In the spring of 2016, the University Libraries were granted $88,000 by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to digitize and provide open access to the publications of the Appalachian Consortium Press, which is no longer operational. The grant was among the inaugural group of grants funded by the partnership between the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Significance of the Collection
The Appalachian Consortium Press was founded in 1973 – the first publisher devoted to Appalachia. The Press published scholarly books and reference materials, including the first contemporary and comprehensive bibliography of the region, oral histories, environmental studies, and poetry.
Among the Appalachian Consortium’s important and pioneering publications were the proceedings of the early Appalachian Studies Conferences, the proceedings of the Linear Parks Conferences, and the proceedings of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Golden Anniversary Conference. The proceedings of the annual Appalachian Studies Conference (ASC) warrant particular attention for bringing together scholarly research about the region that would otherwise have been dispersed in various disciplinary journals. The ASC proceedings presented studies on labor and the economy, urban migration, local and regional history, literature, folk culture, religion, and the environment.
The Appalachian Consortium also published the first scholarly overview of the nascent discipline of Appalachian Studies, An Appalachian Symposium, and pioneering and now indispensable scholarly works such as David Whisnant’s Modernizing the Mountaineer and Helen Lewis et. al.’s Colonialism in Modern America. These works introduced a new wave of scholarship on Appalachia that took the field beyond descriptive studies to an examination of the role of the region as a supplier of resources dominated by larger, outside influences. These fundamental works are still essential resources for understanding Appalachian Studies and the region, especially as it grapples with its future after coal.
The Appalachian Consortium Press published multidisciplinary scholarly works in history, literature, photography, music, sociology, folklore, and environmental studies that together provided a holistic view of the region. The Press dissolved in 2004, and thereafter, the works that it published were no longer marketed and sold.
The W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection in the Appalachian State University Libraries is the largest collection focused on Appalachia and holds both the Appalachian Consortium Records and a complete collection of the publications.
Principle Investigators: Fred Hay, Pam Mitchem, Joyce Ogburn, and Norma Riddle
Project Manager: Ryan Ingerick
Partner: John McLeod, UNC Press
Student assistants: Evan Wallace and Brittney Maslowski
For more information about the Appalachian Consortium Press Publications Digitization Project, please contact:
- Pam Mitchem at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-262-7422