The Margaret S. Banister collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, a scrapbook, personal memorabilia, printed material, photographs, and professional material.
Manuscripts by Banister in the collection includes her novels Tears Are For the Living (Houghton Mifflin, 1963) and Burn Then, Little Lamp (Houghton Mifflin, 1967); several short stories, many of which were published in The Washingtonian ca. 1920; short stories written for Evelyn Eaton’s workshop; short stories written at Columbia University from 1922 to 1924 (with comments by members of her class and her instructor, Blanche Colton Williams); short stories written for Sweet Briar College, ca. 1930; a short story and award from the American Association of University Women, Virginia Division, Creative Writing Contest; four speeches; and an article.
Correspondence in the collection includes letters regarding Tears Are For the Living (June 1961-Oct. 1968); letters regarding Burn Then, Little Lamp (July 1964-June 1968); several letters from Norman Berg, agent and Southern representative for Houghton Mifflin (Mar. 1963-Feb. 1966); fan mail (1963-1971); letters from Banister to her parents (1905, 1915, 1941); and other letters.
The scrapbook in the collection contains newspaper clippings, several letters, and memos.
Personal memorabilia in the collection includes a citation from the US War Department for Banister (1946).
Printed material includes an issue of Sweet Briar College Alumnae Magazine (1967), with an item by Banister; Historic Washington, a compilation of articles about historic buildings in Washington, by Banister; The Bulletin, written by Banister and published by the Women’s Democratic Club, 4 issues, 1926-1928; the diary and letters of Daisy Williams, founder of Sweet Briar College, edited and published by Banister in 1934 in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of Williams' death; and other items.
Photographs in the collection include an album of prints, mostly regarding Banister's time at Sweet Briar; and various other photos, mostly of Banister at various ages.
Professional material in the collection pertains to Bainster's years working at the Pentagon (1942-1956), first in the Bureau of Public Information of the War Department and then in the Office of Public Information of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Present are approximately 200 items, including records, ratings, memos, correspondence, and other items.