- Existence: 1912 - 2006
McBerney (Berney) Burleson was born in Welch, W. Va., in 1912 and moved with his family later that year to Johnson City, Tenn., which remained his home thereafter. He was the son of Zeph McBerney Burleson, Sr., and Alpha Omega Sword Burleson. He was a 1936 graduate of East Tennessee State College (ETSU), attended Duke University, and earned his graduate degree from George Peabody College in Nashville. For much of his career, he was a teacher and librarian, serving his longest tenure as librarian at ETSU’s Sherrod Library. At ETSU, he served two stints as librarian (1943-46 and 1964-1977). He retired as acquisitions librarian from the university in 1977. Between his service at ETSU’s library, he was employed by WJHL and WETB radio stations in Johnson City.
He was active in sports, community service, and various civic organizations. He was active in the local Kiwanis Club, served as president of the Johnson City Community Theatre, helped organized the Pirate Club to support ETSU athletics, and was a member of the university’s first Faculty Senate. In addition, he held various church positions at First United Methodist Church. He published a history of Science Hill High School football titled To the Top with the Toppers.
Burleson was married to the former Rosemary Williams, and they had three children. He died on February 18, 2006.
Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:
McBerney Burleson Collection
The McBerney Burleson Collection documents Burleson’s life and personal interests and activities. This includes his involvement with East Tennessee State University, First United Methodist Church in Johnson City, the Johnson City Community Theatre, and the Kiwanis Club. The collection includes correspondence, newsclippings, photographs, sports statistics and information on ETSU and local high school athletic teams, publications, programs, brochures, and other printed material.
Sherrod Library Records
The collection is arranged into 8 series: Series 1, Correspondence, 1936-1977; Series 2, Book Collections and Funds, 1959-1971; Series 3, Library Reports and Studies, 1938-1970; Series 4, Status and Work of Librarians, 1969-1977; Series 5, Library Subject Files, 1941-1977; Series 6, Financial Records, 1912-1973; Series 7, Personnel Records, 1960-1970s; Series 8, Library Addition, 1964-1967.