Appalachian History Manuscript Guides
The Appalachian Collection at Virginia Tech, located in the University Libraries Special Collections, includes materials such as personal and family papers, business records, photographs, oral history tapes and transcripts, and rare books and local publications on the Southern Appalachian region. The region covers areas in ten states: Southwest Virginia, Western North Carolina, East Tennessee, the northeast corner of Alabama, the northwest corner of South Carolina, North Georgia, Southern Ohio, Eastern Kentucky, Western Maryland, and all of West Virginia.
Areas in which materials are collected include the arts; economic, social, and political development; education; folklore; history; literature; and religion. We recognize the need to collect materials documenting minority and ethnic experience in the region and strive to do so.
Though the Appalachian Collection only began in 1988 as a named and separate identity within the Special Collections, it in fact built on a substantial Appalachian archive of nearly three hundred manuscript collections received over the past twenty years. The Appalachian Collection includes such business collections as the early archival records of the Norfolk and Western and Southern Railway systems (comprising the records of over one hundred railroads, coal companies, and other businesses in the Southern Appalachian region); such religious collections as the archives of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia; such family papers as the Preston Family and J. Hoge Tyler Family Collections; and such oral history collections as the Patrick County [Virginia] Project and Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife collections.
The entries in this guide are arranged in alphabetical order. Each entry contains a biographical or organizational history (when available) and a description of the materials in the collection. The size of each collection is given in cubic feet (abbreviated "cu. ft."), with 0.1 cu. ft. the smallest designation used.
Inventories to most of the collections are available. An "unprocessed" designation means that the collection has not yet been organized by the Special Collections staff, and that an inventory is not available. Patrons may still have access to unprocessed collections, and interest in an unprocessed collection may lead to ranking it higher in terms of processing priorities. Some collections have a "restricted access" notice. Patrons interested in using one of these collections should see the Special Collections reference staff for further information on the nature of the restriction.
Each collection has has a manuscript number (for example, Ms92-021) at the end of each entry is a permanent identifying number. Patrons requesting collections should refer to the manuscript number and the collection title.