Edward Donald Ball, journalist and Associated Press (AP) correspondent during World War II, resided in Milledgeville, Georgia and Brentwood, Tennessee. Married Mary Lucy Shivers, daughter of Milner Smith Shivers and Lou Barksdale Shivers of Milledgeville and Eatonton, Georgia. The Ball's children included Edward Donald Ball, Jr. and Milner Shivers Ball.
The collection consists of papers of the Edward D. Ball family and the Shiver family from 1882-1976. The papers include correspondence; genealogical information on the Ball, Barksdale, Shivers, and other allied families; clippings; printed material; photographs; typed manuscripts of Ball's AP articles; World War II ephemera; unclassified military documents (1949) containing historical studies on World War II battles in Europe for the "Beachhead Revisited Tour"; postcards; and two 16 mm motion pictures of the war in France, particularly Paris, and German prisoners of war; maps of Europe; . The correspondence contains letters from Edward Ball to Lucy Shivers Ball during his service as an AP war correspondent (1942-1945) while in London, England; France; and Germany. Ball's letters describe life during the war, problems with food, housing, and clothing; air raids and bomb attacks; activities of other correspondents; descriptions of camp life at the front; destruction in France and Germany; the liberation of Paris; the black market; and post war living conditions.
The correspondence also contains letters of the Barksdale family, Lucy Shivers, and Milner Shivers (Lucy's brother) from 1882-1930 (with gaps). From 1931-1976, the collection contains letters from Lucy to her parents, Milner S. Shivers and Lou Barksdale Shivers; to Lucy and Ed Ball from their son Milner while a student at Princeton University (N.J.) and Harvard University (Mass.); and letters from June McCoy Ball, Milner's wife. The correspondence mainly discusses family matters, daily activities, and news of friends or relatives.