The Special Collections department at Appalachian State University’s Carol Grotnes Belk Library and Information Commons received a $112,693 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for an ambitious two-year project to process and create finding aids and catalog records for 450 accessions. This project will eliminate the backlog of the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, totaling more than 750 linear feet, and provide researchers with better access to the Collection by enhancing the description of 75 previously processed collections.

Among the collections to be processed are the papers of Kelly Bennett, who was instrumental in the development of America’s national parks; the papers of social activist and documentarian John Gaventa; Appalachian photographer Jack Jeffers’ collection of prints and digital images; and the papers and musical scores of composer Tui St. George Tucker.

The NHPRC funds will be used primarily to fund the position of a Project Archives Assistant who will assist other staff members with processing collections and writing finding aids.Processing Archivist and Assistant Professor Cynthia Harbeson will oversee the project and create MARC records once the collections have been processed.

Work on the project began in earnest in November 2012 with the hiring of Trevor McKenzie in the position of Project Archives Assistant.Trevor holds a Bachelor of Sciences in Applied and Public History and Master of Arts in Appalachian Studies, both from Appalachian State University. He served as the Editorial Assistant for the Appalachian Journal for two years and worked as a student assistant in Special Collections during the summer of 2011. His extensive knowledge of the Appalachian region, its history, culture, and music traditions will be instrumental as he works to process collections in the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection.