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James R. Ashlock collection

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James R. Ashlock:

A Guide to His Collection at Georgia State University Library

Georgia State University
Georgia State University
Special Collections and Archives
100 Decatur St., SE
Atlanta, GA 30303-3202
Fax: 404-413-2881

July 1, 2010

Profile Description

Creation: EAD version 2002 finding aid created in XMetaL 4.5 by Traci JoLeigh Drummond, July 1, 2010.
Language: English

Collection Summary

Repository: Georgia State University Library, Special Collections and Archives, Atlanta
Creator:Ashlock, James R., 1932-
Title:James R. Ashlock collection
Dates: 1938-1991
Quantity: 3.25 linear ft. (in 6 boxes)
Abstract:The James R. (Jim) Ashlock Collection, 1938-1991, undated, consists of newsclippings, correspondence, annual reports, briefing notes, memoranda, and audiovisual materials. This collection provides broad insight into day-to-day operations, internal communication, history, and media relations at Eastern Airlines, Inc.
Identification: L2009-10

Organization of the Collection

Organized into two series:
Series I. Eastern Airlines
Series II. Other Sources
Series III. Jim Ashlock Oral History Interview

Scope and Content of the Collection

The James R. (Jim) Ashlock Collection, 1938-1991, undated, consists of newsclippings, correspondence, annual reports, briefing notes, memoranda, and audiovisual materials. This collection provides broad insight into day-to-day operations, internal communication, history, and media relations at Eastern Airlines, Inc. The collection was accumulated by Jim Ashlock, who worked primarily in the Public Relations Department of Eastern's Operational Headquarters in Miami from 1966 until 1991. The documents in the collection include information about Ashlock's work with Eastern and also issues faced by the airline. The collection is divided into two series: Eastern Air Lines and Other Sources.

The Eastern Air Lines series contains correspondence and memoranda (1973, 1987-1991), briefing notes (1989-1990), employee codacoms (daily news bulletins) (1989-1990), a Suspension of Service Plan (1991), articles and editorials authored by Jim Ashlock (1972, 1974-1984, 1988-1990, undated), a report entitled "Eastern Safety Backgrounder", airline industry salary growth and comparison charts for select positions, retirement information (1987-1989, 1991), and a corporate telephone directory (1990) provide information about the daily operations, promotions, and public relations of the airline. Annual reports (1938-1985) and an annual financial statement (1990) provide information about company earnings and growth. Audio-visual materials include VHS cassettes, which include interviews, news coverage of Eastern Air Lines' dissolution, and flight training.

The Other Sources series contains newspaper and magazine clippings (1948, 1966, 1978-1983), a strike manual from the AFL-CIO entitled, "The Inside Game: Winning with Workplace Strategies" (1986), International Association of Machinists memorandum (1987, undated), Texas Air Annual Reports (1987-1991). All documentation provides insight to the operations of Eastern Airlines but was not created by the company.

The oral history interview with Jim Ashlock, conducted by Traci JoLeigh Drummond, provides background on Ashlock's early life and education, his professional career as a reporter and public relations specialist. Ashlock also provides his opinion on Eastern's management, labor relations, bankruptcy, and eventual closure.

Biography of James R. Ashlock

James R. (Jim) Ashlock was born December 3, 1932 in Baird, Texas. He graduated from Baird schools in 1950 and Texas A&M in 1954. In 1957, he received his M.A. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. After graduating from Columbia University, Ashlock held public relations positions at Trans World Airlines in New York; covered local politics for the Kansas City Times (morning edition of the Kansas City Star), and held reporter/editor posts at the San Angelo Standard-Times (Texas) and Pecos Enterprise (Texas). Ashlock also worked as the transport editor for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, the premier journal of the aerospace industry, covering the international commercial and military transport scene.

Ashlock worked for Eastern Air Lines, Inc., from August 19, 1966, to August 1, 1991, when the airline shut down. This covered most of the post-Rickenbacker era under the administration of two chief executives: Floyd D. Hall and Frank Borman. Ashlock joined Eastern Air Lines in its Washington, D.C., office as public relations manager for the airline's federal affairs staff.

In 1968, Ashlock was transferred to Miami, Eastern's operating headquarters. Ashlock held various public relations titles over the next 14 years, focusing on media relations, promotion of new routes and aircraft, crisis response (crashes, hijackings, labor disruptions), employee communications, speechwriting and public affairs. In 1984, he was transferred to Tallahassee, Florida, to lobby against state taxation of airline operations, ultimately rising to Staff Vice President of Government Affairs.

Following the shutdown of Eastern, Ashlock worked as Public Affairs Director for Palm Beach County, Florida; President of the Tallahassee Area Chamber of Commerce; Director of University Relations for Texas A&M University, and was Special Advisor to the VP and CEO of Texas A&M University at Galveston, after which he retired.

Ashlock lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife, Elizabeth.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the Georgia State University Library online catalog (GIL). Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Ashlock, James R., 1932-
Borman, Frank, 1928-
Lorenzo, Frank
Air Line Pilots Association
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
Texas Air Corporation
Eastern Air Lines, inc.
Trans World Airlines
Airlines--Employees--United States
Airlines--Public relations
Eastern Air Lines, inc., Strike, 1989-1991


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Administrative Information


[item], [folder title], [series title], James R. Ashlock Collection, L2009-10, Southern Labor Archives. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Acquisition Information

Collection donated by James R. Ashlock, 2009 (L2009-10) and 2010 (L2010-02).

Processing Information

Processed by Robert Bexley, spring 2010.

Related Material

Related materials in this repository:

The Carolyn Lee Wills Eastern Airlines Collection, 1928-1994 (bulk 1965-1988) (L1989-27), Southern Labor Archives

W. J. Usery, Jr. Papers, 1940, 1952-1998 (L1985-12), Southern Labor Archives

Frank Borman Papers, 1961-1989 (bulk 1980-1986) (L2005-16), Southern Labor Archives

Eastern Airlines Strike Collection, 1986-1990 (L2000-09), Southern Labor Archives

Separated Material

Separated material: During processing, Eastern Airlines periodicals, created at the national and regional level, were separated to the Southern Labor Archives Periodicals Collection. They include Air Shuttle (1967), Carribbean Wings (1973), Duckhawk (1968-1970), Falcon (1967-1988), Peachline (1969-1973), West Coast Roadrunners (1971), Whisperjet (1970-1973), and Whisperlines (1973).

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