Arrangement of the collection is by series:
Series 1: Personal / Biographical
Series 2: Pulitzer Prize Materials
Series 3: Published Writings
Series 4: Research Subject Files
Series 5: Stinking Creek
Series 6: Photographs
Fetterman was a prolific writer on a wide variety of subjects that ranged from the whimsical to the tragic. He is probably best remembered for his stories about the impact on eastern Kentucky of strip mining, the War on Poverty, and Vietnam. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for his article, "PFC Gibson Comes Home," which dealt with the death of a young Knott County, Kentucky soldier in Vietnam and its impact on his family and community. Earlier, he had contributed to a Courier-Journal series on strip mining, which won a Pulitzer in 1967. Additional writings on Appalachian related topics include “The People of Cumberland Gap” for National Geographic (11-71) and his book, Stinking Creek (1967) that portrayed life in the Stinking Creek area of Knox County, Kentucky. The core of his writing success has been described as a penchant for simplifying the complex and capturing moods. Speaking of his approach to reporting, he once said “all I try to do is find out how ordinary people are touched by things going on around them and then tell the truth about it.”
Restrictions: Records can be accessed through the Reading Room, Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Hutchins Library, Berea College.
Some items are restricted including several photographs made by Kentucky hospitals and police departments, a series of 17 medical x-ray films, and excerpts from medical and police records that include the names and locales of child abuse victims and their alleged attackers.
Note on Copyright: The Louisville Courier-Journal holds the copyright to photographs used by Fetterman to illustrate articles produced for the newspaper. Researchers must be granted permission from the Courier-Journal before photographs can be duplicated for publication or other use.
Copyright regulations apply to all materials. Please cite.
Preferred Citation: [Object identification], John Fetterman Collection, Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea, KY.
Finding Aid Revisions:
The finding aid was updated in January 2016 to reflect the addition in Series 5 (Box 15) of the following materials:
Folio: Manuscript, Stinking Creek
Folio: Stinking Creek Photographs
Collection Material Type: Personal Papers
Other Note: BCA 0027 SAA 026