Guide to the Eric J. Olson Papers, 1893-2006, undated

Summary Information

Title: Eric J. Olson Papers, 1893-2006, undated
Collection: AC.903
Extent: 17.5 linear feet (5 record cartons, 3 large flat boxes, 3 medium flat boxes, 8 large shoeboxes, 2 small shoeboxes, 1 half-size manuscript, 3 manuscript, 1 medium square box, 2 oversize folders, 3 envelopes in Cold storage)

The Eric J. Olson Papers houses the personal and professional collegiate and musical files of Dr. Eric J. Olson, former Appalachian Collection Librarian at Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina. This collection is the majority of the files from his office pertaining to the Collection, his musical career, his extensive audiovisual collection, and other papers accrued during his career.

Creator: Olson, Eric

Biographical/Historical Note

Eric J. Olson (January 27, 1941-January 14, 1999), the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection's first professionally trained librarian, began his term as Appalachian Collection Librarian in June 1978. Olson, who came to ASU from Western Carolina University where he worked as a cataloger, was also a well-known folk revivalist musician. Olson retired from University service in 1993.

Scope and Contents

This collection holds most of the personal and professional files of Dr. Eric J. Olson, former Librarian of the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection at Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, from 1978 until his retirement in 1993. Among these papers are course syllabi, lecture notes, ungraded student essays and bibliographies, papers from his musical courses, Fiddlers' Conventions announcements, song and ballad lyrics, German genealogical correspondence and family trees, research articles on history, music, and other interests, and several formats of music.


This collection is arranged in five series, some of which have subseries. Series I: Personal and Professional Papers and Genealogy Research is further subdivided into three subseries: Subseries A: Personal Papers; Subseries B: Genealogy Research; and Subseries C: Professional Papers. Series II: Appalachian Collection Records is arranged alphabetically. Series III: Course Syllabi, Papers, and Notes about Music and Festivals is divided into two subseries: Subseries A: Course Syllabi and Papers and Subseries B: Music Events, Papers, and Notes. Series IV: Articles, Newsletters, and Catalogs is arranged alphabetically. Series V: Audiovisual Materials is divided into four subseries: Subseries A: Other formats; Subseries B: Audiocassettes; Subseries C: Reel-to-reel tapes; and Subseries D: Videos/VHS.

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

One folder in Series I is restricted due to confidential information. All other materials are 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.

Processing Information

Processed by Anita Elliott, September-October 2014. 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.903: Eric J. Olson Papers, W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Container List

Series I: Personal and Professional Papers and Genealogy Research, 1918-1993, undated 

Series Description

Series I: Personal and Professional Papers and Genealogy Research contains Eric Olson's personal papers, genealogy research, and professional papers. It is divided into three subseries: Subseries A: Personal Papers; Subseries B: Genealogy Research; and Subseries C: Professional Papers.

Subseries A contains correspondence, Olson's Cherokee language study sheets and notes, early essays by Olson for his personal college studies, several versions of his professional vita, and musical instrument information, among other papers.

Subseries B has his personal family genealogy notes and family trees along with other genealogical research papers and articles. There are also letters written in German and family trees of these German families.

Subseries C includes his professional meetings and committee meeting minutes, and many announcements and calls for papers for a variety of professional conferences.

Subseries A: Personal Papers, circa 1945-1993, undated 

  Box Folder

Appalachian South Folklife Center, Don and Constance West, 1979 

1 1

Appalachian Studies 3530-Portraits and Voices of Appalachian Women, Olson's Class notes, Research and Papers, circa 1983 

1 2

Appalachian Trail Conference/Papers, 1974-1975 

1 3
  Box Envelope

Artifact, "Rag Time Band", small figurines set on little wooden barrels playing instruments (one instrument missing), circa 1945-1950 

6 1
  Box Folder

Cherokee Language Study Notes, undated 

1 4

COLD STORAGE: Color Photos (11) from Kendall & Wooldridge of custom Banjos and Guitars, circa 1990 

  Box Folder

Judy Cornett, Paper for Research and Public Policy Committee, Appalachian Studies Conference, 1979 

1 5

COLD STORAGE: Black and white and Color Photographs and Negatives, Eric Olson and Musicians, Personal, undated 

  Box Folder

Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Correspondence, 1973-1975 

1 6

Mrs. B.K. Dorsey, Self-Guided Sightseeing Tour, Historical Homes and Sites in Boone, North Carolina, Boone Centennial Celebration-1872-1972, June 30-July 4, 1972 

1 7

"Edmund Spencer Blackburn", Olson's Research Notes and Essay on him, for History 5208, circa 1970s 

