Library News

Posted by on Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 12:16pm

The life and accomplishments of playwright Romulus Linney will be celebrated during the event “Romulus Linney: Back Home in the Mountains” Sept. 20-21 at Appalachian State University.

The event includes a craft talk on writing for the stage, a panel discussion on being an actor in professional theatre, master classes for theatre majors which will be open to the public, and the dedication and opening of the Romulus Linney Papers and Exhibit in Belk Library and Information Commons.

Actors, a playwright, a poet and Linney’s  relatives will lead the programs. All events are free unless otherwise noted. In some cases, registration will be required.

Back Home in the Mountains Schedule

Thursday, Sept. 20
2-3:15 p.m., “The Craft of Writing,” panel discussion with poet and professor Louis Asekoff and writer Leslie Maslow, moderated by Dr. Susan S. Cole. Belk Library and Information Commons Room 114.

Friday, Sept. 21
8:30 a.m., Coffee and registration for the day’s events begins.
9-9:20 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks
9:20-10:45 a.m., “Being a Working Actor in Professional Theatre,” a panel discussion with playwright and actress T. Cat Ford and actors Paul L. Coffey, Scott Sowers, Adrienne Thompson and David Van Pelt, moderated by Keith T. Martin, Blackburn Distinguished Professor of Theater in the Department of Theatre, Plemmons Student Union’s Blue Ridge Ballroom.

11-11:50 a.m., concurrent sessions: “Signature Theatre and the Non-Profit Regional Theatre Movement in America” with James Houghton, Belk Library and Information Commons Room 114; Beginning Level Master Acting Class with Paul L. Coffey for Watauga High School students, I.G. Greer Studio Theatre; “Writing Place,” a craft lecture with Leslie Maslow and Dr. Derek Davidson from Appalachian’s Department of Theatre and Dance, Room 421 Belk Library and Information Commons.  

Noon-12:50 p.m., concurrent sessions: “The Surprise Social Entrepreneur,” a craft lecture with Laura Callanan, wife of the late Romulus Linney, Belk Library and Information Commons Room 114; Intermediate Level Master Acting Class with T. Cat Ford and Scott Sowers, I.G. Greer Studio Theatre; Advanced Level Acting Master Class with David Van Pelt and Adrienne Thompson, I.G. Greer Studio Theatre. The public is invited to view the master class.

2:30-3:30 p.m., Master class for select theatre majors with Laura Linney, Valborg Theatre. Limited seating is available for the public and tickets, which are free, are required. Visit and click on register.

4-5 p.m., Dedication and opening of the Romulus Linney Papers and Exhibit with speakers Frank Coffey, who was a cousin of Romulus Linney, and Dr. Susan S. Cole. Paul L. Coffey will read from Linney’s unfinished novel and Dean of Libraries Dr. Mary Reichel will speak, Belk Library and Information Commons Room 114. Refreshments will be served in the library’s room 421.

7:30-9 p.m., “Romulus Linney … Back Home in the Mountains: A celebration of Romulus Linney,” with Louis Asekoff, Paul L. Coffey, T. Cat Ford, James Houghton, Scott Sowers, Adrienne Thompson and David Van Pelt. Valborg Theatre. Admission is $25. Tickets are available from the Valborg Box Office weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by calling 800-841-2787 or 828-262-3063.

9 p.m., Champagne and dessert reception, Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, $25. Tickets are available from the Valborg Theatre Box Office weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets also may be purchased by calling 800-841-2787 or 262-3063.

About Romulus Linney

Linney, author of more than 30 plays and three novels, died in January 2011 at the age of 80.

His inspiration for his early works was drawn from his ties to northwestern North Carolina. Although he was born in Philadelphia, Linney lived in the South until age 13, including Boone and Tennessee, where his father was a doctor. He spent time in Boone with his cousins Frank Coffey and the late Armfield Coffey, both of whom he considered brothers. Armfield Coffey was publisher, along with his wife Rachel Rivers-Coffey, of the Watauga Democrat newspaper.

