Hutchins Library
Special Collections & Archives
Guide to the Council of the Southern Mountains Records, 1970-1989; History
 

CSM logoAccession Number: 101
The Council of the Southern Mountains Records
Papers: 1970-1989
100 linear feet
Online Catalog Record (BANC)

Overview & Series Description
History
Series I - Administrative Records
Series II - Correspondence
        ABB - DES | DIL - HAG | HAL - KDA | KEE - MYN | NED - SMI | SMI - ZEI
Series III - Organizations
        Commissions | CSEJs | Related Organizations | Affiliated Organizations | Subject | Funding Agencies
Series IV - Mining Records
Series V - Bookstore Records
Series VI - Mountain Life & Work Production
Series VII - Newspaper Clippings
Series VIII - Publications
Series IX - Speeches and Writings
Series X - Maps
Series XI - Artwork & Folklore
Series XII - Photographs
Series XIII - Audio
Series XIV - Video
Series XV - Blueprints & Posters
Series XVI - Artifacts

History

The Council of the Southern Mountains was formed in 1913 by a group of social workers, pastors, academia, and other people who wished to help the region. Originally called the Conference of the Southern Mountain Workers until 1954, the members sought to improve the health conditions, advance agricultural practices, strengthen emphasis on spiritual issues, and preserve the unique culture within the region. In the earliest years these issues were addressed through annual conferences where hundreds of interested and active people came together for discussion of problems and solutions.

Some of the early objectives of the Council were: (1) to promote fellowship among those engaged in social, educational, or religious work in the Southern Mountain area and through exchange of ideas to further the best methods of work; (2) to carry on study and research related to the basic needs of the area; (3) to hold an annual conference at some central place in the area and such regional conferences as may be desired; (4) to carry on and administer services of benefit to the area as a whole; and (5) to publish a journal which interpreted life and work in the area.

In the 1940s, membership began to dwindle, financial support ceased, and faith in the organization to survive was lacking. Perley F. Ayer, a rural sociologist teaching at Berea College, was selected to become Executive Secretary in 1951. Ayer sought in every way to strengthen the Council, and by the mid-sixties had revived it into being the largest and most significant social organization in the region. Ayer's leadership saved the Council during a crucial time and allowed it to be open for change during the 1960s. The rural to urban migrant focus began under him, as concern grew for those Appalachians who were leaving the depressed areas to seek work in the industrial cities of the north. Workshops were aimed at city service professions which would likely have contact with migrants. These workshops sought to educate these people about what made these migrants different and how to deal with these differences so the tensions and lack of understanding would be reduced. These workshops continued throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Ayer's Council philosophy revolved around the idea of faith in people and give-and-take discussions at all levels; he did not see the Council as a champion of one cause or one group, but as the forum where different or even opposing sides could come together and create change and improvement. He worked at a furious pace throughout his fifteen year career as the Council's Executive Secretary, and later as Executive Director, until his death in 1967. Throughout his correspondence it is evident that his personality was the catalyst which rejuvenated the organization at a time of deterioration. Following Ayer's death in 1967, Loyal Jones took position of CSM Executive Director.

Loyal Jones served twelve years as a staff member of CSM, beginning in 1958 when Perley F. Ayer appointed him as his assistant. Council philosophy was changing to an activist approach influenced by the surrounding attitudes, issues, and movements of the 1960s and 1970s. They began to focus more on coal mining issues and related concerns in labor, health, safety, and land ownership. As the Council's focal point shifted to these higher risk issues, their narrow base of financial resources began to reconsider funding projects. During this turbulent and progressive time, Loyal Jones resigned in 1970 after three and a half years as Executive Director. Soon afterwards he became Director of the Appalachian Center at Berea College, and was active in the Appalachian Studies Conference, which later became the Appalachian Studies Association. These two organizations supported similar concerns as the Council, but approached them at a different angle. Many of the Council members who broke away from CSM during the late 1960s and early 1970s re-established themselves in these allied organizations.