1 8

Jury Lists, Court Cases, Deed Transactions, probably from Ashe County, North Carolina Records, 1809-1822 copies, undated 

1 9

Kendall and Wooldridge Custom Banjos and Guitars Information, circa 1990 

1 10

Legal Court Documents from various areas, Warrant, License and Punishment Decree, 1787-1799 copies, undated 

1 11

Music Manuscripts Writing Books, undated 

1 12

Nostalgia Papers, 1980s-1990s 

1 13

Olson's Correspondence and Personal Directory on Diskette, circa 1980s-1990s 

1 14

Olson's Correspondence, circa 1980s-1990s 

1 15

Eric J. Olson, "Race Relations in Asheville, North Carolina: Three Incidents, 1868-1906, 1983 

1 16

Eric J. Olson, Three Essays for Dr. Russell, 1971 

1 17

Eric J. Olson, Various Papers, Thank-you and Request Letters, 1980s 

1 18

Eric J. Olson, Vita, several versions, undated 

1 19

James Larkin Pearson, Correspondence, 1957-1966 

1 20

Personal and Business Contacts, Notes, Envelope #1, 1980s-1990s 

1 21

Personal and Business Contacts, Notes, Envelope #2, 1980s-1990s 

1 22
  Box Envelope

Personal Identification Badge, Eric Olson, undated 

6 2
  Box Folder

Postcards, Greeting Cards, Business Cards, 1960s-1980s 

1 23

RESTRICTED: Retirement and Disability, Correspondence and Information, 1992-1993 

1 24

"Wiley Smith Harmon", Eric Olson, Essay for History 5208, September 3, 1980 

1 25

J.W. Williamson, "Old Jack and the New Deal" Introduction and Notes, 1986 

1 26

Subseries B: Genealogy Research, 1918-1950, undated 

  Box Folder

Genealogy Notes and Family Trees, undated 

1 27

German Letters and other Correspondence, 1923-1949, undated 

1 28

Heinrich Kramer, Correspondence, 1918-1946 

1 29

Karl Kramer, Genealogy and Correspondence, 1933-1944 

1 30

Margaret Kramer (Mrs. Ludwig Helfrich), Correspondence, 1942-1949, undated 

1 31

Berta Muller, Genealogy and Correspondence, 1923-1950, undated 

1 32

Schaad Family History, Original and Copy, part of Heinrich Kramer file, circa 1948, undated 

1 33

Elizabeth Schneider (Mrs. Karl), Correspondence, 1947 

1 34

Augusta Seepel, Correspondence, circa 1947 

1 35

Subseries C: Professional Papers, 1970-1993, undated 

  Box Folder

Appalachian Consortium, Meetings, Minutes, and Correspondence, 1978-1993, undated 

2 1

Appalachian Journal Advisory Board Papers, and Others, 1979-1990 

2 2

Appalachian Journal Editorial Board, Papers, Memos, 1973-1990 

2 3

Appalachian Journal Editorial Board, Copy of Anne and Frank Warner's "Frank Noah Profitt" Manuscript, undated 

2 4

Appalachian Sources Conferences, 1978-1980 

2 5
  Box Folders

Appalachian Studies, General Papers pertaining to, 1970s-1990s 

2 6-8
  Box Folder

Center for Appalachian Studies, Advisory Committee, 1970s-1980s 

2 9

Library Discussion Group, Future of Card Catalog with related articles, 1979-1980 

2 10
  Box Folders

Library Meetings and Memos, Notes, 1980s-1990s 

2 11-12
  Box Folder

Sounds of the South: A Conference and Celebration of Southern Traditional Music, UNC-Chapel Hill, April 6-8, 1989, 1988-1989, undated 

2 13

Ulster-American Heritage Symposiums, 1982-1989, undated 

2 14

Workshops, Conferences, Announcements, 1970-1990s 

2 15

Series II: Appalachian Collection Records, 1911-1990, undated 

Series Description

Series II: Appalachian Collection Records contains professional colleagues' correspondence along with personal requests for assistance in locating materials within the Collection sent to Olson. It also contains inventories of equipment and materials of the Appalachian Collection (also referred to as the Appalachian Room or Appalachian Center), many bibliographies of subject-specific nature, some budget information for the Collection, and catalogs/mailings of materials purchased or to be purchased for the Collection.

