Hutchins Library
Special Collections & Archives
Guide to the Earl Palmer Photographic Collection

Accession Number: 73
Earl Palmer Photographic Collection
1.8 linear ft.
Online Catalog Record (BANC)

Box List

Access and Use

Access: There are no restrictions placed on viewing this collection. Reproduction for publication is at the discretion of Berea College.

Provenance: These photographs were donated to Berea College by Earl Palmer.

Preferred Citation: Earl Palmer Photographic Collection, Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea, Ky.

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Large black and white prints of photos taken by Virginia-based photographer Earl Palmer of the Appalachian region and its people over a 20-year period, organized by subject. Many photos in this collection were taken at or near Berea College; others others were taken in the hills of Virginia and West Virginia. Palmer's typed captions appear on the back of many, but not all, of the prints. They are arranged alphabetically by subject. An additional box contains oversize or matted prints.


Earl Palmer (1905-96) was an award-winning photographer whose photographs appeared in many national magazines, including Life, National Geographic, and the Saturday Evening Post. His work has also appeared in many books, including several by Jesse Stuart, and has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the nation. One of these photos shows him in the company of Charles Kuralt. Palmer took photographs documenting Appalachia over a period of fifty years. His subjects include coal mining, farming, logging, moonshining, classes, artisans at work, and other activities illustrating the work and daily lives of mountain people and their culture. He also documented the economic struggles connected with the decline of coal mining, and derelict cabins in remote locations.

Box List
2 Manuscript Boxes, one oversize box

Box 1

  1. Artifacts
  2. Baptism
  3. Basket Making
  4. Bee Keeping
  5. Berea College/Buildings
  6. Berea College/Country Dancers
  7. Berea College/Crafts
  8. Berea College/Miscellaneous
  9. Berea College/"Wilderness Road"
  10. Blacksmith
  11. Broom-making
  12. Chair making
  13. Churches
  14. Coal Mining
  15. Cooking / Canning Foods
  16. Covered Bridges
  17. Daniel Boone Statue
  18. Dulcimer Making
  19. Farming
  20. Gunsmith
  21. Houses (Homes)
  22. Landscapes/ General

Box 2

  1. Landscapes/Spring
  2. Landscapes/Summer
  3. Landscapes/Winter
  4. Lumbering
  5. Mills
  6. Moonshine Stills
  7. Music
  8. Portraits of People
  9. Portraits - James Still
  10. Portaits - Jesse Stuart
  11. Quilting
  12. Roads
  13. Schools
  14. Soap Making
  15. Sorghum and Syrup Making
  16. Towns
  17. Transportation
  18. Weaving/Spinning
  19. Woodcarving
  20. Woodworking

Box 3

  1. Oversize landscape prints (7)
  2. Matted Prints (18), of Appalachians engaged in distinctive activities or Appalachian homes. Most have typed captions on the back of the print.

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