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Beverly Deepe Keever, Journalism Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0363

Scope and Contents

The Beverly Deepe Keever, Journalism Papers document the personal and professional life of Beverly Keever. The largest section of material in the collection is the research files which Keever compiled during her time as a Vietnam War correspondent. These research files include clippings, government reports, statistics, press releases, and interview notes for topics Keever was writing about or planned to write about. Topics include major battles and military operations, the lives of soldiers, US and South Vietnamese military command, Vietnamese culture and civilians, medical care, refugees, the South Vietnamese government and economy, press coverage by other reporters, and the militaries of other countries involved in the war.

Other Vietnam War correspondent material in the collection includes published articles and article drafts written by Keever while in Vietnam, correspondence with various publications, photographs, press IDs, and financial files. These files document Keever's writing process, her relationship to her editors, her professional networks, and her articles.

The collection also contains a small amount of material from outside Keever's time in Vietnam (1962-1968), covering both her personal and professional life. These files document her childhood, family, education, friendships, journalism from before and after the Vietnam years, marriage to Chuck Keever, speeches, writings, career at University of Hawaii-Manoa, awards, professional organization memberships, open government activism, and books.

The collection is divided into seven series: Vietnam War Journalism, Vietnam research files, University of Hawaii and other professional activities, Writings, Personal files, Photos, and Audiovisual materials.

Dates

  • 1910 - 2022

Creator

Biographical / Historical

Beverly Deepe Keever was a war correspondent and Journalism professor at University of Hawaii-Manoa. She is best known for her work from 1962-1968 as a war correspondent in Vietnam and for her later academic research and advocacy for open government.

Keever grew up in rural Nebraska. A dedicated student, she received her BA in journalism from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1957 and earned a MS in journalism from the Columbia School of Journalism in 1958. From there, she worked under Samuel Lubell in New York City for two years, where she learned his famous interview techniques and his strategies for reporting on and predicting elections.

When plans to tour Asia with her graduate school friends in 1961 fell through, Keever decided to travel alone. She travelled through Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong, and Brunei, writing articles for the Associated Press as she went. She first set foot in Vietnam on February 14, 1962 with the tools of her trade: a camera and a typewriter. She intended South Vietnam to be a quick two-week tourist stop, but after the war began to escalate, Keever’s eagerness to follow a story kept her rooted in Vietnam for seven years. During those years, she built a life and a reputation for herself as the longest continuous war correspondent during the Vietnam War. Beginning as a freelance reporter, she learned about the war through the general population rather than just through the lens of governments and military actions. Though her gender created some difficulties male reporters did not face, it also gave her writing a unique perspective.

Her coverage of the Vietnam War was published in the New York Herald Tribune, Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor, the Associated Press, The Economist, London Daily, North American Newspaper Alliance, Sunday Express, San Francisco Examiner Chronicle, and the Pittsburgh Gazette. Her reporting about the Khe San outpost for the Christian Science Monitor earned her a Pulitzer Prize nomination in 1969.

On February 14, 1969 –seven years from the day she arrived in Vietnam– Beverly Deepe married Chuck Keever in Belvidere, Nebraska. Keever briefly spent time writing for the Capitol Hill News Service and covering US politics. The couple moved to Hawaii in 1979, where Beverly pursued two graduate degrees at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. She first earned her Masters in Library and Information Science and then her PhD in American Studies. Keever’s PhD thesis was later reworked into her first book, News Zero: The New York Times and The Bomb, which was published in 2004. The book details how the US government and the New York Times worked to hide the extent and effect of nuclear testing in the Pacific from the American public.

Keever taught journalism and communications at the University of Hawaii for 29 years before becoming professor emeritus. Keever’s focus during her academic years was on open government and how journalists have a responsibility to advocate for access to government documents. Keever wrote many guides for students and journalists on how to do government research, especially in the state of Hawaii, as well as testifying in government hearings and participating in protests for open government.

After her retirement in 2008, she continued to write. Forty years after leaving Vietnam, Keever saw echoes of the Vietnam War in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She began her memoir of war reporting in hopes that her experiences in Vietnam might help others personally understand events in the Middle East. Death Zones and Darling Spies: Seven Years of War Reporting, published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2013, chronicles the major events of the war between 1962-1969, as well as her interactions with farmers and soldiers.

Extent

80.83 Linear Feet

185 Boxes

Language of Materials

English

Vietnamese

Custodial History

Beverly Deepe Keever began donating her papers in 2007.

