The John Manning papers consist primarily of notes relating to lectures in the classes he taught at the University of Louisville in areas such as public finance, personnel management and economic history. The collection also includes material he produced in his service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and material on local governments. Also included are commencement materials from 1977 and 1978 and a copy of his master's thesis, Reconstruction in Kentucky.
John Walker Manning was born in Cox's Creek in Nelson County, KY on April 30, 1899. He did his undergraduate work at Georgetown College. In 1926 he received a masters of arts in history at the University of Louisville and he received a PhD from State University of Iowa in 1930. Manning taught at the University of Kentucky, Georgetown College, and Vanderbilt University before joining the faculty of the University of Louisville in 1959. From 1959-1971 he taught economics in the University of Louisville's College of Business. He has published numerous books and articles and has an award named in his honor at Georgetown College, which is given to a professor who has shown excellence in teaching. He also served as state finance commissioner from 1948 to 1952 under Governor A.B. Chandler. From 1975 until his death Manning served as chairman of the Kentucky Railroad Commission. Manning died on September 12, 1977. He was married to Sylvia Hubbard Manning and they had no children.