Guide to the William C. Plumley Papers, 1954-1990, undated

Summary Information

Title: William C. Plumley Papers, 1954-1990, undated
Collection: AC.456
Extent: 2.0 linear feet (4 boxes)

The William C. Plumley Papers contains color and black and white photographs and slides of celebrities, several autographed guest books, audiovisual recordings of lectures and presentations, and the personal copy of Davis Grubb's "The Night of the Hunter," given to Plumley by Grubb.

Creator: Plumley, William

Biographical/Historical Note

William "Billy" C. Plumley was born September 19, 1937 in Hamlin, West Virginia. He was the owner of an art gallery and had an impressive collection of signed paintings, documents and letters of important historical people. He retired as professor of Linguistics and Literature at the University of Charleston (formerly Morris Harvey College) in Charleston, West Virginia. An author, Plumley wrote poetry and edited anthologies and articles and folklore, poetry, and fiction, with a focus on Appalachian literature and culture. He died on November 27, 2008 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Scope and Contents

The William C. Plumley Papers contain an assortment of photographs and 35mm slides, black and white and color, of legendary celebrities, such as Jack Palance and Jesse Stuart. He also collected several autographs in guest books signed at University of Charleston, West Virginia's Appalachian Gold Medallion Presentations in 1978 and 1979 for presentations made to Loretta Lynn and Jack Palance, respectively. Another guest book for an award presented to Ted Turner by The Mass Communication Association at the University of Charleston, West Virginia is dated May 5, 1984. In this collection also is the personal copy of his book, "The Night of the Hunter," inscribed by and containing several original drawings by author Davis Grubb, given to Bill Plumley. The collection includes lectures on Appalachian culture and literature via copies of television programs, recorded interviews of Robert Penn Warren, Jack Palance, Mary Lee Daugherty from Berea, and Gloria Steinem.


The collection is arranged in three series: Series I: Memorabilia; Series II: Photographs and Slides; and Series III: Audiovisual Materials.  The majority of the materials are in alphabetical order within series while the audiovisual materials are arranged as chronologically as possible, with an enclosed inventory.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections.

Acquisitions Information

This collection was purchased from Mr. Billy C. Plumley, St. Petersburg, Florida in 2008 and accessioned as AC.2008.052.

Processing Information

Processed by Anita Elliott, October 2013. This collection was processed as part of a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grant funded extensive processing of the backlog within the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection between 2012 and 2014.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], AC.456: William C. Plumley Papers, W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Container List

Series I: Memorabilia, 1954-1984, undated 

Series Description

Series I: Memborabilia contains three guest books from celebrity awards events for Loretta Lynn, Jack Palance, and Ted Turner, several autographed programs and photography, and the personal autographed copy of Davis Grubb's "The Night of the Hunter" which also contains many of Grubb's original artwork and sketches.

  Box Folder

Drawing Copies, from Davis Grubb's Personal Copy to Plumley, "The Night of the Hunter," 1954 

1 1

Guest Book, Loretta Lynn, Morris Harvey College, University of Charleston, West Virginia, April 13, 1978 

1 2

Guest Book, Jack Palance, Morris Harvey College, University of Charleston, West Virginia, March 22, 1979 

1 3

Guest Book, Ted Turner, The Mass Communication Association, University of Charleston, West Virginia, May 5, 1984 

1 4

Personal Copy of Davis Grubb, "The Night of the Hunter", by Davis Grubb, 1954 

1 5

Photograph, Autograph, and Screenplay, "Hatfields and McCoys", by Clyde Ware, 1975 

1 6

Programs and Catalogs, 1977, undated 

1 7

Series II: Photographs and Slides, circa 1964-1990, undated 

Series Description

Series II: Photographs and Slides includes several autographed celebrity photographs, both color and black and white, many color 35mm slides (found in Cold Storage), and two copies of the slide presentation, "Preparing for the Fugitives and the Agrarians", by William Plumley.

  Cold_Storage Folder

Color Slides, circa 1964-1977 

Box 2 1

Color Slides, 1977 

Box 2 2

Color Slides of Paintings by Davis Grubb, undated 

Box 2 3

Photographs, Actors with some Autographs, 1975-1990, undated 

Box 2 4

Photographs, related to Appalachian Gold Medallion, 1973-1981, undated 

Box 2 5

Photographs, Jack Palance and Martin Sheen with B. Plumley, undated 

Box 2 6

Photograph, Jesse Stuart on Stage with Bill Plumley, John Foster West, and Charlotte, undated 

Box 2 7

Slide Presentation, "Preparing for the Fugitives and the Agrarians," Transcript A, by William Plumley, 1977 

Box 2 8

Slide Presentation, "Preparing for the Fugitives and the Agrarians," Transcript A-2nd Set, by William Plumley, 1977 

Box 2 9

Series III: Audiovisual Materials, 1978, undated 

Series Description

Series III: Audiovisual Materials offers copies of television series and lectures by Plumley, segments of film of Loretta Lynn and Jack Palance with Plumley, and several interviews/talks with author, Davis Grubb. The video cassette of Jack Palance's TV interview could not be digitized due to the lack of proper equipment, so there is no user or archival copy of the original. Other AV materials have been digitized and are in Box 4 of this collection.


VHS #1-Video tape: "Murril Dressley Film Footage", undated 


VHS #2-Dr. William Plumley-Appalachian Literature Lectures, first four lectures (1-4), undated 


VHS #3-Dr. William Plumley-Appalachian Literature lectures, last four lectures (6-9), undated 


VHS #4-Plumley TV Series for PBS, undated 


Reel #1-"Elliot Wigginton, Morris Harvey College", April 14, 1978 


Reel #2-"Loretta Lynn Dinner Ballroom", April 13, 1978 


Reel #3-"Davis Grubb, Life and Words", (duplicate), undated 


Cassette #1-Lecture by William Plumley on Louise McNeil Peace, undated 


Cassette #2-"On Cinema in Appalachia", undated 


Cassette #3-Davis Grubb Tape, "Life and Words", undated 


Cassette #4-Untitled Davis Grubb tape, undated 


Cassette #5-"Preparing for the Fugitives", undated 


Cassette #6-Davis Grubb Tape, "Talley's Vengence, Part 1", undated 


Video Cassette- University Report Sample 2nd in Jack Palance Interview [no user copy], undated 


User copies of audiovisual materials, 1978, undated