Jesse Stuart Collection

Identifier: MSS.0422

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

This collection contains papers related to author and educator Jesse Stuart dating from 1937-1987, mostly consisting of correspondence to and from Stuart and inscribed items.

Part of this collection also contains correspondence between Jesse Stuart and the Mississippi-born, Massachusetts-based fellow educator and collector, James C. Mitchell. In the letters Stuart discusses book collecting, his travel plans and soeaking schedules, his works-in-progress and future publications, and the pride he has in his daughter Jane's work.

Also included are letters from the artist and illustrator Robert G. Henneberger, color photographs, a number of Stuart family Christmas cards, a broadside and theatre program both inscribed by Stuart, and the typescript of a poem on Dean Martin which has been signed and dated by Stuart.


  • 1937 - 1987
  • Majority of material found within 1966 - 1977

Language of Materials


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

Biographical / Historical

Jesse Hilton Stuart (August 8, 1906 – February 17, 1984) was an author, teacher, and school administrator known for his short stories, poetry, novels as well as non-fiction autobiographical works set in Appalachia.


August 8, 1907
Born in Riverton, Kentucky, son of Mitchell and Martha Stuart
October 1939
Married Naomi Dean Norris
A.B. Degree from Lincoln Memorial University
Attended Vanderbilt University and Peabody College. Worked as a farmer, newspaper editor, and steel mill laborer, and also taught school in Greenup County, Kentucky and Portsmouth, Ohio.
Superintendent of Greenup County schools
Jeannette Sewal Davis poetry prize
Guggenheim fellowship
Academy of Arts and Sciences award for Men of the Mountains
Made poet laureate of Kentucky
Berea College Centennial award for literature
Academy of American Poets award
Visiting Professor of English and Education, The American University, Cairo, Egypt
American specialist abroad for Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, State Department
February 17, 1984
Died, Ironton, Ohio


.21 Linear Feet (1 Half-Hollinger box)


This collection contains papers related to author and educator Jesse Stuart dating from 1937-1987, mostly consisting of correspondence to and from Stuart and inscribed items. Part of this collection contains correspondence between Stuart and and fellow educator and collector, James C. Mitchell.

Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives

Immediate Source of Acquisition

An addition to this collection was purchased in 2019.

Finding Aid for the Jesse Stuart Collection
Zach Johnson
revised May 2019
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


About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

Requesting Materials

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