In his resignation letter, Loyal Jones explained three crises facing the Council. He listed them as (1) finances: funding was dwindling, and relying on grants to fund large programs was too dependent; (2) management: the role and relationship of the Board, staff, and membership; and (3) purpose: it was evident that the Council's purpose was changing, and the Council needed to redefine its mission if it expected to continue. Significant changes in the Council's philosophy and actions took place between the following Annual Conferences at Fontana and Lake Junaluska, ushering forth a new era for the Council of the Southern Mountains.

In the Spring of 1969 at Fontana, North Carolina, the annual gathering of the Council of the Southern Mountains became a crossroads for the oldest region-based organization. One such change was to restructure the Council from its previous top-down structure. The Board and staff became less centralized and the focus rested on member involvement from the Commissions, giving the poor, blacks, youth, and aged a much stronger voice on the Board. Originally, the founders saw the Council as a whole meeting only once a year, to learn about various issues concerning the region, and to take care of business. Later, it was decided that that the real work was to take place in the Commissions, which would focus peoples' energies onto a specific issue. It was during the 1969 Conference when four new Commissions were formed: Poor People's Self-Help, Black Appalachian, Aging, and Social and Economic Research.

These Commissions required more financial assistance as their programs branched into mine health and safety, welfare, and development, for communities that were unable to afford these programs. Yet, funding for evolving organizations such as CSM was limited, so the staff was forced to think of ways to maximize their aid to the various community programs. While being a non-profit organization was an asset to the region, the costly programs focused on coal mining and related concerns still needed funds in order to operate. The Council regularly called upon the financial assistance of the Commission on Religion in Appalachia (CORA) and Appalachian Development Projects Committee (ADPC) through grant applications and proposals. CORA's role in Appalachian development was "to facilitate and administer the partnership between communities and Appalachian organizations in working together." ADPC participated in CORA's work with this role in mind by strengthening locally controlled Appalachian organizations (and supporting regional groups) that desired to work in partnership with the communities and were concerned with meeting the human needs through political self-determination, economic self-sufficiency, cultural revitalization, and upgrading the service delivery system. ADPC and CORA awarded funds each year for such programs as the Mine Health and Safety Project, various Citizens for Social and Economic Justice (CSEJ) programs, and the general council budget. The Council was largely dependent on this funding option, and in the years to come would find increasing difficulties and tension as a result of this financial dependence. These dubious changes left many Council members unsure of where these changes were going to lead their organization.

Further changes took place during the 1970 Annual Conference at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. It was at this time when members were able to vote on whether or not to accept the Board's decision regarding the closing of the books thirty days prior to the Annual Meeting to determine membership eligibility at the Annual Meeting. After the vote was taken the Board's decision was not upheld, but the Board's recommendation on membership criteria was adopted. This was also when the Youth Commission's final resolution came on the floor, after many members had already left the Conference, and though the wording of the resolution was not intended to be socialistic or even communistic, the remaining members worried over the resolution's intent. The Youth Commission proposed that "The defined operational goal of the Council of the Southern Mountains should be the democratic public control of Appalachia's natural resources, basic energy development and transportation, emphasizing decentralization democratic community and workers' control." Instead, the resolution was tabled to be dealt with at a later date.

Also, during the 1970 Conference at Lake Junaluska, three men were chosen to work as a team to lead CSM for an interim period of one year, 1970-1971. Warren Wright was chosen as acting Executive Director and over-all coordinator, Julian Griggs would work with and coordinate the work of the Commissions, and Isaac Vanderpool would be responsible for seeking funds, help in developing programs and grant proposals, and assist in developing models for staffing. This triumvirate, as some people referred to Wright, Griggs, and Vanderpool, marked the beginning of the Council's changing role in the Appalachian region. The Council's purpose as a grassroots community organization began to focus on uniting poor and working class people in Appalachia, and to assist them as they organized on community and regional levels to solve their own problems. Through many dedicated hours of work from devoted and passionate staff members, three tools were used and maintained to achieve these goals. It was through a Mine Health and Safety Program; a monthly magazine, Mountain Life & Work; and the Appalachian Book and Record Shop, that the Council served Appalachian needs in these areas.

