About the O. Henry Portal

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Greensboro native and short story author William Sidney Porter (1862-1910), best known by the alias of O. Henry, advised that the secret to successful writing was to “write stories that please yourself.” With this advice in mind, he penned many memorable stories including “The Ransom of Red Chief” and “The Gift of the Magi”. Indeed, Porter has been heralded as one of America’s best short story writers. Today, the most prestigious short story prize in America bears the name - the O. Henry Award.

The purpose of the O. Henry Portal is to offer insight on the life and legacy of William Sidney Porter and provide a glimpse of his hometown, Greensboro. To accomplish this task, hundreds of letters, documents, photographs, and news articles have been digitized and placed on this website. This project received financial support through a LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) Digitization Starter Grant offered through NC ECHO.

Most of the items featured on this website are housed in the Greensboro History Museum, Greensboro Public Library, and Greensboro News & Record. Other items like Porter's published stories, as well as finding aids and/or artifacts in collections from other institutions, are featured here also.

Scholars viewing this site can visit the collections of each individual institution by following the links: Greensboro History Museum, Greensboro Public Library, or Greensboro News & Record. The link to Other Institutions contains finding aids and/or digital artifacts of other repositories housing O. Henry material including UNC, Duke, and UVA.

Contributing Staff:

 Bradley R. Foley
Bradley R. Foley, Librarian at the Greensboro Public Library  
 Arthur Erickson
Arthur Erickson, Genealogist at the Greensboro Public Library  
 J. Stephen Catlett and J. Timothy Cole

J. Stephen Catlett, Archivist at the Greensboro History Museum and J. Timothy Cole, Librarian at the Greensboro Public Library