xt79p843rt9n https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt79p843rt9n/data/mets.xml https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt79p843rt9n/data/87m12.dao.xml unknown 18852007 53.0 Cubic feet 118 boxes James Still was a poet, short story writer, children's author, novelist, folklorist, teacher and librarian. Although born in Alabama, Still spent most of his life in Kentucky and centered many of his writings around the coal fields of eastern Kentucky. Papers include manuscripts, published materials, biographical materials, financial records, correspondence, interviews, book reviews, promotional materials, and memorabilia. collections English University of Kentucky This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed.  Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.  Physical rights are retained by the owning repository.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws.  For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. James Still papers American literature--Appalachian Region. Authors, American--20th century. Mountain life in literature. James Still papers text James Still papers 1885 2014 true xt79p843rt9n collection false 
     
         87m12 
         
             
                 Guide to the James Still Papers, 1885-2007
                     87M12 
                 
                 Finding aid prepared by Processed by Archives Staff; machine-readable finding aid created by Beth Eifler 
             
             
                 
                     
                 
                 University of Kentucky Special Collections 
                 
                     Special Collections 
                     Margaret I. King Building, North 
                     Lexington, KY, 40506-0039 
                     (859) 257-8611 
                     SCLREF@LSV.UKY.EDU 
                 
                 2005 
             
         
         
             This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit
                 2014-09-03T09:55-0400 
             
             Description is in English. 
         
     
     
         
             James Still papers 
             87M12 
             
                 University of Kentucky Special Collections 
             
             
                 
             
             
                 53.0 Cubic feet 
                 118 boxes 
             
             1885-2007 
             James Still was a poet, short story writer, children's author, novelist, folklorist, teacher and librarian. Although born in Alabama, Still spent most of his life in Kentucky and centered many of his writings around the coal fields of eastern Kentucky. Papers include manuscripts, published materials, biographical materials, financial records, correspondence, interviews, book reviews, promotional materials, and memorabilia. 
         
         
             Conditions Governing Access note 
             Collection is open for research. 
         
         
             Conditions Governing Use note 
             Copyright has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky. 
         
         
             Preferred Citation note 
             [Identification of item], James Still Papers, 1885-2007, 87M12, Special Collections and Digital Programs, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington 
         
         
             Immediate Source of Acquisition note 
             Materials have been acquired periodically since the 1970s from James Still and from his literary heir, Teresa Perry Reynolds. 
         
