Guide to the Rogers V. Whitener Papers, 1973 - 1991

Summary Information

Title: Rogers V. Whitener Papers, 1973 - 1991
Collection: AC.172
Extent: 4.75 linear feet (5 manuscripts, 2 shoeboxes, 1 records box, 2 oversize folders, 1 Cold Storage envelope)

The Rogers V. Whitener Papers consist of typescript versions of his column, "Folkways and Folklore." "Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech" appeared weekly in the Watauga Democrat from 1973 to 1991, and other newspapers, giving provides insight into the folk culture of Watauga County, North Carolina during the late twentieth century.

Creator: Whitener, Rogers V., 1919-

Biographical/Historical Note

Rogers Whitener was born in McDowell County, North Carolina in 1919. Rogers Whitener attended Appalachian State Teacher’s College in 1941-42, interrupting his education for a three-year stint in the Army Air Corps (1942-1945) before resuming his studies in 1946 and earning a B. S. in English and History in 1948. From 1948 to 1950, he attended the University of Florida and received his M.A. in English. Whitener joined the Appalachian Faculty in the fall of 1959 as an assistant professor in the department of English. He was promoted to associate professor in 1970, and to full professor in 1980, a position he maintained until his retirement as professor emeritus in 1989.

Whitener served as an advisor to The Appalachian and was the Director of Cultural Affairs from 1961-1981. His other activities included positions on such diverse committees as the Greater University Advisory Committee on the Arts, the Campus-Community Relations Committee, the Board of Advisors on Art and the Community at the New College for Social research in New York City, and the planning committee for the New York Loft. He served on the boards of directors for the Appalachian Historical Association and the Watauga Arts Council, and was vice-president and judge for the NC Folklore Society. He also assisted the development of the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection. "Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech," Whitener’s weekly column, appeared in the Watauga Democrat from 1973 to 1991. Whitener encouraged readers to mail in stories to be included in his column. He and his wife Janice had two daughters.

Scope and Contents

Rogers V. Whitener Papers contains typed versions of Whitener's weekly newspaper column "Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", published from 1973-1989. Also in this collection are several W. Amos Abrams' manuscripts and notes, several student papers, Cratis Williams' recordings, and other audiovisual recordings, such as the Rogers V. Whitener Day Celebration and Retirement Roast. Books, building plans for a proposed Arts Complex, speeches, newspaper clippings, and various memorablia are also found in his papers.


This collection is arranged into three series: Series I: "Folk-Ways and Folk Speech" Columns #1-854 and unnumbered; Series II: Correspondence, Manuscripts, Other Papers; and Series III: Music, Audiovisual Materials, Books. There are a few color photographs in Cold Storage, and two oversize folders with blueprints of the proposed Appalachian State University Arts Complex and special newspapers and photographs.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room without restrictions. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections.

Acquisitions Information

Provenance is unknown. This collection was originally opened to the public on 15 October 2002. In 2015, AC.172 and UA.5142 were combined into AC.172 with an addition which came in January 2015 (AC.2015.007)

Processing Information

Processed by Deborah Bell, 1994; Kathryn Staley, 15 October 2002; Encoded by Kathryn Staley, 24 June 2005. In January 2015, AC.172 and UA.5142 were combined to make the new AC.172, updated by Anita Elliott.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], AC.172: Rogers V. Whitener Papers, W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Container List

Series I: "Folk-Ways and Folk Speech" Columns, 

Scope and Contents

Series I: "Folk-Ways and Folk Speech" Columns This series contains almost every column he published from 1973-1989, with some unnumbered/undated. There are also incomplete lists and an index of the columns.

  Box Folder

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Columns #1-51, 1973 

1 1

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Columns #52-105, 1974 

1 2

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Columns #106-154, 1975 

1 3

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Columns #155-206, 1976 

1 4

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Columns #207-256, 1977 

1 5

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Columns #257-304, 306-307, 1978 

1 6

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Columns #308-337, 339-356, 1979 

1 7

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Columns #357-404, 1980 

1 8

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Columns #405-446, 448-459, 1980 

1 9

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Columns #460-464, 466-484, 501-509, 1982 

2 1

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Columns #510-560, 1983 

2 2

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Columns #562-608, 1984 

2 3

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Columns #609-659, 1985 

2 4

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Columns #660-709, 1986 

2 5

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Columns #710-759, 1987 

2 6

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Columns #760-770, 772-807, 1988 

2 7

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Columns #807-846, 848-854, 1989 

2 8

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Unnumbered Columns, 1990 

2 9

"Folk-Ways and Folk-Speech", Unnumbered Columns, 1991 

2 10

Lists and Index for Rogers Whitener's "Folk-ways and Folk Speech" Columns through February 21, 1989, 1989, undated 

2 11

Series II: Correspondence, Manuscripts, Other Papers,

Scope and Contents

Series II: Correspondence, Manuscripts, Other Papers This series contains several manuscripts and notes by W. Amos Abrams, information on the Newport, Rhode Island trips offered by Appalachian State University, several photographs, speeches, and an assortment of other papers.