  Box Folder

"Adam's Weekly: In the Language of the Hills", Volume 1, no. 1, (original), August 29, 1929 

2 16

Appalachian Collection, Correspondence, Research Assistance, Various, 1970s-1990s 

2 17

Appalachian Collection, Correspondence, Research Assistance, Various, 1970s-1990s 

3 1

Appalachian Collection, Correspondence, Research Assistance, Various, 1970s-1990s 

3 2

Appalachian Collection, Documents, Statistics, Gifts, 1971-1984, undated 

3 3

Appalachian Collection, Equipment, Books, Inventories, 1971-1977 

3 4
  Box Folders

Appalachian Collection, Individual Collection Inventories, circa 1973 

3 5
  Box Folder

Appalachian Collection, Lists of Additions, March 1975-1976 

3 6

Appalachian Collection, Lists of Additions, 1977-1979 

3 7

Appalachian Collection, Lists of Additions, 1980-1983 

3 8

Appalachian Collection, Lists of Additions, 1986 

3 9

Appalachian Collection, Lost Book Notices, 1980s 

3 10

Appalachian Collection, Materials Purchased or to be Purchased, 1970s-1990 

3 11

Appalachian Collection, Materials Purchased or to be Purchased, 1970s-1990 

3 12

Appalachian Collection, Move to University Hall, 1984 

3 13

Appalachian Collection's Vertical Files Inventory, undated 

3 14

The Appalachian Newspaper, Inventory of 1934-1984 Issues, undated 

3 15

Bibliography from Berea College Weatherford-Hammond Appalachian Collection, County Histories, 1977 

3 16

Bibliography on Appalachian Literature/Religion, undated 

3 17

Bibliography on Appalachian Migration, undated 

3 18

Bibliography on Christmas, December 1976 

3 19

Bibliography on the Dulcimer, Appalachian Center, undated 

3 20

Bibliography on Early Childhood, undated 

3 21

Bibliography on the Five-String Banjo, from Library of Congress, Washington, DC, undated 

3 22

Bibliography of Greer Collection of Folk Recordings, Appalachian State University Music Library, undated 

3 23

Bibliography of Monographs in Atkins Library at University of North Carolina at Charlotte on Appalachian Culture in Transition, by Virginia Kerr, 1974 

3 24

Bibliography (select) of Reference Materials for English 1000, undated 

3 25

Bibliography, Tennessee's Mountain Heritage, by Margaret Counts, East Tennessee State University, undated 

3 26

Bibliographies, Various, undated 

3 27

Bio-Bibliography of Vera Cleaver, compiled by Susan Brown, 1974 

3 28

Bio-Bibliography of Margaret Walker, compiled by Peggy Kyle, 1974 

3 29

Bio-Bibliography (select) of John Foster West, compiled by Betty Newton, 1975 

3 30

Biography of Major William E. Lee, circa 1976 

3 31

Budget for Appalachian Room/Center, 1973-1975 

3 32

Vera A. Cleaver, Memos relating to Transfer of her Donation to Southern Historical Collection, 1988 

3 33

Closed Collection, Inventories of Books Published before 1900, and others, undated 

3 34

COLD STORAGE: Color Photographs (6) of old Box with "Ruth E. Dasmann, West Jefferson" stamped on backs, in Envelope with "Mr. Bass Powers "dispatch? box" written on it, undated 

  Box Folder

Counties of Appalachia, List and Map, undated 

3 35

"English Language-Program 4", Script, December 1984 

3 36

J.T. Essary, Letter to "Will" sending copy of his book, "Tennessee Mountaineers in Type", 1911 

3 37

Angela Himm, Essay "Folk Music of the United States: Child Ballads Traditional in the United States" and accompanying Cassette of Copied Child Ballads, March 10, 1986 

3 38

"A History of Valle Crucis, North Carolina", (copy), undated 

3 39

Hume Letters from Early Twnetieth Century, found by Debbi Fields in Poetry Book, undated 

3 40

North Carolina, North Georgia and Tennessee Counties' Inventories, undated 

3 41

Papers, some incomplete, Random subjects, undated 

3 42

Reel-to-reel Tapes (List of) 21-34, Titles and Performers, undated 

3 43
  Box Envelope

Rubber stamp, "Tape #____, Property of Appalachian Oral History Project", undated 

6 3
  Box Folder

George Washington, Entry from his Diary on January 26, 1790, copied by Phil Hough, 1933 

3 44

Series III: Courses Syllabi, Papers, and Notes about Music and Festivals, 1920s-2006, undated 

Series Description

Series III: Courses Syllabi, Papers, and Notes about Music and Festivals is divided into two subseries: Subseries A: Courses Syllabi and Papers and Subseries B: Music Events, Papers, and Notes.

Subseries A contains lecture notes, handouts, ungraded student essays, and syllabi for several courses taught by Olson and other professors within Appalachian Studies.