         
             Biographical/Historical note 
             Although an Alabama native, author James Still is considered a Kentuckian. He spent most of his life in Kentucky and most of his writings center around the coal fields in the eastern part of the state. Still, who was one of ten children, was born in LaFayette, Alabama on July 16, 1906 to Lonie Lindsay and J. Alex Still. His father was a cotton farmer/horse doctor who envisioned a legal career for his son. But, by age eight his son harbored dreams of becoming an author. Still had no monetary resources, but was able to earn a Bachelor's degree in 1929 from Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, Tennessee, by working, among several jobs, in a stone quarry and as a janitor in the library. After completing his duties, Still spent many solitary nights in the library pouring over the literature he found there. In addition to funds earned at school, Still also received assistance from wealthy industrialist Guy Loomis. Loomis also partially subsidized Still's graduate school experience at Vanderbilt University where he took a class with Fugitive John Crowe Ransom and received an M.A. in English in 1930. At Loomis' suggestion Still attended the University of Illinois where he earned a B.A. in Library Science in 1931. 
             At the height of the depression Still was unable to locate permanent employment. Riding freight trains in his search, he tried selling Bibles in Mississippi, picking cotton in Texas, and working for Sears and Roebuck in Atlanta. In 1932 former college classmate and poet Don West offered Still a job organizing Boy Scout troops and baseball teams at a Bible camp in Knott County, Kentucky. At summer's end Still was offered a non-salaried position as a librarian at the Hindman Settlement School with room, board, and laundry furnished. The young man remained at the school for six years. While there he initiated a satellite program to supply children's books to local schools one day a week and one summer he worked as a social worker with the Federal Emergency Relief Administration-an experience which left an indelible impression on him. 
             James Still's professional writing career began in 1931 with the publication of his poem "Dreams" which appeared in 
                 Arcadian Magazine . During the next five years his poetry appeared in such periodicals as 
                 Boys Life , 
                 Virginia Quarterly Review , 
                 The Saturday Review of Literature , 
                 The Literary Digest , 
                 Poetry 47 , 
                 The Sewanee Review , 
                 The New Republic , 
                 Mountain Life and Work , 
                 Kaleidograph , and 
                 The Atlantic . In 1937 Viking Press published 
                 Hounds on the Mountain  a collection of his poems. The young author's first published short story, "All Their Ways are Dark," appeared in 
                 The Atlantic  in June of 1936. 
             Many of his subsequent works were authored in a 150-year-old log house, owned by his neighbors and friends the Amburgey family, located between the Dead Mare Branch and Wolfpen Creek facing Little Carr in Knott County. Still retreated to this secluded thirty-one acre, mostly mountainous tract, located nine miles from the Settlement School in 1939. The location was a perfect place to try his hand at farming, to raise a garden, to observe the wonders and horrors of nature, and to ponder and participate in his adopted community. 
             It was at the log house that Still completed his collection of short stories, 
                 On Troublesome Creek , 
                 Hounds on the Mountain , and his most acclaimed work 
                 River of Earth  published in 1940. The novel tells the story of a coal miner and his family who travel from one mine to another in search of work during the depressed late 1920s. The family is maintained by their strong bond in the face of hardship and calamity. The book's setting was inspired by Still's experience surveying people in their homes while he served with the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Dean Cadle, in the foreword to the 1978 edition of the work, compares 
                 River of Earth  to John Steinbeck's 
                 Grapes of Wrath  and noted that they were "the only books chronicling the demoralizing Depression years that have continued to gain readers in more affluent ones." Called "a work of art" by 
                 Time Magazine , 
                 River of Earth  is considered a modern classic. Still's realism, his use of dialect and narration, his acute awareness of relationships and human character, and his economical yet richly descriptive approach captured high praise from critics and won him the Southern Author's Award. 
             Still's other writings also drew critical praise. Not only did his short stories appear in the 
                 O. Henry Memorial Prize Stories  series (1937, 1938, 1939, and 1941), several were also included in 
                 Best American Short Stories  (1946, 1950, 1952). The young writer became acquainted with other authors at renowned literary workshops such as the Bread Loaf Conference (1937), the MacDowell Colony (1938) and at the Yaddo Arts Colony (1939, 1940, 1941, 1951, and 1981). Moreover, he also received two Guggenheim fellowships in 1941 and 1946. 
             In spite of his age, at thirty-six Still was among the first men drafted into the Army/Air Force from Knott County. Attaining the rank of Sergeant E-7, he served for two years in the Gold Coast, a British colony which became Ghana in 1956. While in Africa he visited Egypt, Palestine, and Eritrea. He survived a crash landing in the Sudan, attacks of blackwater fever (malaria) and a bad case of dysentery. After he returned to Kentucky he rejoined the staff of the Hindman Settlement School in 1951. Ten years later in 1962 he joined the Department of English at Morehead State University as an Associate Professor-a post he held until 1970. Thereafter he was a visiting professor at Ohio University (Portsmouth), and at Berea College (1972) and served as a lecturer at numerous institutions. 
             Retirement allowed Still to write full-time. As a consequence he underwent another literary renaissance which included publication of several children's books, collections of folklore, short stories, and poetry and in 1977 his second and last novel, 
                 Sporty Creek: A Novel About an Appalachian Boyhood , (G. P. Putnam's Sons, N.Y.). Other books included: 
                 Way Down Yonder in Troublesome Creek: Appalachian Riddles and Rusties  (G. P. Putnam's Sons, N.Y., 1974), 
                 Pattern of a Man and Other Stories  (Gnomon Press, 1976), 
                 Jack and the Wonder Beans  (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1979), 
                 The Run for the Elbertas  (University of Kentucky Press, 1980), 
                 Rusties and Riddles and Gee-Haw Whimmy-Diddles  (University Press of Kentucky, 1989), 
                 The Wolfpen Notebooks: A Record of Appalachian Life  (University Press of Kentucky, 1991), and 
                 The Appalachian Mother Goose  (University Press of Kentucky, 1998). 
             James Still's work did not go unnoticed. In 1979 the University of Kentucky established the James Still Fellowship program to encourage Appalachian-related research. Moreover, during the 1980s he worked with Kentucky and Tennessee Public Television on programs featuring his work. In addition, he appeared regularly as a commentator on National Public Radio. He also received numerous awards and honorary degrees from such institutions as Berea College, Lincoln Memorial University, Morehead State University, and the University of Kentucky. In 1995 he was named Poet Laureate of Kentucky. 
             An inveterate reader, Mr. Still's interests included botany, entomology, Appalachian folklore, the Civil War and World War I. He also made many trips to Mexico, Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador to study the Mayan civilization. Perhaps the most treasured events, however, were the annual birthday parties sponsored by the Hindman Settlement School and his friends during the decades preceding his death on April 28, 2001. Also important in Still's life was his enduring relationship with his adopted daughter Teresa Perry Reynolds to whom he left his literary legacy. 
         
