Scope and Contents
The correspondence series is organized into five distinct subseries: Alphabetical, Invitations, Organizations, Persons, and Topical. These subseries were applied to the collection by the archivist to aid in searchability. Correspondence was often found in alphabetical files and separated as appropriate.
The filing system for correspondence, as with other files in the collection, was uneven until the later 1970s when a more rigid organization-by-letter system was used. This organization system was consistently applied until Seigenthaler’s retirement from the Tennessean in 1991. From 1991-2003 the system was kept somewhat consistently but stopped as a new, fluid system was used.
The alphabetical subseries contains correspondence with groups of people or schools and universities. University correspondence often includes correspondence with named individuals from the “persons” subseries; these items were kept with the university correspondence when thematically appropriate.
The invitations subseries is a small series highlighting invitations Seigenthaler received to especially noteworthy events like presidential inaugurations. Also included are invitations by year that were originally organized as such.
The organizations subseries contains correspondence with organizations. This correspondence was often filed under the letter and year from which is was received. When this correspondence was particularly voluminous or noteworthy, the archivist separated the materials and placed them under a separate file. Other correspondence with large organizations, like the American Society of Newspaper Editors, was already filed under its own heading.
The persons subseries contains correspondence with individuals. This correspondence was often originally filed under the person’s name or kept separate from other parts of the collection. Other correspondence was filed under the letter and year from which is was received. When this correspondence was particularly voluminous or noteworthy, the archivist separated the materials and placed them under a separate file. During the years that Seigenthaler served as editor of the Tennessean, this alphabetical correspondence contained both personal correspondence and others addressed to the “Editor of the Tennessean”.
The topical subseries contains correspondence that was mostly about a topic and wasn’t filed by the sender’s name. These files are closely related to those contained in the “Topical” series.
- 1920 - 2014
Conditions Governing Access
This collection may be viewed only in the reading room of Special Collections in the Jean and Alexander Heard Library. Collections should be requested 2-3 days prior to visiting in order to facilitate easier access. For questions or to request a collection, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Collection: 200 Linear Feet (406 Hollinger boxes, 2 tall Hollinger boxes, 13 oversize flat boxes, approximately 2850 audiovisual items)
Language of Materials
From the Collection: English
Most files on people that sent in resumes and applications - but were given no extra attention by Seigenthaler - were discarded. This also applies to files soliciting action by Seigenthaler from other companies and individuals. Regretted invitations were also discarded.
It appears that Seigenthaler marked items with a blue pen to give instructions to his secretary.
In many cases, correspondence received after 1991 was filed in roughly chronological order instead of alphabetically.
Many First Amendment Center and Freedom Forum correspondence pieces were sent to multiple recipients. Generally, the archivist filed this correspondence by the name of the first person listed on the memo or letter.
Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository
Jean and Alexander Heard Library
419 21st Avenue South
Nashville TN 37203 United States