Murray State University
200 Pogue Library
Murray, Kentucky 42071
FAX (270) 809-6153
Collection Title: Lowell Allen Williams Papers
Series Number: MS92-02
Processed and Cataloged by: Processed by Keith M. Heim in July of 1992 and September of 1995; reprocessed by Hayley Allen in March and April of 2013.
Date Listed: July 15, 2010; relisted April 9, 2013
Date Span: 1938-1992
Size of Collection: 4.25 linear feet.
Number of Boxes: 2 legal size document cases; 1 legal half size box and 1 oversized box.
Type of Material: Correspondence, manuscripts, speeches, newspaper clippings, photographs and scrapbooks.
Condition of Material: Fair with some acidic damage to newspaper clippings and scrapbooks.
Arrangement: Organized alphabetically by format and title of work; Chronological arrangement.
Biographical / Historical Information: Lowell Allen Williams was Kentucky’s Poet Laureate from 1956 until his death in 1995. He was born in Macon County, Missouri on January 3, 1907. As a child his parents moved to LaPlata, Missouri where he attended local schools and graduated from LaPlata High School in 1926. He briefly attended Missouri Valley College before seeking work in the oil fields of Texas. During the 1930s he worked in various places as a radio entertainer, dock worker, laborer, lifeguard and locomotive fireman. He settled at Fulton, Kentucky for several years until start of the Second World War when he took a position as an engineer at the Kentucky Ordnance Works and later at Oak Ridge Atomic Plant. He returned to Kentucky in 1950 and spent most of his remaining years at Cunningham. Williams also taught creative writing and landscape gardening at the West Kentucky Vocational School at Paducah. His first poem was published when he was 17. He died in 1995. He is the author of Across the Wide, Green Valley: Poems of America published in 1961 and Home is my Kentucky published in 1956.
Scope and Content: Collection consists of correspondence, handwritten manuscripts, typescripts, drafts and research notes of Kentucky poet laureate Lowell Allen Williams from 1938 to 1992. The papers contain unpublished and published poems, short stories, articles, book proposals, speeches, musical compositions and other writings. The collection also includes biographical information, family histories, newspaper clippings, photographs and scrapbooks related to the life and works of Lowell Allen Williams.
Subject Headings / Descriptors:
Williams, Lowell Allen, 1907-1995.
Kentucky – Poetry.
Poets, American – Kentucky.
Authors, American – Kentucky.
Poets laureate – Kentucky.
Additional Sources: See Across the Wide, Green Valley: Poems of America and Home is my Kentucky by Lowell Allen Williams.