John Cope Caldwell Papers

Identifier: MSS.0066

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

The John Cope Caldwell Papers contain travel diaries, correspondence, news reports and articles, book drafts, contracts, and photographs. The travel diaries cover Caldwell’s travels in Asia, Africa, and South America in 1955-1960 and 1963-1964. The correspondence contains hundreds of letters spanning 1943-1966. The news reports and articles contain documents from Nashville, Tennessee, papers and articles and short publications by Caldwell. The book drafts include material from 74 books, including several travel guides, written by Caldwell. The contracts include material related to Caldwell’s book deals. The photographs include photos from various countries which Caldwell visited on his travels.


  • 1943 - 1969

Biographical / Historical

John Cope Caldwell (1913-) was born on November 27, 1913, in Fujian Province, China. His parents, Harry Russel and Mary Belle Caldwell, were Methodist missionaries from Tennessee. Caldwell completed his BA at Vanderbilt in 1935 and completed graduate coursework at the University of Tennessee (UT) from 1938-1940. He worked as the educational director of the UT Conservation Department from 1935-1943, the director of the South East China Branch of the Office of War Information in 1943, and the chief of Information and Cultural Activities, Far East Division, for the United States Department of State from 1944-1950. He went on to write for journals and newspapers and published several books about East Asia.


18.7 Linear Feet (44 Hollinger, 1 Half-Hollinger box)

Language of Materials



The John Cope Caldwell Papers, 1943-1969, consist of the travel diaries, correspondence, news reports and articles, book drafts, contracts, and photographs of author and United States government official John Cope Caldwell, 1913-.

Physical Location

Offsite Storage, Special Collections & Archives

Finding Aid for the John Cope Caldwell Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Library
1101 19th Ave. S.
Nashville TN 37212 United States


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