After the triumvirate's one year term leading the Council, Jim Somerville was elected and served as President of the Council from 1971-1973. Previously he had worked as a pastor at churches in Troy and Hanesville, Alabama, but because of his commitments to the civil rights movement, he was forced to leave these congregations. Afterwards, he was a pastor at a church in Wise, Virginia, until he became director of a Community Action Project there. Because he believed poor people should control Office of Economic Opportunity programs and agencies, he lost that job. From there, he moved to Boone County, West Virginia to supervise fifteen VISTAs (Volunteers in Service to America). Under his stewardship, Council members were no exception to activism and concern for health and welfare rights, which were on the rise in the early 1970s.

Many CSM members were active in organizations like the Black Lung Association and state or county Welfare Rights Organizations. On November 6-10, 1971, members of Black Lung and Welfare Rights Organizations from Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia gathered together for the "Appalachia Welfare March on Washington for Survival Against Unfulfilled Promises." The march was to protest President Nixon's Family Assistance Plan, to clean up state welfare programs violating federal regulations, and to work for better black lung laws. Several people spoke with their Congressmen and Senators while there, expressing frustrations and needs for justice for coal miners, poor people, needed ambulance services, and better tests for black lung, among other concerns.

Other activity on the Council's calendar included assistance in reporting disasters and safety violations of coal companies. One of these was the Buffalo Creek Disaster, or as some referred to it, a massacre. It was certainly no "act of God," as some public and coal company officials claimed. The slag pile used as a dam broke and flooded the Buffalo Creek community and several towns further down the creek in Logan County, West Virginia, in February 1972. Over a thousand homes were destroyed by the flood waters, and left 84 dead. Four to five thousand persons were left homeless as a result of the disastrous flood. CSM staff reported on the disaster in Mountain Life & Work and assisted in investigating the cause of the flood.

In the midst of tragedy and activism in the early 1970s, new staff members began to join the Council. In 1972, one of them was Sally Ward Maggard, who served as Staff Coordinator for CSM at the Clintwood office. She traveled to meetings of groups which asked CSM for help in events and projects. She also worked on research files of central staff, articles for Mountain Life & Work, and program fund-raising. Sally was one of the driving forces behind the work that CSM was doing in the 1970s and 1980s. She was a key figure in advising, organizing, and providing legal help to the widows of the Scotia mine explosion in March 1976. Another new Council staff member was Dan Hendrickson, who joined the Council in 1972, first as a health organizer, then soon after as central staff. In 1977, he took the role of Coordinator for CSM at the Clintwood office, and began overseeing all program activities, which included the Mine Health and Safety Program, Community Unions Program, and Mountain Life & Work. His work included fund-raising, reporting and editing, photography, business management, investigative research, and administrative duties. He participated in strike support by sending out press packets and releases, attending meetings and rallies, and keeping files on strikes and support work.

Along with new staff members joining and leading CSM's programs and activities, the Council decided to move its headquarters from Berea to Clintwood, Virginia, during the summer of 1972, as an attempt to cut ties shared with Berea College almost since its founding. The new location placed the office in the middle of the central Appalachian coalfields of Dickenson County. The purpose of this move was to be in the midst of the issues CSM was concerned about, but membership found the new location to be less accessible than its previous location in Berea. The office opened on August 1, 1972 in Clintwood and remained there until 1989.

Following Jim Somerville as Council President was Mart Shepherd, after being elected in 1973. Mart went into the mines at the age of fourteen and worked till he was disabled with black lung 27 years later. Afterwards in 1965, he helped start Appalachian Group to Save the Land and People, one of the strongest anti-strip mining groups to ever fight the coal companies. For many years he struggled alongside his family and the community to reclaim land which had been stolen by coal, gas, and timber companies in eastern Kentucky. After finishing his term as President in 1976, he continued working for the Council for several years. He eventually accepted a position on the Board again as Vice-President.

Through the use of Mountain Life & Work, the Council was able to reach out to the Appalachian region to let them know the shifting leadership of CSM, regional community group projects, and various struggles in the region. The magazine's mission had changed considerably since its start in 1925. ML&W offered news and feature articles on: "what workers have to say about their jobs, the struggles for a safe work place, fair wages and laws to protect them; land and mineral development in Appalachian coalfields and what people who live there are doing about it; how Appalachian communities are surviving the federal budget shifts while fighting back; the organizing victories of more than 100 community groups around the region, how they did it and what it means to the Appalachian people." In 1975, Mountain Life & Work celebrated its 50th year anniversary, and continued publication until 1989. This magazine was a source of information for those desiring to organize, strike, and fight back coal companies. Strikes like the one at Brookside were publicized and widely known because of ML&W.

