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James R. Ashlock collection

Identifier: L2009-10

Scope and Content of the Collection

The James R. (Jim) Ashlock Collection, 1938-1991, 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.


  • Creation: 1938-1991


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research use.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Georgia State University is the owner of the physical collection and makes reproductions available for research, subject to the copyright law of the United States and item condition. Georgia State University may or may not own the rights to materials in the collection. It is the researcher's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and obtain permission from the copyright holder before publication, reproduction, or display of the materials beyond what is reasonable under copyright law. Researchers may quote selections from the collection under the fair use provision of copyright law.

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.


3.25 Linear Feet (in 6 boxes)

Language of Materials



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 is arranged into three series:

  1. Series I: Eastern Airlines, 1938-1991
  2. Series II: Other Sources, 1948-1991
  3. Series III: Jim Ashlock Oral History Interview, 2010

Acquisition Information

Collection donated by James R. Ashlock, 2009 (L2009-10) and 2010 (L2010-02). Oral history created in October 2016.

Separated Materials

During processing, materials were separated to other Southern Labor Archives Collections. For periodicals, see the Southern Labor Archives Periodicals Collection finding aid or catalog.

Separated to the Southern Labor Archives Periodicals Collection

  1. Air Shuttle (1967)
  2. Carribbean Wings (1973)
  3. Duckhawk (1968-1970)
  4. Falcon (1967-1988)
  5. Peachline (1969-1973)
  6. West Coast Roadrunners (1971)
  7. Whisperjet (1970-1973)
  8. Whisperlines (1973)

Processing Information

Processed by Robert Bexley at the file level, spring 2010.

James R. Ashlock:
A Guide to His Collection at Georgia State University Library
Georgia State University Library
Spring 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)