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More material added to Dorothy Dix Collection

Relatives of Dorothy Dix, one of the premier journalists of the 20th century, recently contributed more items to the already vast Dorothy Dix Collection at Austin Peay State University.

Cousins Bill Coke and his sister, Esther, donated additional letters – one written by Dix in August 1909 – and photographs to the collection housed in Woodward Library. They also had an opportunity to review the countrys most comprehensive materials by and about Dix since it was organized this past summer.
Relatives of Dorothy Dix, one of the premier journalists of the 20th century, recently contributed more items to the already vast Dorothy Dix Collection at Austin Peay State University.

Cousins Bill Coke and his sister, Esther, donated additional letters — one written by Dix in August 1909 — and photographs to the collection housed in Woodward Library. They also had an opportunity to review the country's most comprehensive materials by and about Dix since it was organized this past summer.

“We knew how important Dorothy Dix was,” Bill Coke said. “What happens to me is that I am transported back into another era whenever I see all this material.”

Dix, a Montgomery County native born as Elizabeth Meriwether, is best known as the first syndicated advice columnist who dispatched tips to more than 60 million lovelorn readers around the world well into the 1940s. She also covered some of the nation's most sensational murder trials at the turn of the century for William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal.

More than 1,500 pieces of material on Dix, an advice columnist, are catalogued, conserved and preserved. The collection consists of 14 major categories, each with subfolders. Appropriate material has been deacidified and archived in Mylar polyester film to resist heat and yellowing.

In addition to the numerous newspaper and magazine articles written by and about Dix, the collection includes personal letters, scrapbooks and photographs. Copies of the seven books Dix published — many autographed or from her personal library — also are cataloged and indexed. The “Mirandy” series and “How to Win and Hold a Husband” were among Dix's most popular book titles.

Also, a research guide — measuring about an inch thick — is available, as well as a timeline that highlights significant facts about Dix's personal and professional life.

One of the highest paid journalists in the country, Dix wrote her columns until 1949 when she suffered a stroke. She died two years later at age 90. -- Melony Leazer