Archiving Appalachia: An exploratory discussion on the creation of an Appalachian Special Collections Committee at ASA

Appalachian special collections and archives are a critical component of Appalachian Studies research and are found at colleges, universities, public libraries, history associations, museums, and other places in the region. Since the disbanding of the Appalachian Consortium’s Regional Collections Committee in 2002 there has been no coordinated organization of Appalachian archives and special collections. Over the last several years a number a group of Appalachian archivists, special collections librarians, and research librarians have proposed the creation of an Appalachian Special Collections Committee. This roundtable will gather together archivists, librarians, curators, and other interested participants for a discussion about forming this committee as part of ASA.

Such a committee could continue the work of the Special Collections committees that existed under the Appalachian Consortium. This could manifest itself in many ways, including publishing a newsletter or blog, updating the Consortium’s 1985 survey of Appalachian Collections, setting up a listserv or blog to share information with smaller repositories, promoting and raising awareness of Appalachian resources throughout ASA, and generally establishing a stronger presence for repositories, collections, archivists and librarians, and their work in Appalachian Studies and ASA. Additionally, the network could offer trainings, workshops, and other skill-sharing events to help community and activist groups document and preserve their own records.

Roundtable conveners will give a brief overview of the Appalachian Consortium’s past efforts in this area and propose a few ideas for an Appalachian Special Collections Committee at ASA. The focus of the session will be to solicit feedback and ideas.