Keever has stated that before donating her materials, some were stored in a storage unit which flooded. While the Vietnam War materials were stored higher up in the unit or were in water proof containers, materials related to Keever's years at the University of Hawaii-Manoa were severly water damaged, and therefore discarded.

Related Materials

Archives & Special Collections holds additional materials related to students and alumni of the School of Journalism at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in various School of Journalism collections. The archives also holds two collections related to the Vietnam War: the Vietnam War Collection (MS 0105) and the Peter Maslowski, Papers (RG 12 -14-25).

Additional papers about Beverly Deepe Keever can also be found at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Libraries Repository. The bulk of these papers cover 2004-2007.

Separated Materials

During processing in 2021, the archivists removed duplicates, ephemera and souvenirs related to Keever's Newseum exhibit, books that were not written by Keever, travel souvenirs that were sent to family members, Keever's academic transcripts, and articles about the Vietnam War that were not by or about Keever.

General

Keever used many military and general acronyms for her materials. Below are some of the acronyms used throughout the records.

Acronyms

<emph render="italic">AP</emph>
Associated Press
ARVN
Army of the Republic of Vietnam
BMT
Buôn Ma Thuột city
CAP
Combined Action Program
DMZ
Demilitarized Zone
<emph render="italic">DZDS</emph>
Death Zones and Darling Spies
FAC
Forward air control
FOIA
Freedom of Information Act
GI
Government Issue, aka US soldiers and airmen
HK
Hong Kong
IVS
International Voluntary Services
JUSPAO
Joint United States Public Affairs Office
KS or K/S
Khe Sanh
<emph render="italic">LDE</emph>
London Daily Express
MAAG
Military Assistance Advisory Group
MACOI
Military Assistance Command Office of Information
MACV
Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
NAJA
Native American Journalists Association
NEH
National Endowment for the Humanities
<emph render="italic">NYHT</emph>
New York Herald Tribune
OIP
Office of Information Practices
PHILCAG
Philippine Civic Action Group
POW
Prisoner of War
ROK
Republic of Korea
SP
Singapore
SPJ
Society of Professional Journalists
TAOR
Tactical Area of Responsibility
UH
University of Hawaii
UN
United Nations
UNL
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
USAF
United States Air Force
USAID
U.S. Agency for International Development
USIS
United States Information Service
USMC
United States Marine Corps
VC
Viet Cong
VN
Vietnam
<emph render="italic">VP</emph>
Vietnam Press
WIA-KIA
Wounded in Action-Killed in Action
YWCA
Young Women's Christian Association

Processing Information

In 2021, archivist Madison White and student assistant Krystal Le processed the collection. The collection was first physically arranged at file level. While most of the material came to the archives unfoldered, Keever had sent the material with content listings and paper-clipped labels. For this reason, while much of the collection was rearranged during processing, the collection still retains much of Keever's original labelling and grouping of material. Groups of like material were placed in folders and labelled using Keever's wording. Then these folders were divided into seven series, and then arranged into alphabetical or chronological order. For long-term preservation, photos and audiovisual materials were moved to their own boxes, though their placement within in the original arrangement was retained in the description.

Then the description was updated to reflect the new arrangement. Content listing was created in excel, and then imported to ArchivesSpace. The description went through several rounds of editing to bring it in line with UNL standards.

Once description was accurate and thorough, then it was enhanced using reparative description principles. Anglicized versions of Vietnamese names were left, but the Vietnamese names were added to the description in square brackets. Mary Ellen Ducey, Katie Jones, and Madison White discussed how we should handle outdated or offensive description, specifically related to several folders that had originally been labelled “negro soldiers.” They decided that these folders should be relabeled “African American soldiers” and that they should write a note explaining the decision for researchers and warning them that they would encounter outdated language in the collection. This decision was partially made to mitigate harm to Black researchers, but also because the archivists believed that their largely undergrad researchers would be more likely to search the finding aids using “African American” or “Black” rather than outdated terminology.

In 2022, Keever sent an additional accession, Acc-02456, which included newspaper clippings glued onto butcher paper. Duplicates were weeded, newspapers were preservation photocopied, originals were discarded, and the newspapers were interfiled into the collection.

Title
Beverly Deepe Keever, Journalism Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Madison White and Krystal Le
Date
2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries Repository

Contact:
Archives & Special Collections
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries
P.O. Box 884100
Lincoln NE 68588-4100 United States
402-472-2531