During Seedtime on the Cumberland 2018, Appalshop Archive mounted a gallery exhibition featuring historical photographs and heirloom objects from family archives in and around Letcher County.
The exhibit is the culmination of a yearlong, NEH-supported project to preserve and increase public awareness of personal archives. In spring and summer of 2017, Archive staff hosted a series of Show & Tell events in Letcher County libraries, where residents were invited to share archival items and the stories behind them. Following the library meetings, Digitization Days were held during Letcher County’s annual Mountain Heritage Festival, when still images and other family treasures were scanned or photographed at the old Dawahares building.
Highlights from these events—as well as materials that were delivered to the Archive over the course of the year—are featured in the Appalshop Gallery through June 2018. They include photographs dating from c. 1910s to 1960s, handmade textiles, musical instruments, farming and foodways items, and other historical objects that provide windows into eastern Kentucky life, work, play, families and community.
A closing reception will be held at the Appalshop Gallery on Thursday, June 28th from 5-7pm. The event will also feature the surreal paintings of local artist Russell Griswold, whose exhibit closes on June 30th. The reception is free & open to the public and refreshments will be served.
In addition to still images and objects, selected clips from preserved Letcher County home movies will be shown.
These events are supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Common Heritage initiative, which seeks to demonstrate that America’s cultural heritage is preserved not only in libraries, museums, and archives, but also in all of our homes, family histories, and life stories.