The Brookside miners joined the UMWA in 1973, but Duke Power, the parent company of the Brookside mine, refused to accept a union contract. The miners went out on strike, and the picket line was going strong until the coal company got an injunction against the strikers. This injunction allowed only three men to picket each gate. This incident prompted local women to begin striking at Brookside. Women banded together in Harlan County to strike against Eastover's Brookside Mine and formed the Brookside Women's Club. An escalating fight began between the strikebreakers and the men and women on the picket line. Some men and women were arrested, along with their young children who were with them in the picket lines, and placed in the Harlan jail overnight. Finally, a Duke Power employee shot miner Lawrence Jones one night, resulting in his death. Fearing bad press, the coal company began negotiations with the miners. The miners finally received their union contract, but it was a hollow victory.

Organizers often needed legal help and advice, which CSM provided either by financing the costs, or by having staff members who knew the system. Elmer Rasnick, another very active Council staff member, knew the system. He also helped organize the Dickenson County Welfare Rights Organization (WRO), which grew to become the largest WRO organization in Virginia. In 1973, he became chairman when its name changed to Dickenson County Citizens for Social and Economic Justice (CSEJ). He helped in training paralegals, handling cases such as Supplemental Security Income, Food Cooperatives, Farm and Garden Cooperatives, House Coal Projects, and setting up the Citizens Coal Company. He also helped win a victory in getting a breakfast program in the Dickenson County school system. In 1974, CSM hired Elmer as a full-time organizer and director of the Community Unions Program. He was a key figure in getting free textbooks into elementary schools, better school bus transportation, improved town water system, more adequate health care facilities, and opening a trading post.

Many of the photos throughout Mountain Life & Work, in displays, posters, and other group projects were photos taken by Cathy Stanley, the main photographer on the CSM staff. She coordinated all photography for Mountain Life & Work and CSM. Other work for ML&W included planning, reporting, writing, layout design, printing photos, halftones, films and plates at the press. She participated in the Mine Health and Safety support work in strip mine field monitoring. She testified at the Office of Surface Mining hearing on strip mining. Cathy performed many follow-ups for several of the major mine disasters: Scotia in 1976, Pittston in 1978, and Ferrell in 1980. Many of the photos taken during these events and the interviews afterwards were taken by Cathy Stanley.

On March 9 and 11, 1976, two methane gas explosions occurred at the Scotia mine in Letcher County, Kentucky. This was the first major crises of that sort CSM's Commission for Mine Health and Safety handled. The disaster claimed the lives of 23 miners and 3 inspectors. With several of the most competent lawyers in the field, Thomas Galloway , Gerald Stern, and Davitt McAteer, CSM aided all the widows and families from the first explosion to sue Blue Diamond Coal Company in a combined law suit. Sally Ward Maggard, Cathy Stanley, Dan Hendrickson, and countless other staff members assisted the widows and families of the miners through organizing, press-screening, and collection of evidence. It was serious work that would continue for the next several years.

Other serious work the Council delved into and helped financed, was the Community Unions program. This included numerous Citizens for Social and Economic Justice groups especially in southwest Virginia and eastern Kentucky, which began organizing for economic development projects, such as small-scale farm and garden, solar greenhouse, and house coal projects. They helped families by providing paralegal help on citizens' rights issues and individuals' benefits and claims cases. It has also sponsored Sungro, a project to build community green houses that can provide vegetable seedlings and an additional source of income for members and co-ops. This resulted in feed stores and cooperatives like the ones in Dickenson and Buchanan counties. Community Unions are all controlled by low-income people from the local county, and all advocate for the needs and rights of low-income people. Some of the programs operated by community unions include food cooperatives, legal aid, restaurants, farm and garden projects, trading post, fuel and clothing assistance, coal mine, and tenants' rights.

