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Kim McLarin and President Johnson Sirleaf Collection

Identifier: MSS-059

Scope and Contents

Professor Kim McLarin served as ghostwriter for Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's 2010 memoir, titled This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa's First Woman President. This collection contains materials used in the writing and research of the book, including typed and handwritten manuscript drafts and notes by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Professor Kim McLarin, speeches and writings by the president, historical newspaper and magazine clippings, political campaign materials, correspondence, and awards.


  • 1969 - 2019
  • Majority of material found within 1997 - 2007


Language of Materials

The collection is predominantly in English; Some news clippings are in French.

Conditions Governing Use

At least part of this collection is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this collection in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holders. You may need to obtain other permissions for your intended use, such as those related to privacy, publicity, and moral rights. For questions about this statement please contact the Emerson College Archives and Special Collections.

Biographical / Historical

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf served two consecutive six-year terms as the 24th President of Liberia from 2006 to 2018. She was the first elected female head of state in Africa, assuming the role while the country recovered from a very bloody civil war. She was instrumental in rebuilding schools, clinics, markets, and creating scholarships. President Sirleaf won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2011 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the president of the United States in 2007.

Kim McLarin was born in 1964 in Memphis, Tennessee and attended Phillips Exeter Academy before obtaining a bacehelor's degree at Duke University. Her career began as a journalist for the Associated Press, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the New York Times.

McLarin's first book, Taming It Down, was published in 1998, and she left the field of journalism to focus on her work as a novelist, essayist, and playwright. After publishing two more books and teaching at both Fairfield University and Northeastern University, she became a faculty member at Emerson College in 2003. She has since become a full professor and Graduate Program Director of the MFA in Writing and Publishing Popular Fiction Program.

Mclarin is the author and co-author of seven volumes, including essay collections, novels, and memoirs. Her work has also been published in such publications as the New England Review, The Sewanne Review, The Sun Magazine, The Root, and the Washington Post.

Mclarin appears regularly on on WGBH-TV's Emmy-Award winning television show Basic Black, and in 2021 she was awarded a Live Arts Boston Grant from the Boston Foundation to perform readings of her play Divorce Dog in Boston. As of 2022 she is the Interim Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies at Emerson College.


3 boxes of various sizes (3 boxes: 1 oversized, 1 standard and 1 Half Hollinger box )

Kim McLarin and President Johnson Sirleaf Collection
This Child Will Be Great (memoir)
In Progress
Marc Herman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Emerson College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Walker Building, Room 223
120 Boylston Street
Boston Massachusetts 02116 United States
(617) 824-8301