Accession Number: 35
James Still Collection, 1930 - 2001
3.2 linear ft.
Series I - Correspondence
Series II - Biographical
Materials and Photographs
Series III -
Audio and Video Recordings
Series IV - Clippings
Series V - Manuscripts
Series VI - Run
for the Elbertas
Access and Use
Provenance: Initially Loyal Jones donated the core of
the collection, including some photographs contributed by Cumberland
College Library. Al Perrin of Berea and Michael Mullins of Hindman
provided additional materials. Following Still's death his executors
contributed some personal papers to the collection.
Preferred Citation: James Still Collection, Berea College
Special Collections & Archives, Berea, Ky.
Overview of the Collection
This collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, photographs,
recordings, and newspaper clippings that document the life and
work of Kentucky author, James Still. Audio and video tapes from
this collection are stored in the Berea College Sound Archives
Roberts Papers, 1950-1983 , SAA 57
Settlement School Records, 1899-1979, SAA 41
College Sound Archives
James Still, a native of Alabama, was educated at Lincoln Memorial
University (B.A., 1929), Vanderbilt University (M.A., 1930), and
the University of Illinois (B.S., 1931). He became a librarian
at Hindman Settlement School for several years before devoting
himself entirely to writing. Except for service in World War II,
Still resided in rural Knott County, Kentucky, from 1932-2001,
most of that time in a log cabin on Dead Mare Branch. Following
the war, he again worked at Hindman Settlement School and then
taught for ten years at Morehead State University. Still published
stories and poems in the Atlantic Monthly, Yale Review, American
Mercury, and The Saturday Evening Post, among other
periodicals. His works are generally considered to be both accurate
and artful depictions of life in southeastern Kentucky during the
1920s and 1930s. His best known work, the novel River of Earth,
was published in 1940 and was reprinted by the University Press
of Kentucky in 1978. A collection of his short stories has been
published as Run for the Elbertas, and Berea College published
a collection called Wolfpen Poems. Late in his career his
literary accomplishments were widely recognized, especially in
the Appalachian region, by other writers and by colleges and universities.
8 Manuscript Boxes
The correspondence in this collection spans the years 1940-2000.
It includes letters of James Still to Alfred Perrin, president
of the Friends of the Berea College Library and a personal friend
of James Still.
||Biographical Materials and Photographs
||Box 3 continued
This series includes Still's own accounts of his life and work,
accounts by longtime friends, published interviews, honors and
tributes, and invitations to or records of his guest appearances
at writing workshops, poetry festivals, etc.
These items are stored in Special Collections' Sound Archives,
not in the Still
||Clippings and Other Materials
This series includes miscellaneous advertisements for Still's
work and promotions of various appearances, plus extensive newspaper
clippings of reviews and other articles on Still (1937-1986) and
columns he wrote, including the Godey Spurlock series. Some clippings
relate to subjects of interest to him. Items by or about other
authors and friends are also included. Clippings about his death
have been added.
||Manuscript Materials and Reviews
The manuscript materials include a typed manuscript copy of Still's Wolfpen
Poems, published by Berea College (1986). Also present are
typescripts of sixteen short stories and approximately fifty
poems by Still.
This series documents the stages of collection, reivision, proofing, and publication
of the collection of Still's short stories entitled Run for the Elbertas.
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