  Box Folder

W. Amos Abrams, Article on Music Boxes, and Honorary Degree, 1974 and 1987

3 1

W. Amos Abrams, "Comprehensive Catalogue of the Sundry Mechanical Makers of Music, and the Tunes, Song Titles and Related Items in the Hobby House Music Collection of Dr. and Mrs. W. Amos Abrams", 1977

3 2

W. Amos Abrams, "Folklore in North Carolina-a Brief Appraisal", undated

3 3

W. Amos Abrams, "Mrs. G.L. Bostic-Sweet Singer of Old Songs", and Letter, March 1973

3 4

W. Amos Abrams, "Horton Barker-Folk Singer Supreme" Manuscript with Edits, undated

3 5

W. Amos Abrams, "Pure Coincidence? If not, What?", 1973

3 6

W. Amos Abrams, Jessie (Mrs. Claude E.) Norris, Correspondence re: his book, 1977-1979

3 7

Appalachia Cultural Exchange Center and Daniel Boone Hotel Project, 1976-1983, undated

3 8

B.B. Dougherty Administraiton Dedication, Speech by Rogers Whitener, with Postcards and 1946-1947 Student Handbook of Appalachian State University, 1946-1968, undated

3 9

Campus-wide and Public Programs Committee, 1974-1977

3 10

Campus-wide and Public Programs Committee, 1978-1979

3 11

Class/Student Papers, 1981-1985, undated

3 12

Correspondence, 1969-1993, undated

3 13

Hays, Arthur, "House Carpenter", original, hand-written Ballad, circa December 1939

3 14

Hollowell, Bobby, "The Catfish Kid (Ballad of Jim Hunter)", 1975

3 15

B. Hagan King, Thesis "Barn-to-Theatre Conversion: a Study involving a Survey and Design Application", for Pennsylvania State University, 1974

4 1

Michael Langenstein, "fantasy and Surreal Postcards", 1986

4 2

Manuscripts and Notes, undated

4 3

Memorabilia Papers, 1945-1999, undated

4 4

Newport, Rhode Island, Information, Brochures, Trips, 1959-1994, undated

4 5

Newspaper Articles, various subjects, 1970s-1990s

4 6

Other Papers, Other Authors, 1981-1992, undated

4 7

Phillips, S.L., "Mother", original, hand-written composition, undated

4 8

Photographs, black and white, undated

4 9

COLD STORAGE: Photographs, color, (3), 1974

  Box Folder

Reprint from The Appalachian South, "Poverty and Affluence-Appalachian Wonderland", by Harry M. Caudill and William C. Blizzard, 1966

4 10

Speech cards, Rogers Whitener, address to Food Services Dinner, Appalachian State University, March 17, 1979

4 11

One handwritten page of "Sweet Sally", 1825

4 12

Mary M. Spoon Syler, "Father of the Forks-for the Little Forks", Genealogy of Weidner (Whitener) Family, undated

4 13

Rogers V. Whitener, Faculty Profile and Rogers V. Whitener Day, April 29, 1989

4 14

Cratis Williams, Manuscripts and News Releases, "The Man and His Stories", 1977-1985, undated

4 15
  Oversize Drawer

OVERSIZE: Four oversize items: 1) Johnson City, Tenn. Press Chronicle, 2/17/1974; 2) Watauga Democrat Supplement, "Reminiscence of a Country Boy and a Small Town Lawyer" (Wade E. Brown and Family), 1977; 3) Newsletter of "Appalachia Cultural Exchange Center", 4/3/1978; 4) Black and white 8"x10" mounted Photograph of Ed Presnell, 10/83 by "T.R.", 1974-1983

E3 29

Series III: Music, Audiovisual Materials, Books, 

Scope and Contents

Series III: Music, Audiovisual Materials, Books This series contains VHS tapes, including Whitener's retirement roast, reel-to-reel tapes of music and folklore, three Cratis Williams recordings on Umatic tapes, and two boxes of paper music rolls for antique music players.

  Box Folder

Ballads and Songs, typed lyrics, undated 

5 1

Ballad Record Classification (original files), undated 

5 2

Musical Scores, 1926-1949 

5 3
  Oversize Drawer

OVERSIZE: Twelve Blueprint Drawings of the Proposed Arts Complex and Conversion of a Barn to a Theater, October 1970   0.2 linear feet (oversize folder)

E3 29
  Box Folder

Whitener Columns, for "Thrice-Told Tales" Book, undated 

5 4

Rogers Whitener, Joe Miller, "Thrice-Told Tales", autographed by both, 1990 

5 5

Music Paper Rolls (25), undated 


Music Paper Rolls on Roller (9 with 2 empty rollers), undated 


VHS: Rogers Whitener Retirement Roast at Boone Drug, Boone, North Carolina, 1989 


VHS: Rogers Whitener Day, April 29, 1989 


VHS: Cratis Williams (ballads), interviewed by Rogers Whitener, undated 


VHS and cassette: Cratis Williams Memorial Service, circa 1985 


VHS: "Daniel Boone", with George O'Brien and John Carradine, 1986 


VHS: Doc Watson Special Documentary, undated 


Reel-to-reel (small): Doc Abrams, Speeches and Cratis Williams Symposium, April 9, 1976 


Reel-to-reel: Horn in the West, undated 


Reel-to-reel: Class Stories (folklore), June 24, 1976 


Reel-to-reel: The Crooked Pine String Band, recorded, May 28, 1976 


Reel-to-reel: Cafeteria Music, undated 


Reel-to-reel: Max Lerner, no. 2, undated 


Reel-to-reel: Abrams' Piano Presentation, "Rescued from Land Fill", at presentation of Knabe Baby Grand Piano, Ampico Reproducing, to Appalachian State University, April 20, 1975 


Reel-to-reel: "Voices From the Hills: Stories of the Appalachian people as only they can tell them", and Folk Ways, narrated by Rogers Whitener, undated 


UMATIC: Cratis Williams, Heritage, Tape 1, November 12, 1974 


UMATIC: Cratis Williams, Heritage, Tape 2, November 12, 1974 


UMATIC: Cratis Williams, Language, undated 


FLOPPY DISKS: 6 MS DOS versions, undated 


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