Through the program work of community unions, CSEJs, and WROs, Council staff was beginning to grow in membership with activists such as Bill Worthington. Bill was a retired coal miner with 33 years of underground mining experience. He worked as Director of the Mine Health and Safety Program for the Council of the Southern Mountains. He spoke at countless conventions, rallies, conferences, and workshops around Appalachia concerning black lung, welfare, among other Appalachian issues. He had also worked as an advocate for Miners Health Care Corporation, as an organizer and supervisor for the Community Action Program, and as a field consultant on Black Lung for the U.S. Labor Department

Bill Worthington, like several other Council members, was involved with one of CSM's affiliated organizations, the Black Lung Association, largely because black lung was a threat to them, their family, or their community. In 1969, the Black Lung movement sparked massive wildcat strikes for compensation legislation. The Black Lung Association won major reforms in federal black lung compensation programs in 1972. Through Mine Health and Safety programs, the Council supported the Black Lung Association, helped raise awareness, and championed benefits for coal workers suffering from black lung. All this activity resulted in Congress finally passing the Black Lung Compensation Reform Act in 1977. This was just one of the many concerns Council members fought over for mine health and safety.

Since the start of the 1970s, CSM began working effectively toward safer coal mining in Appalachian coal mines. The Council was the first and only safety "representative of the miners" for non-union miners, a status gained for miners at specific, targeted underground mines in eastern Kentucky. The Council also was a leader in broadening the safety rights of miners after four CSM members were fired from two Pike county, Kentucky non-union coal mines which, after investigation, became precedent-setting "safety discrimination cases." Council staff testified and commented on the federal Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act of 1977, pointing out how lack of adequate training was linked to mine explosions. The MH&S Programs worked toward their goal of improving health and safety of miners by (1) giving support to the Black Lung Association, (2) organizing non-union miners around safety issues, (3) lobbying for better health and safety legislation, (4) filing law suits to bring about better enforcement of health and safety laws, (5) help training for safety, (6) publicizing health and safety problems, and (7) supporting United Mine Workers Association mine health and safety efforts.

MH&S Programs also delved into legal matters, with the use of testimonies and statements given at hearings. Through "citizens' participation" strip-mine enforcement was specified and successfully proposed in CSM testimony in 1977 to both houses of Congress. The Council recommended the successful steps of enforcement from the 1969 Act be copied and the less successful steps be strengthened in the new legislation. Several proposed amendments were accepted in the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. In 1978, with collected evidence and photos, CSM staff helped close a MACO Coal Company owned strip mine along Neece Creek in Virginia. This was one of the first mines to be closed under the Act of 1977.

Another victory for the Council was then they, as "citizens," filed and won a review of an inspector's inaction of enforcement at Highland Coal Company in 1979. It was their evidence, photos, inspections and arguments that won them a series of enforcement actions. CSM publicized OSM's lax enforcement, and lack of inspections as mandated by law, through a dozen coalfield weekly publications.

During these great victories in MH&S, the first woman to be elected President of the Council of the Southern Mountains took place at the 1977 Annual Meeting in Hindman, Kentucky. Judy McKinney had played an active part in the community work of the Buchanan County Citizens for Social and Economic Justice by requesting funds and grants from various agencies that might have supported their community-focused programs. She continued this work through the financially difficult years of the Council, encouraging fund-raising, support, and activity in the Appalachian region.

Another important Council staff member was Mike Henson, who served on the Council Board from 1979 till its disbandment in 1989. He served as Treasurer from 1979 to 1982, focusing on CSM's difficult budget and actively fund-raising. He served as Secretary from 1983 to 1986, with hopes of improving CSM's membership. He was one of the key communicators with community groups, inviting them to become formal member groups of the Council of the Southern Mountains.

The Council's involvement in mine safety continued as the Mine Health and Safety Program taught about mine safety issues, including the use of the new oxygen self-rescuers and miners' safety rights to miners and other persons in the coal community. CSM also pushed for the requirement of oxygen self-rescuers (self-contained self-rescuers, or SCSR's) for all underground miners. After investigating several miner deaths by cause of suffocation, it was proven that with a SCSR a miner would have had a higher possibility of surviving.