Linney also maintained ties to Appalachian State University and its Department of Theatre and Dance. In 1998, the department produced his play “Heathen Valley,” about a 19th-century Episcopal bishop who brought the word of God to a remote region of North Carolina. The play was adapted from Linney’s novel of the same name.

Linney traveled to Boone to talk with the student actors about the play. In 1995, Linney received an honorary doctorate from the university and was the speaker at the undergraduate commencement that year. He was the Belk Distinguished Lecturer in the summer of 2005.
He was commissioned to write the play “Hisself,” loosely based on Appalachian’s cofounder B.B. Dougherty, which was premiered on campus during the university centennial celebration in 1999.

Linney’s other plays with Appalachian themes are “Holy Ghosts,” “Tennessee,” “Sand Mountain” and “Gint.” He also wrote “Old Man Joseph and His Family” (1978), “The Captivity of Pixie Shedman” (1981), “The Sorrows of Frederick” (1991), “Ambrosio” (1992) and “A Lesson Before Dying” (2000) based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines.

About the Romulus Linney Papers

The Romulus Linney collection includes his correspondence, manuscripts, working copies of his works with notes, and a collection of his published writings and research materials. The donation also includes photographs of his productions and of family members, recordings of his lectures, production posters, theatre programs from his produced plays, reviews, and awards and honors.

Posted by Megan Johnson on Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 4:22pm
Faculty and Graduate Student Research Support Fair

Faculty and Graduate Student Research Services Fair Friday Oct. 19, 2012 1-3 PM Plemmons Student Union, Blue Ridge Ballroom

This event will highlight the vast array of resources available at Appalachian State University to support YOUR research, scholarship and creative endeavors.   

  • 1:00 PM: Welcome - University Librarian Mary Reichel & Dean of Research and Graduate Studies Dr. Edelma Huntley. 
  • 1:15 - 1:30: Provost Lori Gonzalez will talk about the importance of research at Appalachian State University followed by Q&A
  • 1:30 – 2:00: Lightning rounds. Faculty members will each speak briefly about campus resources and services they use for their research.
  • 2:00 – 3:00 Representatives from each of the areas listed below will be available to discuss their services in the atrium area 

Belk Library & Information Commons

Community Based Research

Learning Technology Services

Faculty and Academic Development

Office of Education and International Development (OEID)


Office of Environmental Health, Safety and Emergency Management

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Office of Research Protections /IRB/Radiation /Biosafety

Office of Student Research and the Graduate School (ORS)

and MORE!

Posted by on Monday, August 20, 2012 - 4:50pm
Library Tours poster with schedule

The library will be offering orientation tours for first year seminar and transfer students from August 27 through September 6. Any other student who would like to attend is welcome as well! The tours will take approximately 45 minutes.

The schedule is:

Monday - Thursday at 3:00, 5:00 and 9:00 p.m.

Please meet by the dancers statue in the Atrium of Belk Library.

If you have any questions about the tours, please contact Amanda Bird at 828-262-2085.

Posted by on Thursday, August 16, 2012 - 8:13am

Join us for an exciting program and learn about the plays of the late Romulus Linney on Tuesday, August 28th at 6:30pm at the Watauga County Public Library. Dr. Susan S. Cole, professor emerita and former chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance will present a lecture titled "The Appalachian Plays of Romulus Linney," to be followed by a community conversation with opportunities for area residents to share memories, stories, and anecdotes about Linney. Light refreshments will be provided.

This program precedes a two-day event in late September that is part of the Dedication and opening of the Romulus Linney Papers in Belk Library and Information Commons.

Visit our event pages for more information. 

Posted by on Monday, August 13, 2012 - 10:22am
Screenshot of the library homepage

The library launched its new website over the weekend. We are joining the many colleges and departments around the university using the content management system Drupal. This software makes it easier for us to update and maintain the library websites.

Give Us Feedback!

We would love to hear what you think of the new library websites. We are constantly working to make our sites easier and more pleasant to use. We will continue fine-tuning the site based on our users' feedback.

Posted by Geri Purpur on Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - 2:28pm
ASU Distance Education logo

Call for Volunteers for Distance Education Student Advisory Committee-2012-2013

View more information and volunteer.

The deadline for applications is August 10, 2012.

