Articles,  New Aqusitions

What’s New in Appalachian Special Collections?

This article appeared in the Volume 2, Issue 1 Spring/Summer 2020 issue of the Appalachian CuratorClick here to view a PDF of the full issue.

Due to the COVID pandemic and the fact that many repositories are closed, we have fewer items in our New Acquisitions section this issue.

New collections in regional repositories:

Appalachian State University

East Tennessee State University 

University of North Carolina Asheville 

Warren Wilson College

W. L. Eury Collection, Appalachian State University

Curtis Williams papers The papers of Curtis “Curt” Williams (1890 August 18 – 1959 December 5), a farmer, fur and herb trader, unschooled veterinarian, and distiller of whiskey from Lawrence County, Kentucky. The son of David Oscar Williams (1869 April 11 – 1951 October 15) and Martha Boggs Williams (1869 – 1900 January 1), he married Mona D. Whitt Williams (1891 March – 1984 February 10). The couple had four children: Cratis Dearl Williams (1911 April 5 – 1985 May 11), Mabel Marie Williams Barber (1912 July 12 – 1995 December 26), Ruth Evelyn Williams Lester (1920 June 25 – 2007 January 6), and Otta Curtis “Ottie” Williams (1930 August 23 – 2000 April 8). Williams began life working on the farm and in the distillery of his father, David Williams, in Lawrence County, Kentucky. After Prohibition shut down the Williams family distillery in 1920, Curtis moved his family north to Selma, Ohio, taking on a farm tenancy. The family only spent a short time in Ohio, returning after David Williams sold an 150 acre section of his farm to Curtis. The farm, located between the Right and Left Forks of Caines Creek, would be “Curt” Williams’ main focus in life. Williams raised tobacco, gathered wild roots and herbs, trapped animals for furs, and engaged in moonshining to supplement his income and provide for his family. In later years, he was granted a license from Lawrence County to practice veterinary medicine in the community. Curtis’ eldest son, Cratis, later became noted as an academic and is widely acknowledged as “The Father of Appalachian Studies.”

Archives of Appalachia, East Tennessee State University

George Fox Papers, 1943-1968, AppMs 858 (accrual). Business and personal correspondence of former East Tennessee State College administrator George Fox. The correspondence references administrative matters as well as Fox’s political and social concerns.

Women’s Studies Program Collection, 2019, UnivRec 532 (accrual). Essays about and interviews with women who influenced students in the Women’s Studies Program at ETSU.

University of North Carolina Asheville

LGBTQIA+ Archive Oral Histories  A collaborative project between Asheville Pride and Amanda Wray, English Professor at UNC Asheville, these oral histories document the LGBTQIA+ community in Asheville and Western North Carolina.

Sharon Fahrer Holocaust Collection -Sharon Fahrer, an Asheville historian and author of A Home in Shalom’ville: The History of Asheville’s Jewish Community, uncovered her family’s Holocaust story through contacting various groups, such as the Red Cross Tracing Service, interviewing her mother and aunt about the fates of her family, and collecting personal effects of individual family members. The collection is a comprehensive picture of the trials and tribulations that Fahrer’s grandparents and aunt and uncles went through during the Holocaust.

Warrren Wilson College

In 2016 Warren Wilson College underwent a reorganization of two of the three divisions of our distinctive triad education. The Work Program and the Service-Learning Offices became the Office of Applied Learning, and both changed physical locations on campus. The archives received 20+ cubic feet of records from these two entities. The Work Program Office records (1990-2016) have been appraised and processed. The Service-Learning Office sent 6 cubic feet of photographs, most in thoughtfully constructed albums, covering 1992-2016. These photos document our students’ service with partners in the local community and around the United States. We are in the process of appraising and developing a budget and processing plan for these photos. In other news, the Pew Learning Center & WWC Archives is in the early stages of creating an institutional repository.


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