Subseries B contains album inserts for albums assumed to be in the Appalachian Collection via Olson, Olson's notes on his band, the Laurel Creek String Band and its performances, many old song/ballad lyrics, and announcements of numerous Fiddlers' Conventions, along with other papers and notes of musical background.

Subseries A: Course Syllabi and Papers, circa 1979-1993, undated 

  Box Folder

Appalachian IQ Tests Forms, undated 

4 1

Appalachian Music Class, Exams used by Olson, (blank), circa 1987 

4 2

Appalachian Music Class, Final Exams (blank), and Notes, 1988-1989 

4 3

Appalachian Music Class, Introduction Notes, Spring 1991 

4 4

Appalachian Music Class, Students' Course Evaluations, May 1988 

4 5

Appalachian Music Class, Students' Course Evaluations, 1989 

4 6

Appalachian Music Class, Students' Course Evaluations, Spring 1990 

4 7

Appalachian Music Class, Student Essays (no grades), Spring 1988 

4 8

Appalachian Music Class, Student Essays (no grades), Spring 1989 

4 9

Appalachian Music Class, Student-Marc Sherrod-Essay, May 1990 

4 10

Appalachian Music Class 3534, Handouts, Spring 1988-1991, undated 

4 11

Appalachian Music Classes, Syllabi, 1982-1985 

4 12

Appalachian Studies-Appalachian Music Class 3532, William Lightfoot, Outline, Spring 1993 

4 13

Appalachian Studies-Appalachian Music Class 3532, Eric Olson, Syllabus, Notes, Students' Notes, 1985-1987 

4 14

Appalachian Studies Class AS5000, Student Essays, circa 1979 

4 15

Appalachian Studies Class AS5010, Period Captions List, undated 

4 16

Appalachian Studies Honors Students' Information and Photograph, Pat Beaver, circa 1980 

4 17

Delmar Baxter, The "Clean Fire" Synesthesia, 1981 

4 18

Class Materials on Oscar Wright, undated 

4 19

Class Notes and Syllabi, circa 1984 

4 20

Estill Drew and his Writings, Visit in September, 1986 

4 21

Graduate Applicant's Information Packet, Cratis D. Williams Graduate School, 1990-1991 

4 22

Lecture Notes, circa 1982 

4 23

Olson-EM4840-Showing of "The Hand Loom" and others, circa 1981 

4 24

Olson's History Class Notes/Bibliographies, circa 1980 

4 25

Olson's Various Notes, undated 

4 26

Presentations, circa 1983 

4 27

Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Grid and Instructions, circa 1988 

4 28

Subseries B: Music Events, Papers, and Notes, 1920s-2006, undated 

  Box Folder

Album Inserts from Folkways Records, 1956-1966 

4 29

Album Inserts from Vanguard Albums, undated 

4 30

Album Inserts and Information from Several Record Companies, 1960s-1970s 

4 31

Banjo/Fiddle and General Resources Bibliographies, undated 

4 32

Karen Baum, "Shape-Note Singing in America: a Preliminary Historical Survey", 1980 

4 33

Christian Harmony Publishing Company Songs, undated 

4 34

Chronology of Lilly May Ledford, 1917-1982, by Dr. Ellesa High, West Virginia, circa 1982 

4 35

Fiddlers' Conventions and Music Festivals Fliers and Information, 1966-1972 

4 36

Fiddlers' Conventions and Music Festivals Fliers and Information, 1980-1993, undated 

4 37

Fiddlers' Conventions Fliers, 1967-1970, undated 

Folder 1
  Box Folder

Gibson Banjo and Instruments, Information, 1973-1974, undated 

4 38

Mary C. Greene, A Bibliography, Discography and Musical Transcription of Research accomplished, in Appalachian Music, 1980 

4 39

Musical Style and Folksongs, Notes, circa 1983-1989 

4 40

Notes on Music to be played (Laurel Creek), circa 1987 

4 41

Old-Time Music, Scores, Lyrics, undated 

4 42

Olson's Collection of Lyrics via CeCe Conway, 2006 

4 43

"Paramount Banjos: Piano Volume and Harp Quality Tone" Souvenir Book, 1974 

4 44

Shape Note and Gospel Music, circa 1985 

4 45

Song Lyrics, 1920s-1990s 

4 46

Tapes, Numbers and Tracks Titles, with notations of keys, undated 

4 47

Series IV: Articles, Newsletters, and Catalogs, 1893-1991, undated 

Series Description

Series IV: Articles, Newsletters, and Catalogs houses a variety of subject files: essays, research articles on several subjects, music history papers, Olson's book reviews, and many catalogs of musical books and materials.

