Appalachian State University Historical Photographs

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Contact Information

For questions about the ASU Historical Photographs, please contact Pam Mitchem.

Phone: 828.262.7422


About the ASU Historical Photographs Collection

Project Update

Check out our ASU Historical Photographs Weblog, which provides updates on our digitization project.

In June 2007, the University Archives was awarded a 2007-2008 NC ECHO Digitization Grant for a sum of $38,100 to digitize 3,120 of Appalachian State University's historical photographs. North Carolina ECHO (Exploring Cultural Heritage Online) grants are supported by the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and provide funds for collaborative digitization projects among the state's libraries and partner cultural institutions to create online resources for public use.

Appalachian State University Archives' proposes to develop a comprehensive online digital collection of photographs pertaining to the history of Appalachian from 1903 to the early 1980s. The completed project will include an online searchable database for patrons to have access to the images, an Appalachian history timeline, an interactive map of historical and current campus buildings, and links to K-12 resources for teachers. This will be a multi-year project, requiring two years to complete. We will digitize and provide metadata for an additional 4,000 images during the second year of the project. The grant funds have provided for two computers, a scanner, office furniture, supplies, and staff salary.

The idea for this project came out of the need to better serve our patrons. Our most used collections are our photographs collections. We found that our patrons were demanding online access to images and usually preferred their copies in digital format. The images represent a portion of the visual history of the physical, economic, social, administrative, and academic development of Appalachian State University as well as the University's connection with the community, the state, and the Appalachian region. These photographs have broad statewide value to the history and cultural heritage of North Carolina. Since Appalachian State University is one of the 16 UNC institutions of higher education, and because of its location and initial mission, its history is of singular importance to an overall understanding of higher education, specifically teacher education, in North Carolina and the Appalachian region.

University Archives

University Archives and Records, created in 1981, is a sub-unit of the Belk Library & Information Commons Special Collections unit and the official repository for Appalachian State University records. It collects, preserves, and makes available for researchers University records of historic or administrative value, as well as special donated collections. The University Archives houses not onlydepartmental records, but photographs, yearbooks, newspapers, and clippings files that document Appalachian's history.

The Photographs

The project staff carefully selected photographs from our General Picture File, the Brown-Scoggins Collection and the John Pritchett Collection. The images include buildings, faculty, staff, general campus, students, student related events, and sports as well as the campus demonstration schools (elementary and high schools) located on campus. We will also include photos of Boone, New River Power andLight, and other areas and facilities connected with Appalachian State University.

Most of the photographs from the General Picture File were taken by John Dinkins, former University Photographer. Some early Mike Rominger images have been included but the bulk of the Rominger photos will be included in another project devoted solely to the photographer's work while at Appalachian State University.

Little useful descriptive information accompanies many of our images. By allowing users to comment on the photos and to suggest additions, such as names of persons shown, dates, and the context of the image, we hope to enhance our descriptive metadata.


Project made possible by North Carolina: Preserving Cultural Heritage Online (NCECHO) through funds from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS).