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John Fetterman Papers



Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Personal / Biographical

Pulitzer Prize Material

Published Writings

Article Research Subject Files

Stinking Creek


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John Fetterman Papers, 1940-1973 | Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

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Collection Overview

Title: John Fetterman Papers, 1940-1973Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Fetterman, John.

Extent: 30.0 MS boxes


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

Subjects: Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.)., Fetterman, John -- Archival rsources, Journalists -- United States -- Biography., Kentucky -- Economic conditions., Kentucky -- Social conditions., Newspapers -- History., Reporters and reporting--United States.

Languages: English


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.”

Scope and Contents of the Materials

These are correspondence, research materials, writings, and photographs of Courier Journal-Louisville Times reporter and editor, John Fetterman (1920-1975). Fetterman, a Danville, Kentucky native, served three and half years in the U.S. Navy and then attended Murray State University under the G.I. bill, graduating in 1948. He worked for the Murray Ledger and Times and the Nashville Tennessean. He also tried his hand at high school teaching and did post-graduate work at the University of Kentucky before coming to the Louisville papers in 1957 as a staff writer and photographer. During his Louisville years, he also did free lance writing for such magazines as the Saturday Evening Post, Time, Life, and National Geographic.

Subject/Index Terms

Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.).
Fetterman, John -- Archival rsources
Journalists -- United States -- Biography.
Kentucky -- Economic conditions.
Kentucky -- Social conditions.
Newspapers -- History.
Reporters and reporting--United States.

Administrative Information

Repository: Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

Access Restrictions: Records can be accessed through the Reading Room, Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Hutchins Library, Berea College.

Use Restrictions:

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 Revision History:

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

Other Note: BCA 0027 SAA 026

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Personal / Biographical],
[Series 2: Pulitzer Prize Material],
[Series 3: Published Writings],
[Series 4: Article Research Subject Files],
[Series 5: Stinking Creek],
[Series 6: Photographs],

Series 1: Personal / BiographicalAdd to your cart.
This series consists of records, news clippings, personal and business correspondence relating to Fetterman’s Navy service, Murray State University student days, and High school teaching in Illinois.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Naval ServiceAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: VA ChecksAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Tax ReturnsAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Education (Murray State)-Newspaper Articles, nd.Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Education (Murray State)-Notebook and Student Coaching PlansAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Teaching, New Windsor High SchoolAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Employment References / InformationAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Teaching, Yates City High SchoolAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Teaching, Yates City (Illinois) High School-Graduate SurveyAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Teaching, Yates City High School, Graduate StudyAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Education (UK)-Various PapersAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Education (UK)-Various PapersAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: CalendarsAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Personal CorrespondenceAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: Office CorrespondenceAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: Application Correspondence, 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 17: MiscellaneousAdd to your cart.
Folder 18: Mindy Fetterman-Writings-The Wiggly ReaderAdd to your cart.
Folder 19: Mindy Fetterman-Writings-The Inkwell (O.F. Stivers School Newsletter), June 2, 1967Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Mindy Fetterman-Writings-The Bear Facts    (Ballard High School Newspaper)Add to your cart.
Folder 21: Mindy Fetterman-Writings-The Kentucky Kernel (UK)Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Mindy Fetterman---Writings-The Herald (Bowling Green Kentucky?), November 1, 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Mindy Fetterman-Writings-Opryland NewsAdd to your cart.
Folder 24: ObituariesAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Personal / Biographical],
[Series 2: Pulitzer Prize Material],
[Series 3: Published Writings],
[Series 4: Article Research Subject Files],
[Series 5: Stinking Creek],
[Series 6: Photographs],

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