Through investigation and determination, responsibility for safe mining practices was proven to extend beyond the corporate veil of complex corporate structures to parent corporations. In 1980, after four long years a multi-million dollar settlement awarded $5.9 million to the widows and families of miners who died in the March 1976 Scotia mine explosions. This was an unprecedented event, to have fifteen women band together to sue one of the largest coal companies for irresponsibility in mine health and safety, and proceed to win the lawsuit. Blue Diamond, the parent coal company of Scotia, was proven irresponsible. Scotia also pleaded guilty to charges that it failed to train each miner to use self-rescue equipment. Scotia also falsely reported that a mine inspector had recently checked the mine's ventilation system before the explosions.

At the same time in 1980, other changes were taking place for CSM. The next President of the Council was Almetor King. She was one of the founders of the Poor People's Self-Help Commission and the Black Appalachian Commission, two of the groups most instrumental to reorganizing the Council under the leadership of poor people. She had worked at the Highlander Research and Education Center for eleven years, before joining the Council. She was elected Treasurer of CSM in 1973 and served that position until 1976. In the years that followed, she was elected Vice-President from 1977-1979, and President from 1980-1984. Almetor King was also the first African-American Appalachian woman to be President of the Council of the Southern Mountains.

Another tragedy occurred, much like the one at Scotia, but this time the mine explosion took place on December 7, 1981, at the Adkins Coal Company owned #18 mine in Topmost, Kentucky. The explosion took the lives of eight miners. The Council staff used their multi-strategy organizing efforts for the widows and families of these victims. The Council worked close with the families to push investigations and hearings to prove the patterns of illegal mining practices which caused the explosion. The resulting investigation found that the explosion was caused by coal dust in the air that was set off by blasting in the area, which violated safety regulations.

Further endeavors in the mine health and safety programs included the Citizens Coal Company was organized in 1981 as a community-owned coal mine with the purpose to provide reasonably priced house coal for low-income families. This was an attempt to run a model mine for health and safety. Unfortunately, before the coal mine could ever attempt to prove its purpose, the mining equipment was stolen. The coal mine had a poor start, being in a non-union county and without 100% approval from the CSM Board members before the venture started. This led to tension between staff members about the project, and the funds lost from the stolen equipment began to push the Council into debt.

During this financial difficulty, CSM staff assisted groups like the Yellow Creek Concerned Citizens (YCCC) in their organizing plans. YCCC formed because their community was concerned that their drinking water was contaminated by a local Middlesboro, Kentucky, tannery. A large number of leukemia cases diagnosed in their small area, thus raising concern and suspicion. They campaigned hard, all the way up to the federal level, for the reduction of the pollution and the provision of drinkable water for the residents around Yellow Creek. CSM assisted by providing publicity and support in their fight against toxic pollution of their streams, as the Council staff did with many community groups.

Further work in communities included the studies through the Land Heirship Organizing project, which was put together by the Knott County CSEJ and Mart Shepherd. The Council staff assisted land heirs who were fighting to regain property stolen from their ancestors by the coal, gas, and timber companies in Kentucky and Virginia counties. Land had been speculated and sold without the land owner's approval, or even their knowledge in some cases, for years. The Council staff assisted families and gave advice on how to research land deeds. In the Shepherd family case, they disputed mineral, timber, and surface rights to at least three tracts of land. They found that the coal company never did have a clear deed to the land, therefore the land was rightfully owned by the Shepherd family.

As funding unavailability continued to be discouraging, and debts were piling up, the Council was dealt a blow in the mid-1980s when their usual sources of funding declined to fund projects. The Commission on Religion in Appalachia (CORA) and Appalachian Development Projects Committee (ADPC) did not grant funding that year for CSM supported projects and programs. This shed new light on how CSM needed to seek out funds from other groups and from fund-raising.

The Council continued to keep a watch on strip mines and make sure they were complying with Federal regulations. If they did not, CSM members would file citizens' complaints to bring legal actions down on the offending coal mine. They even, on occasions, would accompany the inspectors of the mines on their rounds. After a several-year effort to improve safety management of Blue Diamond Coal Company, CSM won a settlement in a precedent-setting stockholders' suit, as part of the Coal Company Monitoring Project. Though, before the victory, staff was forced to turn over the thousands of pages and files about their mine monitoring operations.

