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The Appalachian Studies Association was formed in 1977 by a group of scholars, teachers, and regional activists who believed that shared community has been and will continue to be important to those writing, researching, and teaching about Appalachia.

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The ASA is headquartered at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Mary Thomas, Executive Director, can be reached via email at

Telephone: (304) 696-2904
Fax: (304) 696-6221
Mailing Address:
    Appalachian Studies Association
    One John Marshall Drive
    Huntington, WV 25755

41st ASA Annual Conference

Re-stitching the Seams: Appalachia Beyond Its Borders

April 5-8, 2018

Millennium Hotel,
Cincinnati, Ohio

Learn more


Libraries, Museums, and Archives for Researching Appalachia

Appalachian Collection @ Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA
Virginia Tech’s Carol M. Newman Library houses the university’s Special Collections. Here users can access manuscripts, archived materials, and historical materials from the region’s history. Special Collections includes an Appalachian Collection, began in 1988, which includes nearly 300 hundred manuscripts. Information can be found on over 100 different railway systems, religious materials, family papers, and oral history collections.

Appalachian Cultural Museum @ Appalachian State University

Boone, NC
Located at Appalachian State University, this museum was created to foster an understanding of the people of the Appalachian Mountains and to serve as a laboratory for new museum ideas. Through exhibits, publications, and special events, the Museum presents the rich traditions of the region. The Museum gives new meaning to life in western North Carolina in a manner that is authentic and non-stereotypical.

Note: the "Appalachian Cultural Museum" is a showcase of items from Appalachian State University Library's W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection as we track the progress of a two-year processing project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to eliminate the Appalachian Collection backlog.

Archives of Appalachia @ East Tennessee State University

The Archives of Appalachia houses approximately 18 million manuscripts, 85,000 sound recordings, and 250,000 images relating to various Appalachian topics.

Berea College Archives, Manuscripts and Artifacts Collections

Berea, KY
Hutchins Library’s Southern Appalachian Archives includes organizational records, personal papers, oral histories, photographs, and non-commercial audio and video recordings that document regional history and culture especially in the areas of activism, education, folklore, traditional music, and religious expression. More than one hundred sixty separate collections.

The Library’s Weatherford-Hammond Mountain Collection started in 1914, includes over 21,000 volumes of published material on all aspects of the region’s history and culture including newly published as well as out-of-print works.

Berea’s Appalachian Center Artifacts and Exhibits Studio maintains and makes available a teaching and research collection containing nearly 3,000 objects documenting life in the region. Collection highlights include mountain domestic life, ca. 1850-1940; regional craft traditions, especially textiles, pottery and woodworking; stereotypes of Appalachian people; and the history of Berea College.

Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection @ University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY

The University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center successfully completed a NEH Humanities Collections and Reference Resources digitization grant, resulting in online access to 132 cubic feet from the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection.

The materials focus on 189 years of economic development in the eastern Kentucky coalfield from 1788 to 1976. The ten individual collections document the search for, extraction of, and distribution of coal, oil, and natural gas resources in Breathitt, Boyd, Clark, Floyd, Harlan, Lawrence, Letcher, Perry, and Powell counties; the creation of railroads to bring these raw materials to industrial manufacturers and electrical power generators across the United States; and the company towns, their services, and the individual lives that grew up to sustain and make possible this economic development.

These collections include the Benham Coal Company records, Wheelwright collection, Sherrill Martin collection, Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company and Lexington and Eastern Railway Company records, and the Kentucky Union Land Company records. Additional details on the project and other Appalachian-related collections at UK SCRC can be found on the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection page.

Digital Collections @ University of Tennessee, Knoxville Libraries

Knoxville, TN
The University of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus has three libraries: The John C. Hodges Main Library, the Webster C. Pendergrass Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Library, and the George F. DeVine Music Library.

Digital Library of Appalachia

Appalachian College Association Central Library. The Digital Library of Appalachia provides online access to archival and historical materials related to the culture of the southern and central Appalachian region. The contents of the DLA are drawn from special collections of Appalachian College Association member libraries.

The Kentucky Digital Library (Hosted by the University of Kentucky)

The Kentuckiana Digital Library is built to enhance scholarship, research and lifelong learning through the establishment of access to shared digital archival collections in the state of Kentucky. It also provides guidance and instruction for Kentucky libraries, archives, historical societies and museums on applying appropriate technologies used in the production of digital library resources.

Library of Congress Manuscripts Reading Room

Washington, D.C.
The Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with more than 130 million items on approximately 530 miles of bookshelves. The collections include more than 29 million books and other printed materials, 2.7 million recordings, 12 million photographs, 4.8 million maps, and 58 million manuscripts.

This Library of Congress Manuscript Reading Room includes links to finding aids and the American Memory online collections. It also includes information on Reading Room policies and procedures, instructions for searching manuscript catalog records in the Library's online catalog, online exhbits and resources, and the Division's annual acquisitions reports.

McConnell Library @ Radford University

Radford, VA
The Appalachian Collection contains manuscripts and other primary materials that document the history and culture of Southwest Virginia and Appalachia. Collections include the Highland Summer Conference Collection and the Virginia, Iron, Coal and Coke Company Collection. In addition to these collections, McConnell Library has an extensive collection of books, CDs, video recordings, journals, and other materials related to Appalachia and Southwest Virginia.

Morrow Library Special Collections @ Marshall University

Huntington, WV
Special Collections houses collections of a unique and specialized nature on the third floor of the James E. Morrow Library on the Marshall University campus.

National Museum of American History Archives Center

Smithsonian Institute
The Archives Center contains archival collections documenting American music, ethnic imagery, advertising and advertising history, religion, technology and invention, material culture, sports, and transportation.