This article appeared in the Volume 4, Issue 1 Spring/Summer Winter 2023 issue of the Appalachian Curator. Click here to view a PDF of the full issue.
New collections in regional repositories:
Appalachian State University
In December 2020, Appalachian State University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center received the MerleFest Archives. The archives span the history of the festival, from 1988 to the present, and include recordings of performances, photographs, and ephemera. The collection was opened in time for the 35th anniversary of MerleFest in April. Below is a photo of the interactive viewing and listening station, which allows visitors the opportunity to relive historic festival performances.
University of North Carolina Asheville
Margaret Shook Photograph Collection [M2022.03] – Margaret Shook (1930-2018) was a commercial photographer who owned Market Media in Asheville from the 1960s through the early 2000s. and Western North Carolina. The collection includes photographs of Asheville, Western North Carolina, commercial projects, and two local history projects: a series of photographs of Asheville scenes based on Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward Angel and research materials and a draft of an unpublished book Shook was writing on Madison County furniture maker Shadrach Mace.
DuPont Forest Collection [M2022.05] – Contains resources used by Danny Bernstein in the writing of her book DuPont Forest: A History. Includes hiking trail maps and brochures, Carolina Mountain Club sign up sheets and news bulletins, GSI maps, and correspondence with Walt Weber of the Carolina Mountain Club.
Rotary Club of Asheville Collection, [M2019.5] – The collection includes various documents and materials that document the many activities and members of the Rotary Club of Asheville, which was founded in 1915.The collection includes membership records, meeting minutes, the Rotary COG, by-laws, scrapbooks photographs and photographs of Rotary events, Club pamphlets and publications, assorted documents, and banners and flags from Rotary Clubs around North Carolina, the United States, and the world.
Western Regional Archives, Asheville NC
Metz Family Great Smoky Mountains Road Trip Scrapbook: This scrapbook chronicles a road trip taken by the Metz family of St. Louis, Missouri in August 1940. The trip coincided with severe flooding in east Tennessee and western North Carolina. It contains a written account of the trip, an account of expenses, photographs, newspaper clippings, and travel ephemera.
The Clarence Barker Memorial Hospital and School for Nurses Annual Report, 1918: This hospital and dispensary in Biltmore Village was founded in 1899 by Mrs. Adele Elma Barker Schmidt and Mrs. Virginia Purdy Barker Bacon as a memorial to their brother. Clarence Johnson Barker was a cousin and confidant of George Washington Vanderbilt of the Biltmore Estate. It was at Biltmore where the 31-year-old Barker died of pneumonia in February 1896.
Libby Bagby Plott Hound Collection: This contains research material about the history of the Plott family and the Plott Hound and the work of Libby Bagby who, following her research, wrote a book about a Plott Hound she adopted. This dog, named Lucky, accompanied Ms. Bagby on educational visits to schools, libraries, club meetings, etc. The collection Includes scrapbooks, photographs, correspondence, interviews, and clippings.
Summers Family Photographs: Alfred James Summers and Ethel Bobbitt Summers and their seven children lived on a farm near Browns Summit in Guilford County, N.C. This collection is comprised of a handmade booklet containing autographs, postcards, photographs, and newspaper clippings created by Louise Summers in July 1929 while attending a conference at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly; 8 black and white photos showing James Randall Summers during his service in Civilian Conservation Corps company 408; and 23 black and white photos of Mary Williard Summers and friends at Lees McRae College in the 1930s.
Irene Ovredahl Hutchins Fontana Dam and Village Photographs: Irene Orvedahl (1912-2003), worked as a nurse at Fontana Dam during World War II, while the dam was under construction. The collection consists of 64 small black and white photographs of Fontana Village and construction of the dam, and nurses’ picnics and outings.