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William B. Pickett papers

Identifier: L449

Scope and Contents

This collection includes chapters related to the dissertation, "Homer E. Capehart: The making of a Hoosier Senator" and book,Homer E. Capehart: A Senator's Life, 1897-1979, written by William Beatty Pickett, ranging from 1914 to 1981. The collection also includes correspondence, book notes and articles; index cards include information about the dissertation, book, and research bibliographies; oral history interviews with transcripts; speeches, newspaper clippings, various company and product brochures, photographs, congressional documents, and other materials. The chapters labeled "Unknown publications" do not correspond with those found in the dissertation or book.

Biographical and genealogical records in regard to William B. Pickett of Bloomington, Indiana is also included within the collection.

There is also an oversize folder containing an issue of the Hoosier Republican dated May 23, 1941 and an issue of the Washington Herald, dated July 3, 1950.


  • 1914-1981, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

William Beatty Pickett was born to Walter Nathan and Amy (Beatty) Pickett on March 12, 1940 in Crawfordsville, Indiana. He has one sister, Mary Anne. Pickett graduated with a bachelor's degree from Carleton College in Minnesota in 1962, an M.A. from Indiana University in 1968, and a Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1974. His dissertation was "Homer E. Capehart: The Making of a Hoosier Senator," submitted September 1974. He served as a lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserve from 1962 to 1966.

Pickett married Janet Elizabeth Hollingsworth on August 29, 1963 and they have 2 children; Robert Matthew and Jeffrey Michael.

Picket taught history at several universities, including Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana); Rose Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, Indiana); Nanzan University and Nagoya University (Japan); University Maryland, Seoul (Republic of Korea); and American University (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan).

Pickett wrote numerous biographies on 20th-century American politicians, including Homer E. Capehart, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and George F. Kennan, as well as a a book about Rose-Hulman Institute, for which he also conducted oral interviews. His commentary on the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima was aired by the Voice of America and he delivered lectures and speeches at celebrations of centennials and author events. Pickett served as past president of the Indiana Association of Historians and Chairman of the Indiana Council for History Education.


Rose Hulman Institute of Technology. "Dr. William B. Pickett." Accessed June 4, 2019.

World Biographical Encyclopedia, Inc. "William Beatty Pickett." Prabook. Accessed March 1, 2017.


9.55 Cubic Feet (14 manuscript boxes; 19 index boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



Arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Papers, 1914-1981, undated

Series 2: Oral history interviews, 1969-1973, undated

Series 3: Photographs, 1919-1964, undated

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from William Beatty Pickett on 1992/06.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2017/04/10 by Edythe Huffman. EAD finding aid created 2017/04/10 by Edythe Huffman. EAD finding aid revised 2019/06/04 by Brittany Kropf; 2021/11/02 by Lauren Patton.
William B. Pickett papers
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.