         
             Scope and Contents note 
             These are the papers of the writer James Still. Published works consist of poems, short stories, and note book material that Still published in various periodicals, journals, magazines, and on broadsides. Manuscripts include both typed and handwritten drafts and notes relating to Still's poems, essays, short stories, and novels. Included are drafts or portions of drafts of the monographs 
                 River of Earth , 
                 On Troublesome Creek , 
                 Run for the Elbertas , etc. Some of the manuscript material was never published, including the unfinished novel 
                 Bad Hair . There are also derivative works that were based on or drew inspiration from Still's original work and were adapted or changed into new formats, including pieces he modified himself. 
             In addition to manuscripts and published materials, the collection also includes biographical materials, financial records, correspondence, interviews, book reviews, promotional materials, and memorabilia. Detailed descriptions of the James Still correspondence can be found in this database: http://stillbib.omeka.net/. There are also subject files containing materials collected by Still on a variety of topics which reflect his diverse interests. They include newspaper clippings, pamphlets, booklets, magazine articles, form letters and other promotional materials. 
         
         
             Arrangement note 
             Organized into the following series: Biographical Materials (1910-2007, undated), Correspondence (1921-2000, undated), Works by James Still: Manuscripts (1929-2001, undated), Works By James Still: Published Work (1929-2001, undated), Derivative Work (1983-1999, undated), Works about James Still (1939-1999, undated), and Subject Files (1885-2000, undated). 
         
         
             Related Archival Materials note 
             Photographs accompanying this collection may be found under accession number PA87M12. 
             A database which lists each letter in Still's correspondence files and includes such information as the date and place from which it was sent, sender, and Still's relationship with that person (when known). 
             
             
         
         
             Hindman Settlement School. 
             Still, James, 1906-2001 
             American literature--Appalachian Region. 
             Appalachian Region--History. 
             Appalachian Region--In literature. 
             Authors, American--20th century. 
             Mountain life in literature. 
             Poems 
             Short stories. 
         
         
             
                 
                     BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS 
                     I 
                     1910-2007, undated 
                 
                 
                     Scope and Contents note 
                     Organized alphabetically by type or content of material; arranged chronologically thereunder. 
                 
                 
                     
                         AWARDS AND HONORS 
                         i 
                     
                     
                         
                             1930s, 1940s, and 1960s 
                             1 
                             1 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1970-1977 
                             1 
                             2 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1978 
                             1 
                             3 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1979 
                             1 
                             4 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes information on Still winning the Marjorie Peabody Waite award. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1980-1982 
                             1 
                             5 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1983-1988 
                             1 
                             6 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1989 
                             1 
                             7 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1990-1992 
                             1 
                             8 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1994-1996 
                             1 
                             9 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes information on Still's appointment as Kentucky Poet Laureate. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1997-1998 and 2002 
                             1 
                             10 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             undated and multiple dates 
                             1 
                             11 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             James Still Fellowship 
                             1 
                             12 
                         
                     
                 
                 
                     
                         BIBLIOGRAPHIES AND RELATED MATERIALS 
                         ii 
                     
                     
                         
                             Bibliographies 
                             1 
                             13 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             Bibliographies, cont. 
                             1 
                             14 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             Chronologies 
                             1 
                             15 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             Curriculum Vitae 
                             1 
                             16 
                         
                     
                 
                 
                     
                         BIRTHDAY CLIPPINGS AND MEMORABILIA 
                         iii 
                     
                     
                         
                             1981-1996 
                             2 
                             1 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1996-2006 
                             2 
                             2 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             80th birthday (07/16/1986) guestbook 
                             2 
                             3 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1986 birthday celebration photo album 
                             2 
                             4 
                         
                         
                             General note 
                             Plastic pages have been removed. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             Guestbook from 89th birthday luncheon (circa 1995) 
                             2 
                             5 
                         
                     
                 
                 
                     
                         CLIPPINGS 
                         iv 
                     
                     
                         
