wald, Dr. Fred Whitehead, Carla Cappetti, and Stephen Wade are just a few of the past presenters.
The Collection is open to researchers and the general public, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday – Friday. For more information about the Conroy American Studies Collection, contact Moberly Area Community College at 660-263-4110 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Jack Conroy American Studies Collection Room is open to the public for tours. For many years the fourth grade class of the St. Joseph Catholic School in Salisbury, Missouri made an annual field trip to visit the Conroy Room after reading Conroy’s “The Fast Sooner Hound” in their language arts reader.