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June N. Adamson Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-2739

This collection contains correspondence, research and teaching files, student work, articles, newspaper clippings, notes, and manuscripts documenting June N. Adamson's life and work as a newspaper reporter, student, and University of Tennessee Professor of Journalism.

Series I: Research and Writings, 1941-2003 (bulk 1956-2003) houses material documenting Adamson's unpublished book The Lit Stick of Dynamite, her unfinished autobiography, her work for East Tennessee newspapers, and her service to the University of Tennessee and the community at large. The Lit Stick of Dynamite, devoted to one of the causes nearest to Adamson's heart, documents the desegregation of Clinton (Tennessee) High School in 1956 and it's bombing in 1958. Adamson's extensive research for this work includes newspaper clippings, photographs, redacted FBI files on the bombing and on John Frederick Kasper (who organized a White Citizens' Council in Clinton), and taped interviews with various participants. Materials pertaining to Adamson's autobiography include family photographs (including images of the Adamsons' vacation cottage, which they built themselves and called Wee Hoose), items documenting the early history of Oak Ridge (including original editions of the Oak Ridge Journal), and such personal records as diplomas and vitas. Adamson wrote one version of this autobiography, The Colonel's Lady and the G.I. Wife, with her dear friend Jacqueline Nichols (wife of Colonel Kenneth Nichols). Materials documenting Adamson's work for local newspapers (primarily the Knoxville News-Sentinel and the Oak Ridger) and her service to the University of Tennessee and the community include correspondence, conference programs, publications, final drafts of articles, and newspaper clippings. Adamson originally organized this material in binders, and her order and titles have been preserved.

Series II: Vertical Teaching Files, 1870-2002 (Bulk 1943-2001) and Series III: Other Teaching Files, 1943-2002 document Adamson's career as a University of Tennessee Professor of Journalism. Sub-series have been titled according to Adamson's original labels and their organization reflects approximately which class or classes Adamson used them for. Topics covered include Feature Writing, Magazine Writing, Science Writing, Her and His-tory, Opinion Writing, Basic Reporting and Research, Advanced Reporting and About Stanley, Editing and Other, and Women in Journalism. The files themselves are composed primarily of articles that Adamson considered particularly good examples of the subject at hand. They also contain such materials as syllabi, notes, correspondence, and examples of student work.

Series IV: Oversized Materials, (1870-2002), consists of all of the oversized materials housed int he collection.

Dates

  • 1870-2003 (bulk 1943-2003)

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

29.88 Linear Feet

Abstract

This collection contains correspondence, research and teaching files, student work, articles, newspaper clippings, notes, and manuscripts documenting June N. Adamson's life and work as a newspaper reporter, student, and University of Tennessee Professor of Journalism. Included is research related to Adamson's book The Lit Stick of Dynamite, which documents the desegregation of Clinton (Tennessee) High School in 1956 and it's bombing in 1958.

Biographical/Historical Note

June Neilson was born on June 30, 1922 to Perry and Annie Lillias Livingston Neilson in Holladay, Utah. She graduated from Granite High School in 1940 and continued on to study at Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City, Utah. She left school to marry metallurgical engineer George Adamson (1919-1998) in 1942. Their first child, Stanley David, was born in 1943. George Adamson was drafted into the U. S. Army in 1944, and the family relocated to Camp Sibert (near Gadsen, Alabama). He was subsequently transferred to Fort McClellan (near Anniston, Alabama) and to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where the family settled permanently. Their second son, Neil, was born in Oak Ridge in 1948.

June Adamson was very active in the East Tennessee community. She worked as a reporter and Women's Page editor for the Oak Ridger (1959-1968), as public relations director for the Oak Ridge Public Library (1954-1959), and as public relations manager for the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association (1946-1954) in addition to playing the violin with the Knoxville and Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra.

In 1968, Adamson enrolled at the University of Tennessee to complete her undergraduate education. She graduated in 1969 with her BS degree in Journalism. She continued on to graduate study, and obtained her MS in Journalism in 1971 with a thesis entitled "Selected Women in Tennessee Newspaper Journalism". Shortly after her graduation, tragedy struck: in August of 1971, Stanley Adamson, his wife, and a friend, all experienced mountaineers, were killed in an avalanche while climbing Mount St. Elias in Canada's Yukon Territory.

The University of Tennessee's School of Journalism hired June Adamson as an Instructor immediately after her graduation, and she began teaching in September of 1971. She eventually became the school's first female Professor and continued to teach until 1992, when she reached mandatory retirement age. She did not, however, stop writing after retirement: she contributed many articles to the Oak Ridger and to the Knoxville News-Sentinel in addition to writing program notes for the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra. June Adamson died in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on April 17, 2009.

Arrangement

This collection consists of 33 boxes divided into four series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Research and Writings
  2. Series II: Vertical Teaching Files
  3. Series III: Other Teaching Files
  4. Series IV: Oversized Materials

Acquisition Note

June Neilson Adamson and her son, Dr. Neil Adamson, donated these papers to the University of Tennessee's Special Collections Library in May of 2004.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480