Editor's Statement

Editor’s Column

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.


So…how y’all doing?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that this generally collegial greeting/query, something you’d say when meeting friends or family socially, now has deeper implications wrought by the pandemic. How are we doing as Appalachian archivists? Many archives – it’s likely that nearly all archives – are closed, or have been closed, hopefully to reopen sometime in the murky future. Smaller repositories may not reopen. Many of our colleagues’ jobs are at stake. Many of us are planning for the future, spending quarantine time working on projects remotely, waiting once again to be in a position to hand a Hollinger box to a researcher, to meet with a donor, to teach a class of students, to process a collection. I hope all of you are doing as well as possible, and that that things take a positive turn soon.

With that in mind, we bring you Volume 2, No. 1 of the Appalachian Curator. We started working on this issue before the quarantine and continued working on it as things COVID spread across Appalachia and the country. Consequently, some of our articles deal with working during the pandemic, while others don’t. And due to various pandemic related delays, we’re publishing later than anticipated.

We visit the Scotland with an interview with Catherine MacPhee, an archivist on the Isle of Skye in the Scottish Highlands, who talks about her archive, working during the pandemic, and some similarities between being an archivist in the Scottish and Appalachian Highlands. We have two “scholarly responses to the pandemic,” where Appalachian PhD candidates Savannah Paige Murray and Lloyd Tomlinson reflect on archives and research in these trying times.

Other articles includes our featured collection, the Archives of Appalachian at ETSU, and an article about the Library of Appalachian Preaching from Marshall University.

We’re unveiling a new feature of the ASA Special Collections Committee in this issue, the “Ask an Appalachian Archivist” reference email. The idea for this emerged from the first meeting of ASA’s Special Collections Committee, which was scheduled for the ASA Conference in Lexington but, like many things these days, met at a later date via Zoom. We have an update from the meeting and the minutes of the meeting in this issue.

And, finally, we are rolling out the first installment of the updated and revised Archives of Appalachia survey. Originally conducted by the Appalachian Consortium in 1985 in the days before the World Wide Web, we are updated the survey state-by-state. We have our working draft of the survey from Georgia. As a working draft we’re reaching out to you to help us complete it.

That wraps up this pandemic issue of the Curator. Here’s hoping the next time we ask “how ya’ll doing?” that the answer will be an unqualified “great!” I’m looking forward to that.

Be safe.

Have an idea? Please contact the editors – Gene Hyde (ghyde@unca.edu) or Liz Skene Harper (lizmarieharper@gmail.com). Our next issue (Volume 2, No 2, Fall) will be published in October 2020, with an article deadline of September 15.

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