Another key element to the Council of the Southern Mountains operations was the bookstore and the people who managed and staffed it. George Brosi was hired as the Appalachian Book and Record Shop manager. George began working for CSM as Coordinator of the Youth Commission in 1967, which enabled him to travel all over the Appalachian region working with young people. He joined the Board of the Council in 1970, and the following year was elected Treasurer, serving the position for two years. After becoming the Bookstore Manager, he maintained daily bookstore duties, staff, finances, publicity, book fairs, book reviews, and a book and record catalog each year.

The Council of the Southern Mountains Bookstore, also referred to as the Appalachian Book and Record Shop, was an integral and important part of the Council's mission. The store's aim was to provide information to those who wished to be more knowledgeable about the Appalachian region, especially about social and cultural life in the mountains. Two priorities of the bookstore was to serve its customers honestly and dependably by recommending the Council's other programs and to encourage an awareness of the positive heritage of the region by demonstrating the common struggles of the past to the present ones. A Mobile Bookstore was also part of the program, bringing these valuable resources right into the places where the people of the region gather. The book selection fought against the hillbilly stereotype, and encouraged reading among the Appalachian rural people. Funds for the nonprofit mobile bookstore were dependent upon National Endowment for the Humanities grants each year, with which not only afforded the extensive selection of Appalachian regional books, but also a number of fairs. The mobile bookstore usually worked in each county on a two-week cycle. Appalachian authors, musicians, local activists and craftspeople all were a large part of these fairs, to encourage pride in Appalachian culture, history, tradition, life, and work.

Related Berea College Archives

Related Archives at Other Institutions

  • John C. and Olive Dame Campbell Papers, The Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Records of the Episcopal Appalachian Ministries / Appalachian People’s Service Organization (APSO), Archives of the Episcopal Church, 606 Rathervue Place, P.O. Box 2247, Austin, Texas 78768.
  • Records Highlander Research and Education Center / Highlander Folk School. Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison WI.
  • Russell Sage Foundation's Southern Highland Division material, Russell Sage Foundation Archives, Rockefeller Archive Center, Sleepy Hollow, New York.

Related References

David Whisnant, "Controversy in God's Grand Division: The Council of the Southern Mountains," Appalachian Journal, Volume 2, Autumn, 1974, No. 1.

---. More Controversy in God's Grand Division: The Council of the Southern Mountains, Appalachian Journal, Volume 2, Spring, 1975, No. 3.

Papers of John C. and Olive Dame Campbell, The Southern Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Papers of the Southern Highland Division. Russell Sage Foundation Archives, New York, New York.

Alfred H. Perrin, ed., Seeking a People Partnership: Challenges by Perley Ayer. 36 pages. 1969.

Mountain Life & Work, 1925 to present. Special Collections, Hutchins Library, Berea College, Berea, Kentucky. Indexed.

Thomas J. Kiffmeyer, The Appalachian Volunteers: Fighting the War on Poverty in Kentucky, 1963-1970. Thesis (MA) - Eastern Kentucky University, 1988.

Thomas J. Kiffmeyer, From Self-Help to Sedition: The Appalachian Volunteers: and the War on Poverty in eastern Kentucky, 1963-1970. Thesis (Ph.D) - University of Kentucky, 1998.

Penny Messinger, Leading the Field of Mountain Work: The Conference of Southern Mountain Workers, 1913-1950. Thesis (Ph.D), Ohio State University, 1998.

Michael Moloney, "Evaluating Education Advocacy Work by the Urban Appalachian Council." Journal of Appalachian Studies, Volume 5, Spring 1999, No. 1.

Sally Ward Maggard, "'We're Fighting Millionaires!': The Clash of Gender and Class in Appalachian Women's Union Organizing." No Middle Ground: Women and Radical Protest, ed. K. Blee. New York: New York University Press. 1998.

Ronald Roberts and Carol Cooke-Roberts, Mother Jones and Her Sisters: A Century of Women Activists in the American Coal Fields. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. 1998.

Earl Dotter, The Quiet Sickness: A Photographic Chronicle of Hazardous Work in America. Fairfax, Virginia: American Industrial Hygiene Association. 1998.

George Loveland, "Educating for Social Justice: The Harry Lasker Library at Highlander." Journal of Appalachian Studies, Volume 5, Fall 1999, No. 2.

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