This guide includes both primary and secondary source resources about moonshine, primarily in the Appalachian region. Manuscripts must be used in the Dougherty Reading Room. To schedule an appointment or for more information, email

Manuscript Collections

This collection includes records for the Appalachian Oral History Project, a combined effort of Appalachian State University, Alice Lloyd College, Emory and Henry College, and Lees Junior College to document oral histories of the history and folklore of the central Appalachian region. Materials in this collection consist of interviews and records generated by Appalachian State University interviewers between 1973 and 1975. Records include audio interviews, administrative files, photographs, and video.

28.5 linear feet (59 boxes)

Materials in the Cratis D. Williams Papers cover the professional and private life of scholar and professor Cratis Williams, his studies in Appalachian literature, folklore and ballads, and the Appalachian Consoritum. The collection consists of materials related to Williams' work at Appalachian State University, academic and genealogical research, correspondence, photographs, audio recordings of folksongs and lectures, one VHS tape, two reels of microfilm, slides, and family memorabilia.

70 linear feet (140 boxes)

The Horton Family Papers are a collection of documents accumulated by the Horton family of Watauga County, North Carolina. Jonathan Horton and James Crittenden Horton generated most documents.

1 linear foot (2 boxes)

The John T. Shepherd Papers contains Shepherd's business and personal papers dating from the early twentieth century.

1.5 linear feet (3 boxes)

The Moonshining in Burke County: The Career of N.C. ABC officer Fred Hennessee collection represents Fred Hennessee's twenty year career as a North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control officer in Burke County. Born in Morganton, N.C. in 1926, Hennessee joined the Navy before he finished High School. Upon his return home, Hennessee held a number of jobs including: grocery store operator, gas station owner, Morganton city police officer, Burke County deputy sheriff, and eventually ABC officer for Burke County. For nearly twenty years, Hennessee spent most of his time staking out, investigating, and gathering evidence on possible illegal still operations. Most investigations began with anonymous phone messages or other "tips." His records indicate the discovery and destruction of 153 illegal stills during his career.

The collection consists only of reproductions of the originals. The original items were scanned or photocopied and returned to Fred Hennessee's family. The collection contains digital scans stored on CDs and printouts of the scans of the scrapbook photos, loose photographs, publications and ephemera related to Hennessee's specific career activities. There are also photocopies of newspaper articles and index cards of illegal still and alcohol finds. The time span for most of the collection items is 1950-1989.

1 linear foot (3 boxes)

North Carolina Moonshine Papers is a collection of indictments for the production and sale of illicit alcohol in southwestern North Carolina. Many of these indictments originated in the counties of Buncombe, Cleveland, Gaston, Polk, and Rutherford.

0.1 linear feet (1 folder)

This collection is an original manuscript from O.C. Helton about his family/ancestors, one in particular, his Uncle Babe Wallen (Evan, Jr.) of the Tennessee mountains in the early 20th century.

0.01 linear feet (1 folder)