Hutchins Library
Special Collections & Archives
Guide to the Appalachian Presbyterians Survey Records

Accession Number: 16
Appalachian Presbyterians Survey Records
5.4 linear ft.
Online Catalog Record (BANC)

Series Description
Series I - Reports
Series II - Coding Instructions
Series III - IBM Cards
Series IV - Interview Schedules
Series V - Miscellaneous

Access and Use

Provenance: The Appalachian Presbyterians Survey Records were acquired from Hart M. Nelsen by Berea College in 1974. They were opened for research in 1980.

Copyright Restrictions: Reproduction and/or analysis of the computer data cards produced by Nelsen can be done only with his permission. There are no other restrictions than those required by federal copyright laws.

Preferred Citation:
Appalachian Presbyterians Survey Records, Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea, Ky.
Overview of the Collection

This collection includes the raw data in extensive written questionnaires that were completed by Presbyterians in five southern Appalachian states in the summer of 1967. It also includes details of the design and analysis of the study, and a number of articles analyzing the results. Hart M. Nelsen of Western Kentucky University’s Department of Sociology designed and conducted the survey on behalf of two denominations.

Related College Archives:


The Appalachian Presbyterians Survey was commissioned by the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America and the Presbyterian Church in the United States. It was conducted by Hart M. Nelsen of Western Kentucky University's Department of Sociology. The survey schedules ask for demographic information, then explore attitudes towards childrearing, education, racial equality, churches, theological beliefs, and the community.

The survey sample consisted of eighteen separate congregations in five Appalachian states: Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The data collected in North Carolina, however, is not included in these records.In addition to members of the congregations, the survey included ministers, clerks of session, Sunday School superintendents and Sunday School teachers.

The survey process took place over 11 months and consisted of five phases:

  1. Preparation of a comprehensive bibliography (Apr 1967) and a 343 page review of literature (May 1967).
  2. Consultation with key church leaders to analyze the review of literature (May 1967).
  3. Preparation of the research design (Jun 1967).
  4. Field interviewing (Jul-Aug 1967).
  5. Coding and analyzing the completed interview data (Feb 1968).

Series Description
13 Manuscript Boxes

Series I Reports Box 1

This series consists of several preliminary and interim reports published by Hart M. Nelsen, prior to the survey’s completion.

Series II Coding Instructions Box 1, cont.

This series consists of instructions to survey workers for completing individual participant schedules.

Series III IBM Cards Box 2

This series consists of two sets of IBM punch cards; one set carries a usage restriction.

Series IV Interview Schedules Boxes 3-13

This series consists of completed interview schedules for ministers, parishioners, clerks, church superintendents, and church-school teachers. They are organized by roll, state, and community.

Series V Miscellaneous Box 13, cont.

Two journal reprints of articles by Nelsen explaining sampling and statistical analysis methods used in the survey.

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