of the Archives of Appalachia
History of the Archives of Appalachia
Washington County Court RecordsWashington County deposits its official court records at East Tennessee State College. The College Library designates a space for the records, which becomes known informally as the library archives. This is the first of two foundational collections for the future Archives of Appalachia. (In 2011 this material is transferred to its permanent home at the Washington County Archives in Jonesborough, TN.)
Oral History ArchivesETSU professors Thomas G. Burton and Ambrose N. Manning create the Oral History Archives. This multiyear project documents Appalachian folklore, music, and customs, and it includes groundbreaking ethnographic work in the Appalachian region. This is the second of two foundational collections for the future Archives of Appalachia.
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Founding of the Archives of AppalachiaEast Tennessee State University founds the Archives of Appalachia to promote an awareness of and appreciation for southern Appalachia’s culture and history.
Archives' First DirectorETSU hires Dr. Richard Kesner as the Archives’ first director. Kesner serves the institution from 1978-1981, laying a strong foundation of intentional collections growth and innovative outreach efforts. During these early years, the Archives receives manuscript, print, photographic, and media collections that document all aspects of life in Appalachia, laying the foundation for a collection that now extends from the 18th through the 21st centuries. Subjects include folk traditions, education, industry, transportation, religious practices, music, and the arts.
ETSU's University ArchivesETSU formally establishes its University Archives as a division of the Archives of Appalachia with the transfer of the papers of the institution’s first three presidents: Sidney Gilbreath, Charles Sherrod, and Burgin Dossett.
First NEH Grant AwardsThe Archives receives two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to develop its first major outreach project. Between 1979-1982 the Archives produces a series of nine multi-media outreach programs, along with study guides. The programs draw upon materials in the Archives’ collections and are presented hundreds of times to over 5,000 people for free throughout southern Appalachia.
Early Experiments in Computer CatalogingThe Archives serves as a test facility for the SELGEM program (Self Generating Master) developed by the Smithsonian Institution for cataloging and indexing archival collections. The following year, the Archives is a part of an NEH-funded study of the use of computers in archival settings; one result of which is MARS (the Microcomputer Archives and Records Management System).
Archives' Second DirectorDr. Ellen Garrison joins the Archives as its second director. She coordinates a second major outreach program for the Archives titled “Tennessee’s Mountain Heritage.” This series of three radio shows, based on materials from the Archives’ holdings, provides an overview of various aspects of the social history and folklore of southern Appalachia. It airs on three separate Sunday evenings on the WETS radio station in May of 1983.
Center of Excellence for Appalachian Studies and ServicesETSU receives a grant from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) to establish the Center of Excellence for Appalachian Studies and Services (CASS). The Archives is one of three units of CASS, along with the Reece Museum and the Institute of Appalachian Affairs. Through this association, the Archives receives support for additional staff and equipment, as well as funding for a range of preservation and outreach projects.
Archives' Third DirectorNorma (Myers) Riddle becomes the Archives’ third director. The Archives’ holdings continue their robust growth, adding hundreds of new collections on a range of historical and cultural topics related to southern Appalachia. Significant additions include:
- the papers of the long-serving member of the US House of Representatives James H. Quillen
- the Coal Employment Project Papers, which document the struggle for workers’ rights for female coal miners
- the records of the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad
- unique recorded sound collections including the Mary Elizabeth Barnicle and Tillman Cadle Collection of field recordings (1930s-1950s) and the Stoneman Family Papers.
D.R. Beeson Hiking JournalsThe Archives works with Panther Press to publish a two-volume series of hiking diaries from the D.R. Beeson, Sr. Papers. The series, edited by Riddle and Archivist Ned Irwin, is titled In the Spirit of Adventure and features diary transcripts and photographs of hikes that D.R. Beeson and C. Hodge Mathes made of the Great Smoky Mountains (1914) and Mt. Mitchell (1915).
First Homepage on the WebThe Archives launches its first homepage.
Experiments in Online Library CatalogsThe Archives participates in the “Monticello Electronic Library” pilot project, which is an attempt to make collection descriptions available online for 22 repositories in the southeast.
Grammy Foundation GrantThe Archives receives a grant from the Grammy Foundation to preserve a portion of its media holdings. This is the first of nearly a dozen grants the Archives will receive over the next decade, totaling nearly $350,000, to preserve its collections.
New Location for the ArchivesThe Archives moves from its original location in what is now known as Nicks Hall to its present location on the fourth floor of the Charles C. Sherrod Library. This move gives the Archives much-needed space for collections storage, a larger reading room, and a dedicated facility for its state-of-the-art media preservation lab.
Online Cataloging MilestoneThe Archives achieves a milestone by making all of its collection finding aids available online.
Media Digitizaton LabThe Archives develops its in-house media digitization lab. Over time, the lab acquires the capacity for digitizing more than a dozen formats of analog audio and moving image materials, creating over 25 terabytes of digital files.
Public Film SeriesThe Archives produces a successful public film series that features rare films from its holdings, reaching over 1,500 people.
Archives' Fourth DirectorETSU selects Amy Collins as the Archives’ fourth director. The Archives formalizes a range of policies that clarify workflows and standardize collection development and research access.
Burton-Schrader Film ProjectThe Archives produces the DVD Ray Hicks and Other Beech Mountain Folks, featuring content from the Thomas Burton-Jack Schrader Film Collection.
Education and Outreach ProgramThe Archives officially initiates an education and outreach program with the hiring of its first Education and Outreach Archivist.
Student Learning CenterThe Archives undergoes a significant facilities renovation that includes the creation of a new electronic classroom and student learning center, along with the curation of a major new permanent exhibit in the reading room that highlights the broad range of scholarly and creative projects that the Archives’ collections have supported over time.
Archives' Fifth DirectorETSU hires Dr. Jeremy A. Smith as the Archives’ fifth director.
Digital CollectionsThe Archives places increased emphasis on providing digital access to its collections, establishing its first digital collections portal, enhancing its infrastructure for digitizing oversize print items, and providing online streaming access to a portion of its media collections.
Additional Grant AwardsThe Archives receives grants from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the National Recording Preservation Foundation that allow for enhanced access to its recorded sound collections.
Huffman Grant EstablishedThe Archives launches the Margaret Anne Byrd Huffman Archives of Appalachia Endowment Grant, which is awarded annually to support ETSU faculty members and students who utilize materials from the Archives in research or creative projects.