Herschel Gower, a native of Nashville, was born in 1919. He received his B.A. from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee and his master and doctorate degrees from Vanderbilt University. He spent 1954 - 1956 at the University of Edinburgh on a Fulbright Scholarship and has maintained a lifelong interest in Scottish culture and history.
This collection is comprised of 6.05 linear feet of primarily manuscript materials, which include drafts of an unpublished novel with its title and text changes in various versions. The papers also include manuscripts of his novel Faces in a Nashville Arcade and of his biography of Charles Dahlgren Charles Dahlgren of Natchez: The Civil War and Dynastic Decline.
Professor Gower was a friend of writer Mildred Haun and her literary executor. His work as an editor of her stories is represented in these papers.
In addition there are articles and research notes and materials concerning Randal McGavock and his descendants, the Howell family and their descendants, and articles and books he wrote on the historic community of Beersheba Springs, Tennessee. There are subject files for his research on folklore, and for the D. Shelby Williams Trial which he used as background for his unpublished novel, and materials relating to poet John Crowe Ransom and author Peter Taylor.
These papers include a collection of correspondence and newspaper articles on the Yeatman and Polk families and their family ties with Gustave Eiffel, builder of the Eiffel Tower. There are fourteen reel to reel and cassette tape recordings, many of them songs recorded by the Scottish singer Jeannie Robertson.