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Mary Jo Smith Fetzer papers

Identifier: Mss 0164

Collection Overview

This collection consists of the papers of Mary Jo Smith Fetzer, graphic artist and television personality at WCIV-TV in Charleston, South Carolina. The papers are from circa 1870s to 2006, with the bulk of materials dating from 1943 to 2006. The papers include biographical materials, mostly photographs and correspondence documenting Fetzer’s leisure activities with her partner, M.E. Van Dyke, and friends and family. Television materials include production files and camera-ready artwork from Fetzer’s time at WSAV-TV in Savannah, Georgia and WCIV-TV. Where possible, original camera-ready artwork titles have been retained. There is also artwork by Fetzer, including sketchbooks, watercolors, pen and ink and pencil drawings of people and nature. There is some graphic design and illustration work, and sketchbooks from her time at the Charleston Museum. There are also materials belonging to Van Dyke, including a scrapbook, high school yearbook, diploma, and genealogy book.


  • Creation: circa 1870s-2006
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1943-2006


Language of Material

Materials are in English

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

Mary Jo Smith Fetzer was born on November 17, 1935, to Nancy Stewart and Otha Leon Smith in Savannah, Georgia. She attended the University of Georgia in Athens and graduated from the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. Fetzer worked at WSAV-TV as Art Director and then at WGTV in Athens, Georgia. Prior to her move to Charleston, South Carolina, she married a man named Fetzer, first name unknown. In 1962, she helped start WCIV-TV in Charleston, South Carolina. Fetzer spent ten years at WCIV-TV and was known for hosting the children’s program, the “Merry Jo Show,” performing as characters Auntie Bellum and Granny Grits. She then worked as a freelance artist, and in 1977 joined the staff of the Charleston Museum as a graphic artist and exhibit specialist, retiring in 1999. Her long-time partner was M.E. Van Dyke. Fetzer died on November 9, 2009.


5.60 linear feet (5 document boxes, 2 flat boxes, 2 photograph albums, 1 oversize paper folder)


The collection consists of the papers of Mary Jo Smith Fetzer, graphic artist and founding staff member of WCIV-TV in Charleston, South Carolina. The papers include photographs, correspondence, and artwork from Fetzer’s personal and professional life and materials belonging to her partner, M.E. Van Dyke.

Collection Arrangement

  1. Biographical materials, circa 1870s-1993
  2. Television, 1955-1973
  3. Art, 1957-2006
  4. M.E. Van Dyke, 1945-1997

Acquisitions Information

Materials donated in 2009.

Separated Material

The Owlet Memminger High School yearbook, 1945, was removed from the collection and cataloged separately.

Processing Information

Processed by Rebecca Thayer, February 2020.

Inventory of the Mary Jo Smith Fetzer Papers, circa 1870s-2006
Processed by: Rebecca Thayer; finding aid created by: Rebecca Thayer
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Funding from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation supported the processing of this collection and the creation of this finding aid.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-8016
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)