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Jean McGarry papers

Identifier: MS-0418

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  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of hand-written manuscripts and corrected typescripts of McGarry's works, as well as correspondence and teaching material, dating from 1985-1997.

The majority of the items in the collection were created during McGarry’s time with the Johns Hopkins University, beginning in 1983. Writings, including hand-written manuscripts and corrected typescripts, make up the bulk of the collection. They provide an overview of the creative process and development of poetry and fictional short stories and novels. Files containing correspondence about the publication process provide further insight. More specifically, correspondence and newspaper articles written by McGarry during her stint at the Detroit Free Press relate some of the inspiration for her novel Gallagher’s Travels.


  • Creation: 1985-1997


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.

The collection is open for use with the exception of the Correspondence series, which is Restricted until 2025.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical Note

Jean McGarry was born on June 18, 1952 in Providence, Rhode Island. She attended Blessed Sacrament and St. Patrick's High School in Providence, and received her BA in social relations from Harvard University in 1972. McGarry took a job as a reporter with the Rhode Island based Pawtucket Times, followed by a brief stint with the Detroit Free Press. By 1976 she had returned to school and added BA degrees in music and French from the University of California at Irvine.

After doing graduate work in art history and writing at Columbia University, McGarry attended the Johns Hopkins University where she received her MS in Writing Seminars in 1983. She would remain in the department as an instructor until 1985, followed by an Assistant Professorship at University of Missouri, Columbia from 1985-1986 and an Associate Professorship at George Washington from 1986-1987. McGarry returned to Hopkins in 1988 as a Professor of Fiction. In 1997 she was named Chairman of the Writing Seminars Department.

Airs of Providence, McGarry's first book, won the 1985 Southern Review/Louisiana State University Short Fiction prize. Her second book of short fiction, The Very Rich Hours, won the 1988 Towson State University Prize for Literature. Her third book, a novel, The Courage of Girls, was published in 1992. Her fourth book, Home at Last, published in 1994, is another collection of short stories. Published in 1997, McGarry's fifth book was another novel, Gallagher's Travels, that draws on her own experience as a news journalist in the 1970s. Her most book of short stories, Dream Date, was published by the Johns Hopkins University Press in 2002.


4.61 Cubic Feet (3 record center cartons, 1 letter size document box, 2 legal half-size document boxes)

Language of Materials



Jean McGarry (born 1948) was an author of fiction and a Professor at the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. The collection consists of hand-written manuscripts and corrected typescripts of McGarry's works, as well as correspondence and teaching material, dating from 1985-1997.


The collection was donated by Jean McGarry on January 24, 2001. Materials added in 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Holly Callahan and Margaret Burri in Spring 2003.

Jean McGarry papers
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA