Editor's Statement

Editor’s Column

This article appeared in the Volume 2, Issue 3 Winter 2021 issue of the Appalachian Curator. Click here to view a PDF of the full issue.

By Gene Hyde

We’re pleased to offer the latest issue of Appalachian Curator, which unsurprisingly continues to document how the pandemic has challenged how Appalachian special collections provide basic services. In this vein, we have an article describing how various repositories are chronicling (or not chronicling) COVID at their institutions. Another article discusses how Foxfire and Blue Ridge Public Radio are collaborating on a crowd-sourced oral history project documenting COVID.

During our most recent ASA Special Collections Committee meeting (virtual, of course) we started talking about plans for reopening our repositories as the pandemic wanes and things return to some new version of “normal.” Curious as to what other repositories might be doing, we will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall to discuss re-opening on Wednesday, June 9, at 3 PM. Registration is free. Please check the article in this issue for details on how to register.

Several collections are highlighted in this issue, including Marshall University’s Archives and Special Collections and the Buncombe County Special Collections in Asheville, which is completing an exciting new community-focused reorganization of their public space as well as changes in their programming and collection organization.

We also have a paired set of articles about the Appalachian Studies Association’s official records at Berea College. One article discusses the records themselves, while the other article contains reflections by UVA Wise history professor Jinny Turman on researching in the ASA records as part of a student team that published “Where Have We Been? Where Are We Going? A History of the Appalachian Studies Association” (Appalachian Journal Vol. 31, No. 1 (Fall 2003)).

We round this issue with an article on how the University of Tennessee implemented a reparative description program for their records, a link to a video presentation Curator editors did on the formation of the Special Collections Committee and the creation of the Appalachian Curator, a report on the Special Collections Committee’s activities this year, as well as a modest list of new acquisitions in Appalachian Collections.

On a final note, I hope everyone is getting through the pandemic and beginning to see some light at the end of this long, dark tunnel. We hope to see many of you at the re-opening Town Hall on June 9. And, as always, please send us your story ideas and lists of your new acquisitions. We look forward to hearing from you. Until then, I leave you with this snapshot of a rainbow taken from the Blue Ridge Parkway near Mt Mitchell.

Rainbow near the Blue Ridge Parkway
Rainbow near the Blue Ridge Parkway


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *