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Lillie Chaffin Collection

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: A-1993-02

Content Description

The Lillie Chaffin Collection consists of eight linear feet of material which documents the life and career of the eastern Kentucky teacher and writer. The collection contains a wide range of materials from Chaffin’s early career, including letters, manuscripts, and copies of publications, which date from 1950-1979.

Acquisition Type


Restrictions Apply




7 Cubic Feet


The first, and least voluminous, series, Personal and Family Correspondence, comprises .3 linear feet of material. Included are three folders of letters from Chaffin to and from members of her immediate family, close friends, and assorted relatives. Much of the correspondence details Chaffin’s daily life. Series Two, Professional Correspondence and Biographical Files, contains one linear foot of materials which highlight Chaffin’s career as a teacher and writer. Included in this series are letters, certificates, proofs, and other related correspondence between Chaffin and other academic and literary professionals. Of note in this series are the biographical files collected by Chaffin, from which a great deal of detail can be derived about the author’s life from 1925 until 1979. Also included is a number of letters written and received by Chaffin from editors concerning her publications. As the title implies, the third series, Manuscripts, Poetry and Other Writings is comprised entirely of pieces written by Chaffin. The two linear feet of material in this series include manuscripts of several of the author’s published works, including Freeman, John Henry McCoy, and To Squeeze a Turnip. Also of particular interest to literary researchers are the .75 linear feet of Chaffin’s short stories and poetry, which are arranged in alphabetical order by title. The final series is comprised of the 570-item Chaffin Literature Collection. Materials in this series include books, booklets, journals, magazines, and pamphlets, which focus on literature and poetry. Many of the works contain items written by Chaffin, and the author edited some of the periodicals as well. Researchers should note that not all of the items include pieces by the author, but many of the works focus on mountain life and culture, or are by contemporary Kentucky authors.