OXFORD, Miss. –William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize for Literature and the Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur, which have been on loan to the University of Mississippi for decades and on display at the J.D. Williams Library, were returned today at the request of the author’s descendants. The two medals and their certificates are expected to be auctioned at Sotheby’s.“It has been an honor for the University of Mississippi to display these important medals and certificates for so many years,” said Jennifer Ford, head of archives and special collections and associate professor at UM. “One of the delights I have had as Head of Special Collections is the chance to show school groups, patrons, and students of the University these tangible manifestations of the incredible achievement of a Mississippian in the world of letters.”
The 1949 Nobel Prize and the 1951 Legion d’Honneur medals and certificates have been owned by the Faulkner family and on display at the university since right after their award.
“They were first on display in the University Museum, then in the ‘Mississippi Room’ where Dorothy Oldham (Faulkner’s sister-in-law) was the original curator,” Ford said. “The room is now a part of the Department of Archives & Special Collections. We are appreciative to the Summers’ family for their allowing them to remain here for so long and hope that the future owners might consider donating them again to the University of Mississippi.”