Hutchins Library
Special Collections & Archives
Guide to the Appalachian Religion Survey Records, 1931-1933
 

Accession Number: 34
1935 Religious Survey Papers, 1931-1933
2.4 Linear Feet
Online Catalog Record (BANC)


Overview
History
Series Description

Series I - General
Series II - Home Missions
Series IV - Virginia
Series V - Kentucky
Series VI - Tennessee
Series VII - North Carolina
Series VIII - Georgia
Series IX - U. S. Dept. of Agriculture

Overview

These are completed data schedules and related narratives from a l931-l933 Appalachian regional religion survey undertaken by the Institute of Social and Religious Research. The survey gathered data from approximately 1000 churches and missions in seventeen counties representing the states of West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky.

History

The survey was conducted in connection with a broader economic and social study of the region undertaken by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Survey results were published in the books, Religion in the Highlands: Native Churches and Missionary Enterprises in the Southern Appalachians (1933) by Elizabeth R. Hooker, and Economic and Social Problems and Conditions of the Southern Appalachians by the U. S. Department of Agriculture in 1935.

Materials consist of completed survey schedules, narrative commentary, and compilations of miscellaneous reference information on the surveyed counties. In addition to fieldwork data, surveyors drew on census statistics and other sources in the completion of the forms. Miscellaneous newspaper clippings, hand-drawn maps, photographs, and correspondence are included for some of the churches.

Data was organized under the categories of county, church, ministers, sermons, and Sunday schools. County schedules summarized economic, social, and geographical information. Church schedules provided basic statistical information including church names, addresses, affiliations, organizational histories, and building descriptions. Ministers schedules detailed pastors' background and qualifications. Sermons / Sunday School schedules summarized sermons and forms of worship with subjective commentary by field staff on the substance (or lack of it) contained in sermons and Sunday school lessons. The Ministers and Sermons / Sunday school schedules are particularly reflective of the biases of the field staff in relation to their subjects.

Series Description
7 Manuscript Boxes

Series I General Box 1

This series consists of general background information on the Southern Appalachian region including population distribution, education, church financial resources, and geographical/ geological studies of the region.

Series II Home Missions Box 1

This series consists of information on the status and objectives of regional home missionary efforts of several denominations. Excerpts from denominational reports and interviews with workers and church officials are included.

Series III West Virginia Boxes 1-2

This series consists of survey schedules for Nicholas, Pendelton, and Webster Counties. Some of the County schedules include photographs.

Series IV Virginia Boxes 2-3

This series consists of survey schedules for Allegheny, Grayson, and Greene Counties. Some photographs exist in the County schedules for Grayson County, the County and Church schedules for Allegheny County, and the Church schedules for Greene County.

Series V Kentucky Boxes 3-4

This series consists of survey schedules for Knott, Laurel, and Leslie counties. Extracts of information are also present for Harlan and Martin Counties. Photographs exist in the County schedules for Laurel and Leslie Counties.

Series VI Tennessee Boxes 4-5

This series consists of survey schedules for Blount, Cumberland, Overton, and Sevier Counties. The Ministers schedule for Overton County is missing. There are photographs in the County schedule for Blount County.

Series VII North Carolina Boxes 5-6

This series consists of survey schedules for Avery, Madison, and Transylvania Counties. Extracts of Sermons / Sunday Schools schedules for Jackson and Haywood Counties are also present. There are photographs in the County schedules for Avery, Madison, and Transylvania Counties.

Series VIII Georgia Box 6

This series consists of survey schedules for Towns County. No other Georgia counties were surveyed.

Series IX U.S. Deptartment of Agriculture Box 7

This series consists of a copy of the USDA publication, Economic and Social Problems and Conditions of the Southern Appalachians (1935). Much of the religion survey data is examined and summarized in "The Church Situation" section of the report.

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