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Appalshop, Inc. (Whitesburg, KY 41858-0743)
Caroline Rubens (Project Director: May 2013 to October 2015)
Safeguarding and Improving Access to the Appalshop Archive

The purchase of archival shelving for a new storage facility dedicated for paper materials; two Preservation Environmental Monitors (PEM) that would assess conditions in a climate-controlled vault that stores film, video, audio, and photographs; as well as the hiring of a consultant who would advise and train staff on conducting in-house preservation of 10,000 at-risk video and audio tapes. The media collection, spanning 44 years of Appalachian culture and history, contains unedited outtakes, raw footage, and full interviews with a variety of Appalachian artists, musicians, craftspeople, writers, and other individuals of regional and often national importance. Topics range from subsistence farming, extractive industries in Appalachia, traditional music and storytelling, labor organizing, and migration. In addition, the Appalshop media makers documented newsworthy regional events such as activity surrounding the Scotia mine explosions in 1976, Edward Kennedy's visit to eastern Kentucky in 1983, and a sit-down protest against the laying of a natural gas well in an Appalachian hollow in 1990.

The Appalshop Archive is seeking funds that will support its goal of stabilizing and improving access to the organization's institutional paper and audiovisual records. For over four decades, Appalshop has produced and presented work in a wide range of media that celebrates the culture and voices the concerns of people living in the Appalachian Mountains. Its Archive houses a significant collection of primary materials documenting the social, political, economic, and cultural history of Appalachia. This grant will support the purchase of archival shelves for paper material storage and environmental monitors to track climate conditions in two storage spaces. It will also fund a consultancy with an expert in moving image preservation who will advise the Archive on the establishment of an in-house preservation workstation that meets archival standards for transferring magnetic media.

Project fields:
Arts, General; Rural Studies

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2014 – 6/30/2015