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Grady Franklin collection

Identifier: SPEC-069

Scope and Contents

This collection features Western photography, newsletters, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia ranging from 1979-1989, as well as Franklin's freelance work for several Indiana businesses, organizations, and institutions ranging from circa 1965-2000s.


  • Creation: 1954-2011

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Biographical Note

Grady Franklin was born in Upper Tennessee in 1929. During his youth, he had little interest in his father's portrait photography but enjoyed typing class at Elizabethton High School and working part-time as a theater usher. On October 1, 1948, he enlisted in the Army during the beginning of his senior year of high school. He served for three years and eight months. After the Korean Conflict ended, he enrolled at the University of Tennessee and studied journalism.

While at the University of Tennessee, he was a part-time reporter for the Knoxville Journal and later with the Associated Press in Knoxville. Grady also joined the Army Reserve at the University of Tennessee serving from December 2, 1955 until June 11, 1958. In that same year, the Associated Press transferred him to its bureau in Detroit, Michigan. His assignment was short-lived and he sought out a grassroots journalism position with The Journal-Review in Crawfordsville, Indiana. He was a reporter and photographer in Crawfordsville from 1959-1967.

Freelance opportunities were abundant in the surrounding areas of Crawfordsville. Franklin had several clients including the Associated Press, United Press International, The Indianapolis Star, The Indianapolis News, The Indianapolis Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, and The National Observer.

Franklin left Crawfordsville and turned to the Public Relations Department of Western Electric for eight years. Photography was his primary interest, yet he also took on the duties of writer, editor, and general public relations practitioner.

His freelance career began in 1974 and lasted just under 30 years. Some of his clients included Indiana Bell, Indiana Bankers Association, Crossroads Rehabilitation Center, Indianapolis Power & Light Company, and Goodwill Industries. In 1980, he created a newsletter about Western movies of the 1930s and 1940s. As writer, editor and publisher of The Western Film, he covered film conventions in various cities for over 10 years. His newsletter opened doors making it possible to produce articles and photographs for publications such as Classic Images, Big Reel, Under Western Skies, Serial World, and Favorite Westerns.

After living and working in Indianapolis, Indiana for 40 years, Franklin retired in 2007. He continues to document community projects through his photography.


4.3 Cubic Feet (6 boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in the following series and subseries:

Series 1: Franklin, Grady biographical documents, 2011 Jan.

Series 2: Western Film Fair photographs and documents, 1979-2011

Subseries 2.1: Photograph negatives, 1979-1980

Subseries 2.2: Photograph proofs, 1983-1988

Subseries 2.3: Notebooks, 1981-1991

Subseries 2.4: Ephemera, 1981 July-2011

Subseries 2.5: Newspaper clippings, 1979, 1981-1983, 1985-1987

Series 3: Memphis Film Fair photographs and documents, 1972-2011

Subseries 3.1: Photograph negatives, 1984 July-1990 Aug.

Subseries 3.2: Photograph proofs, 1985 Aug.-1988 Aug.

Subseries 3.3: Notebooks, 1985-1988

Subseries 3.4: Newspaper clippings, 1984-1985, 1988-1990

Subseries 3.5: Ephemera, 1972-2011

Series 4: Riders of the Silver Screen Film Caravan, Knoxville Western Film Festival photographs and documents, 1986-1993

Subseries 4.1: Photograph negatives, 1986 Apr.-1991 Apr.

Subseries 4.2: Photograph proofs, 1986 Apr.-1991 Apr.

Subseries 4.3: Notebooks, 1986-1990

Subseries 4.4: Ephemera, 1986 Apr.-1989

Subseries 4.5: Newspaper clippings, 1986-1993

Series 5: Asheville Film Festival photographs and documents, 1987-2000

Subseries 5.1: Photograph negatives, 1987 Nov.

Subseries 5.2: Notebooks, 1987-1996

Subseries 5.3: Ephemera, 1996-2000

Series 6: Roy Rogers Festival photographs and documents, 1985-2011

Subseries 6.1: Photograph negatives, 1989-1990 June

Subseries 6.2: Notebooks, 1989-1990 June

Subseries 6.3: Ephemera, 1989-1990

Subseries 6.4: Newspaper clippings, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1990, 2011

Series 7: Golden Boot Awards photographs and documents, 1987-2011

Subseries 7.1: Photograph negatives, 1987 Aug.

Subseries 7.2: Photograph proofs, 1987 Aug.

Subseries 7.3: Notebooks, 1987 Aug.

Subseries 7.4: Ephemera, 1987, 1988, 2011

Series 8: Western Music Association photographs and documents, 1989-1990

Subseries 8.1: Photograph negatives, 1989 Nov.

Subseries 8.2: Photograph proofs, 1989 Nov.

Subseries 8.3: Ephemera, 1989-1990

Series 9: Tom Mix Festival photographs and documents, 1981-2011

Subseries 9.1: Photograph negatives, 1981-1990

Subseries 9.2: Photograph proofs, 1981 Sept.-1982 Sept.

Subseries 9.3: Notebooks, 1981 Sept.-1982 Sept.

Subseries 9.4: Newspaper clippings, 1981 Sept.-1982 Sept.

Subseries 9.5: Ephemera, 2011 Aug.

Series 10: Indiana State Museum Film Festival photographs and documents, 1980-1989

Subseries 10.1: Photograph negatives, 1980 Sept.

Subseries 10.2: Ephemera, 1984-1989

Series 11: Cine Indy photographs and documents, 1980-1984 Nov.

Subseries 11.1: Photograph negatives, 1980-1984 Nov.

Subseries 11.2: Notebooks, 1980

Subseries 11.3: Ephemera, 1980-1984

Series 12: Cine Indy photographs and documents, 1980-1984 Nov.

Subseries 12.1: Photograph negatives, 1980-1984 Nov.

Subseries 12.2: Notebooks, 1980

Subseries 12.3: Ephemera, 1980-1984

Series 13: Will Rogers Museum, Tex Ritter Museum, Rex Allen Museum, Tex Terry Museum and Zane Grey Museum photographs and documents, 1981-2011

Subseries 13.1: Photograph negatives, 1985 May-1985 June

Subseries 13.2: Ephemera, 1981-2011

Series 14: Williamsburg Film Festival documents, 2010-2011 Mar.

Subseries 14.1: Ephemera, 2010-2011 Mar.

Series 15: Knoxville Western Film Festival documents, 1993-1994

Subseries 15.1: Ephemera, 1993-1994

Series 16: The Western Film newsletters, 1980-1990

Series 17: Franklin, Gradt subject files, 1980-1990

Series 18: Franklin, Grady slides, 1954-2011

Series 19: Franklin, Grady audio-visual materials, 1954-2011

Series 20: Franklin, Grady oversize materials, 1954-2011

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation from Grady Franklin.


The repository continues to add materials to this collection on a regular basis.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of Grady Franklin's photograph negatives are available electronically in the Ball State University Digital Media Repository:

Related Archival Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie IN:

SPEC.082: Raymond E. White western collection, 1864-2009

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2012/01/01 by Elizabeth Rasberry. Collection processing revised 2012/04/01 by Rob Fucela. Collection processing revised 2012/12/10 by Bethany Fiechter. EAD finding aid created 2012/01/01 by Elizabeth Rasberry. EAD finding aid revised 2012/04/01 by Rob Fucela. EAD finding aid revised 2012/12/10 by Bethany Fiechter.

Grady Franklin collection
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA