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Aaron Bernd papers

Identifier: Manuscript Collection No. 1110

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains the papers of Aaron Bernd from 1919-1937. The papers consist of correspondence, writings, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, printed material, photographs, legal documents, and financial records. Also included are digitized audio of conversations between Gus Kaufman, Jr., Jordan Massee, and Carey Pickard, III.

Correspondence primarily documents Bernd's professional activities as a literary editor and writer for The Macon Telegraph as well as his freelance literary endeavors. A large collection of personal letters from scholar and educator John Donald Wade concern faculty tenure negotiations at the University of Georgia in the 1920s. The correspondence also includes letters to and from Walter F. White of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1924-1934 concerning racial prejudice in the South, lynching, and contemporary literature. Additional correspondents include Clark Foreman, Julia and Julian Harris, James Weldon Johnson, H.L. Mencken, Howard W. Odum, Arthur B. Spingarn, Laurence Stallings, Hank Fuller of the International Labor Defense, and Will W. Alexander and Robert B. Eleazer of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation. The writings in the Bernd papers include drafts of Bernd's columns and reviews; an unpublished book draft co-authored by Susan Myrick entitled "We Get Along: A Primer for Yankees About Relations of Whites and Blacks in the South; and a genealogical work, This is the Saga of the Bernd, Block, and Blum Families in the United States of America. Scrapbooks primarily contain columns and articles by Bernd for The Macon Telegraph and additional correspondence. Other materials of interest in this collection include Bernd's will, photographs from the Signal Corps USA, and printed material from the Commission on Interracial Cooperation and the NAACP.


  • 1919-1937

Language of Materials

Materials mostly in English, some financial records in French.

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Biographical Note

Aaron Bernd (1894-1937) was a Jewish writer, literary editor, and businessman born December 22, 1894 to Gustave Bernd and Henrietta Blum of Macon, Georgia. A graduate of the University of Georgia, he attended Columbia University and then worked briefly as a publicity agent in the film industry before serving in the United States Army in Europe during World War I. He then returned to Macon to manage the family leather goods business, G. Bernd Company, where he lived for the remainder of his life. Bernd served as the literary editor for The Macon Telegraph and also wrote a column under the pseudonym "Coleman Hill." He was a contributor to The Baltimore Sun, The New Yorker, and The American Legion Monthly. He died of influenza on February 11, 1937.


2.25 linear feet (5 boxes); 2 oversized papers boxes (OP); 2 oversized bound volumes (OBV)


Papers of Aaron Bernd, a Jewish journalist for The Macon Telegraph, including correspondence, photographs, printed material, scrapbooks, and writings.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by record type.

Custodial History

Kaufman is the grand-nephew of Aaron Bernd.


Purchased from Gus Kaufman, 2009. The collection was appraised by Old New York Bookshop.

Appraisal Note

Acquired by the Curator of African American Collections, Randall Burkett, as part of the Rose Library's holdings in African American culture and history.

Related Materials in Other Repositories

Gustave Bernd papers, Washington Memorial Library, Macon, Georgia.


Control level 3


File name: bernd1110.doc


Processed by Kelli Piotrowski, August 27, 2009.

Control level 3

File name: bernd1110.doc

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Aaron Bernd papers, 1919-1937
Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University
August 28, 2009
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library Repository

540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta Georgia 30322 United States