Posted by Greta Browning on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 2:21pm
Abrams record label

The earliest recording of Doc Watson is part of the archival collections of the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection at Belk Library and Information Commons at Appalachian State University. This now internationally-known performer from Deep Gap, North Carolina, performed “Precious Jewel” at the 1941 Boone Fiddler’s Convention and was recorded by folklorist Dr. Amos Abrams. The recording is available online as part of the Library’s digital collections.

Dr. Amos Abrams (1905-1991), an English professor at Appalachian State Teacher’s College from 1932 to 1946, made this recording of Doc Watson when Watson was about 18 years old. As he tells at the beginning of the recording, Dr. Abrams thought that this was the first time Watson had sung for a microphone.

Dr. Abrams was an active collector, scholar, and promoter of North Carolina folklore. His archival collection contains hundreds of field recordings from the 1930s and 1940s of the traditional music of western North Carolina, including well-known musicians such as Doc Watson and Frank Profitt. The titles contained in Abrams’ collection range from Child Ballads to nineteenth century popular music to compositions of local origin. The collection includes transcriptions of the songs and their variants, also created by Dr. Abrams.

For more information about the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, please visit our website or call 828-262-4041.

Posted by Greta Browning on Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 4:23pm
V.H. Drummond cover art

A new exhibit of artwork, "Miraculous Creatures and Natural Encounters: Selections from the Beulah C. Campbell Collection of Original Illustrations from Children's Books," is now on display in the Dougherty Reading Room in Special Collections on the 4th floor of Belk Library and Information Commons. The exhibit is accessible during the regular operating hours of the Dougherty Reading Room, Monday through Friday, 9am – 4pm. The exhibit, curated by graduate student and Dougherty Reading Room reference assistant David Funderburk, includes works by artists Pauline Baynes, Eric Carle, V. H. Drummond, Susan Jeffers, and Symeon Shimin. The illustrations on display were selected based on their depictions of animals and encounters with the natural world as fantastical or miraculous. This small selection includes heroic horses, an enchanted wood, animals with mythical abilities, a man who talks to a tree, and more.

The Beulah C. Campbell Collection of Original Illustrations for Children's Books is a compilation of over 400 original illustrations by European and American artists that were published primarily in children's literature and picture books. The collection includes works from twenty-eight twentieth-century illustrators, such as James Daugherty, Eric Carle, Jan Pienkowski, Symeon Shimin, Robert Quackenbush, and Leo and Diane Dillon. It includes pencil and charcoal drawings, pastels, watercolor paintings, photographs, printed posters, and other mediums. The illustrations and the children's books for which they were created are housed in Special Collections and are available to researchers by request through the Dougherty Reading Room. The illustration collection is viewable online through the Library's Digital Collections.

For more information, please contact us at 828-262-7974 or

Pictured: Detail from illustrator and author V.H. Drummond's cover art for Mrs. Easter and the Storks (1957).

Posted by on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 4:42pm
Costa Rica travel guide

Traveling this summer? Check out the library's new travel guides in the Browsing Collection! The collection includes over 30 books for countries all over the world.

Full list of titles

The Browsing Collection is located on the first floor, along the wall to the left of the fireplace. The travel guides are shelved at the end of the row. While you're there, check out the popular fiction and nonfiction books!

Posted by Greta Browning on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 11:55am
Rhinehart Room

A new rare book exhibit, “Architecture and Design in Britain: Selections from the Rhinehart Collection,” is now on display in the Rhinehart Rare Books and Special Collections Room on the 4th floor of Belk Library and Information Commons.  The exhibit runs through August 2012 and is accessible during Wednesday afternoon open houses in July or by appointment.

The publications on display contribute to and are evidence of the long history of architecture and design in Britain.  Given the nature of the topics discussed in each, all contain visual elements, such as woodcuts, engravings, or chromolithographs.  Of note is a recent acquisition, nineteenth-century Gothic Revival designer and architect A.W. N. Pugin’s Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament and Costume (1868, third edition), which contains over 60 chromolithographs.

For more information, please contact us at 828-262-7974 or, or visit Special Collections on the web.