                             1910-1949 
                             2 
                             6 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes image of Still's high school graduating class; mention of his appointment as contributing editor to Mountain Life and Work; clippings about his military honors and his dedication to library service in Eastern Kentucky. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1952-1963 
                             2 
                             7 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes clippings about Still's dedication to education and library service; clippings about Still's feelings on and methods of writing; who's who and encyclopedia entries; clippings related to Still's teaching and writing workshops at Morehead State. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1964-1967 
                             2 
                             8 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes clippings about Still receiving the poetry award from Alice Lloyd College; description of James Still room at Morehead State. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1968-1973 
                             2 
                             9 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes an article in Kentucky Association of School Libraries bulletin; excerpts from a dissertation written on Still. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1974-1977 
                             2 
                             10 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes clippings about Still's "unexpected" visit to Cumberland College in 1976; article about Still and Carlyle Cross being caught in political demonstrations in San Salvador. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1978-1979 
                             2 
                             11 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes clipping about Still's receiving Berea College's Special Weatherford Award; articles about Still, Gurney Norman, and Harriette Simpson Arnow at Appalachian Writer's Workshop in Hindman; in-depth feature article by Shirley Williams; biographical sketch by Dean Cadle. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1980-1981 
                             2 
                             12 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes an article on the history of Hindman Settlement School; article about Still receiving Kentucky Arts Council Milner Award. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1982 
                             2 
                             13 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes article from 
                                 The Kentucky Post  that discusses Still's life and writing; two articles from 
                                 The Sentinel-Echo , one that focuses on Still's life and writing and one in which Appalshop is discussed; 
                                 Something about the Author  biography. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1983 
                             2 
                             14 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes TV guides' clippings from various appearances of Still on KET; 
                                 The Sentinel-Echo  articles on Still and differences between Eastern and Western Kentucky and "hanging around" with Still; an article about Still having some luck at the races in Saratoga Spring, NY. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1984 
                             2 
                             15 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes newspaper photo of Still and others at Carl Perkins' funeral; a 1984 calendar with an image of Still's Dead Mare Branch home. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1985-1986 
                             2 
                             16 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes 
                                 The Sentinel-Echo  article on 
                                 River of Earth ; a 1986 
                                 Louisville Courier-Journal  article in which Still mentions his and his neighbors' eating habits during the 1940s; 
                                 Atlanta Journal-Constitution  article; in-depth story in 
                                 Courier-Journal Magazine ; KET guide with Still on cover. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1987-1988 
                             3 
                             1 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes in-depth story in 
                                 The Mountain Spirit ; November 1987 article from 
                                 Lexington Herald-Leader ; September 1988 article from 
                                 The Mountain Eagle . 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1989-1990 
                             3 
                             2 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes articles on lecture series 
                                 Appalachia: a Sense of Community  in Mount Vernon, Kentucky; article from 
                                 Charleston Daily Mail  (WV); article from 
                                 The Daily Times  in Portsmouth, OH that discusses 
                                 River of Earth . 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1991-1992 
                             3 
                             3 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes a 
                                 Lexington Herald-Leader  "lifestyle" piece on Still and his home and writing; a short article from the Huntington, WV 
                                 Herald-Dispatch  on Still's notebooks of Appalachian sayings; an article about Still finding a Daniel Boone letter in his house; a 
                                 Courier-Journal  article about Hindman. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1993-1994 
                             3 
                             4 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes a September 1993 article about Still's childhood in Alabama; partial 
                                 Louisville Courier-Journal  article about Still and Randy Wilson; an article from an unknown source about Still's writing habits. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1995-1996 
                             3 
                             5 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes a 
                                 Mountain Eagle  article about the reporter's conversation/visit with Still; a 1996 article from Danville, Kentucky's 
                                 Advocate-Messenger  which contains inaccuracies but has an interesting segment on Still and his gardening; "Mountain Man," a 
                                 Louisville Courier-Journal  piece; an article about Still's portrait being painted; a May 1995 Q&A. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1997 
                             3 
                             6 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes article on KET's Still documentary from 
                                 The Lafayette Sun  in Chambers County, Alabama; Dr. James O. Chatham discusses Still and his Dead Mare Branch home in a sermon; "Where Will We Find Home?" 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             1998-2007 
                             3 
                             7 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes a 
                                 Lexington Herald-Leader  article about "rebuilding" Hindman, Kentucky; a piece called "Keepers of Our Collective Memory" about Still's 92nd birthday party, at which Thomas D. Clark was present; a posthumous article about a reissue of 
                                 Pattern of a Man ; and journal entries written by Randy Wilson recalling stories of James Still's life during the Great Depression and World War II, as told to him by Still while the two traveled and performed together. 
                         
                     
                     
                         
                             undated 
                             3 
                             8 
                         
                         
                             Scope and Contents note 
                             Includes part of a 
                                 Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series  article written by Still; an article from an Alabama paper about boyhood in the area where Still grew up; a partial article on Still and Thomas D. Clark. 
                         
                     
                 
                 
                     
                         FINANCIAL RECORDS 
                         v 
                     
                     
                         Scope and Contents note 
                         Bank Statements are mostly from banks