Digital Transgender Archive

Guide to the Dawn Langley Simmons Papers, 1848- 2001, 2012-2014 and undated, bulk 1969-2000

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Author Dawn Langley Simmons had one of the first sex­ reassignment surgeries in the United States. She was brought up as Gordon Langley Hall in England at Sissinghurst Castle, home of Vita Sackville­-West and Harold Nicolson, and adopted by the actress Margaret Rutherford. After surgery she assumed the identity Dawn Pepita Langley Hall, then became Dawn Langley Simmons after her marriage to John Paul Simmons. The Dawn Langley Simmons Papers span the years 1848­–2001, with the bulk of the papers being dated between 1969 and 2001. The collection includes material collected and created by Simmons when she was using the names Gordon Langley Hall, Dawn Pepita Langley Hall, and Dawn Langley Simmons. The collection houses extensive files of correspondence dating from the 1950s to 2000, with topics ranging from Simmons' formative years in Great Britain, her relationship with her mother, Marjorie Hall Copper, literary circles in Great Britain, later personal events such as her wedding, and Simmons' development as a writer. Significant correspondents or individuals mentioned in letters include Margaret Rutherford, Isabel Whitney, Vita Sackville­-West, Sir Harold Nicolson, Nigel Nicolson, Robert Holmes, and Edwin Peacock. The collection also includes writings by Simmons in the form of typescripts and diaries; printed material and clippings, including articles and reviews by and about Simmons; legal and financial papers; an extensive collection of scrapbooks; photographs; audiovisual materials; and other material relating to Simmons' personal life and career as a writer.

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Item Information:

Discovery Resources
Duke University
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Date Created
Aug. 2007
Dates Covered
1848 to 2001
Finding Aids
Dawn Langley Simmons
Edwin Peacock
Harold George Nicolson
Isabel Lydia Whitney
Margaret Rutherford
Marjorie Hall Ticehurst Copper
Nigel Nicolson
Robert Holmes
Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture
Sarah Combs
Vita Sackville-West
South Carolina > Charleston County > Charleston
England > Kent
Interracial marriage
Sex change
Transgender people
Resource Type
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