The John Whisman Papers is a collection of mostly business related brochures, letters, newsletters and conference materials. There is a wide variety of agency, commission and corporate materials concerning the economic development of the Appalachian region from the 1970's through the 1990's. The Appalachian Center of the University of Kentucky is one of the major entities represented in this collection.
John Whisman, of Winchester, Kentucky, was a former cabinet advisor to two Kentucky politicians, Governor Combs and Governor Breathitt during the 1960's. He was a former state member of the ARC Commission (Area Regional Commission, a federal agency) under two United States Presidents: John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Whisman was the ARC's chief architect. He helped to energize President Kennedy's vision of a regional approach to combat chronic poverty in the Appalachian Region.
A number of reports were removed and cataloged as individual items, in particular area development annual reports.