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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 2: Pulitzer Prize MaterialAdd to your cart.
This series consists of congratulatory correspondence, press clippings, and printed awards programs associated with Fetterman’s 1969 Pulitzer Prize.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Award and Ceremony Program, NominationAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Newspaper Clippings, GeneralAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Newspaper Clippings, PersonalAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Pulitzer Prize Newspaper Clippings, GeneralAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Congratulatory Correspondence, A-DAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Congratulatory Correspondence, E-JAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Congratulatory Correspondence, K-RAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Congratulatory Correspondence, S-Z and Misc.Add 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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