The John Butler Papers consist of correspondence, programs, clippings, photographs, scrapbooks and other professional records. The collection illustrates Butler's career from his earliest modeling days through his work as a dancer and, ultimately, an important freelance choreographer. There are script outlines for many of Butler's more famous dance pieces, but no notes on the choreography itself. There is little primary material from Butler's early life in Mississippi, although those early years are frequently discussed in clippings and transcripts of interviews with Butler. Those transcripts, part of a planned autobiographical project, are quite extensive and provide an in-depth examination of Butler's career and the people with whom he worked. Most of the material in the collection is of a professional nature, although some of the correspondence with colleagues is personal, or at least touches on personal subjects. Similarly, there are some handwritten diaries of Butler's in which he shares his views, both artistic and personal.