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Gregory Orfalea Papers

Identifier: GTM-990608

Scope and Contents

The collection documents the career of a American author and editor Gregory Orfalea. It includes manuscripts and research files for many of Orfalea’s books, including “Wrapping the Grapeleaves: A Sheaf of Contemporary Arab-American Poetry” (1982), “Before the Flames: A Quest for the History of Arab-Americans” (1988), “Messengers of the Lost Battalion: The Heroic 551st and the Turning of the Tide at the Battle of the Bulge” (1997), "Journey to the Sun: Junipero Serra's Dream and the Founding of California" (2014), and others. It also contains audio interview recordings and transcripts by Orfalea for his books “Before the Flames” and “Messengers of the Lost Battalion." Subject files include documentation of Arab-American history/literaure and Middle East history.


  • 1968 - 2023


Conditions Governing Access

Unpublished manuscripts by Gregory Orfalea: Access to unpublished manuscripts by Gregory Orfalea is restricted for 20 years from the date of donation (2043). Access to the unpublished manuscripts during this time period is at the discretion of Mr. Orfalea.

Interviews with Arab-Americans: Access to interviews with Arab-Americans (recordings and transcripts) is restricted for 5 years from the date of donation (2028). Access to interviews during this time period is at the discretion of Mr. Orfalea.

Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Biographical / Historical

Gregory Orfalea (b. 1949) is an American writer and poet who was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He is a descendant of the first documented Arab family to immigrate to the United States in 1878. Orfalea’s grandparents immigrated to the United States from Lebanon and Syria. Orfalea graduated from Georgetown University in 1971. Then, he received an advanced degree from the University of Alaska in 1974. Orfalea has worked as a professor of literature at Georgetown University, the Claremont Colleges, and Westmont College. He has written and edited a number of books. His works have appeared in the Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, the Pacific Standard, and the Washington Post.

[Sources: “Multicultural Voices” (1995), p 190; Simon and Schuster Writer Profile Online; and Pulitzer Online]


39 Cubic Feet (42 boxes)

0.44 Gigabytes (184 files)

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations


The collection has been not been arranged by an archivist.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Gregory Orfalea, 2023

Processing Information

The collection has been rehoused into acid-free boxes and folders when it was received.

The collection was initially placed on deposit in 1999. Eight additional deposits were received between 2009 and 2019. The collection was formally donated in 2023, with an additional accrual of materials received at that time.

Gregory Orfalea Papers
Scott S. Taylor
July 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057