  Box Folder

Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Papers, 1965-1978, undated 

5 1

Appalachian Religion, Research Articles and Notes, 1957-1979, undated 

5 2

Appalshop and Roadside Theater Papers, 1980s 

5 3

Articles, Random, 1960s-1990s 

5 4

Banjo Tablature/Scores, undated 

5 5

Joseph E. Bussard, Jr., Catalog of Song Titles, from which to Order Custom Tapes, 1989 

5 6

"Cheating Our Children", copied from Mountain Eagle newspaper, Whitesboro, Kentucky, issue January 1990, which was reprint of Lexington Herald-Leader, 1990 

5 7

Terry W. Cole and Eric J. Olson, "Make a Joyful Noise unto the Lord", Paper, 1983 

5 8

Economic Survey of Boone and Watauga County (NC), circa 1977 

5 9

V. Roger Gaither, "Two Farms: an Essay Photographic on Two Abandoned Farms, their People, and Culture", undated 

5 10

Len Graham and Cathal McConnel, Materials from the British Council, circa 1989 

5 11

Greeneville, Tennessee, Articles on "Scopes II" Trial on Books and Religious Beliefs, 1986 

5 12

History of Appalachia and its People, copied Articles, 1970s-1980s 

5 13

Richard Humphrey, "Religion and Place in Southern Appalachia", 1982 

5 14

"Localizing Oral History" by Ofice of State History, University of State of New York, 1969 

5 15

Music/Books, Catalogs from Various Vendors, 1970s-1990s 

5 16

Music History, Musicians, Musical Events, Other, 1960s-1980s 

5 17

Music History, Musicians, Papers, Other, 1960s-1990s 

5 18

Musical Instruments Catalogs, 1931-1985 

5 19

National Archives, copy of Record Group #69: records of the Work Projects Administration, compiled by Frances T. Browne, 1946 

5 20

National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, 1989 

5 21

Newsletters, 1970s-1990s 

5 22

Preliminary Report, North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research, "Teacher Certification" out-of-field teaching in Grades 7-12 - Summary of Findings (incomplete copy), undated 

5 23

"Old Originals" (Liner Notes), Volumes I and II, Article, undated 

5 24

Eric J. Olson, Book Reviews, circa 1986, undated 

5 25

Olson's Research Article Copies, 1970s-1980s 

5 26

Shape-Note Hymnody Articles and Songs, circa 1979 

5 27

Vintage newspapers relating to Appalachia, 1893-1991, undated 


Series V: Audiovisual Materials, 1960s-1990, undated 

Series Description

Series V: Audiovisual Materials is divided into four subseries, by format: Subseries A: Other formats; Subseries B: Audiocassettes; Subseries C: Reel-to-Reel Tapes; and Subseries D: Videos/VHS. Those which are original recordings can be digitized by request.

Subseries A contains floppy diskettes, Eva-tone soundsheets, and plans for canoes and kayaks.

Subseries B houses Olson's cassette tapes, most of which appear to have been re-recorded from the original sources. It also contains an index of the song titles/cassettes.

Subseries C contains four boxes of reel-to-reel tapes in two sizes.

Subseries D contains seven boxes of VHS tapes, most of which are not original recordings.

Subseries A: Other formats, 1976-1988, undated 

  Box Folder

Six Floppy Diskettes, Various Documents, undated 

8 1

Musical Recordings on Eva-tone Soundsheet, (4), 1977-1978 

8 2

Plans for Micmac 36" Canoe, 18 ft. Nanaimo Two-person Kayak, Micmac Canoe with 34" Beam, Abenaki Canoe with 33" Beam, 20' Tsunami, two-person Kayak, and 20' Micmac by David Hazen April 1976 

Folder 2

Full-Size plans for 5-String Banjo, Fairbanks Whyte Laydie #2, by Scott E. Antes, April 1976 

Folder 2
  Box Folder

Joyce B. Waters, Request Letter and Blank Tape for Recording of Della Adams Bostic, 1988 

8 3

Subseries B: Audiocassettes, 1970s-1990, undated 


Index of Song Titles, indexed by Author, and Non-indexed Tunes List, undated 


Six Boxes of assorted Cassettes (rough inventory in control file), 1970s-1990 


Subseries C: Reel-to-reel Tapes, 1960s-1990s 


4 Boxes of assorted Reel-to-Reel tapes (2 sizes, no order), 1960s-1990s 


Subseries D: Videos/VHS, 1960s-1990s 


7 Boxes of assorted VHS tapes (no order), 1960s-1990s