Appalachian Migration to Baltimore/DC


Due to the mechanization of the coal mining industry and lack of viable employment in the Appalachian Mountains, many of the inhabitants found it necessary to move away from their homes. Many moved west, to destinations such as Cincinnati, Detroit, and Cleveland. However, many moved north to Baltimore and Washington DC. Many of these migrants were from West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. They moved to Baltimore because of the availability of industrial jobs. When the migrants arrived, they found hardships in city life. This pathfinder covers the migration of Appalachians to the Baltimore/DC area and the hardships they encountered. All material covered in this pathfinder can be found in the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, unless otherwise noted.

Introductory Text: 

Williams, John Alexander. Appalachia: A History . Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2002. pp. 312-320. APP COLL F106.W68 2002 c.2.

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 


  • Migration, Internal (may subdivide geographically)
  • Rural-Urban Migration
  • Appalachians (people)

May also subdivide geographically, e.g.:

  • Rural-Urban Migration -- Appalachian Region


  • Appalachian Region, Southern -- Social life and customs
  • Migration, Internal -- Southern States -- History -- 20th century
Clipping Files Subject Headings – W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection: 
  • Migration
Library of Congress Call Numbers: 
  • F217.A65
  • HN79.A13

Arnow, Harriette Louisa Simpson. The Dollmaker . New York: Avon Books, c 1954, rpt. 1970. PZ3 .A7654 Do

Berry, Chad. Southern Migrants, Northern Exiles . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000. HB1971.A3 B47 2000

Borman, Kathryn M., and Obermiller, Phillip J. (eds.) From Mountain to Metropolis: Appalachian Migrants in American Cities . Westport, CT. : Bergin & Garvey, 1994 F217.A65 F76 1994

Obermiller, Phillip J., (ed) Down Home, Downtown : Urban Appalachians Today. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1996. F217.A65 F76 1994

Smith, Thaddeus Mondy. Where There are No Mountains: Appalachian Culture and Migration to Baltimore . Thesis. Providence, RI. Brown University, 1987. MicF455

Guides, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries: 

Rosenman, Curtis C. The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Regan, Charles Wilson and William Ferris (eds.). Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1989. pp.551-552. Oversize F209.E53.

Billings, Dwight and David S. Walls. Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups . Themston, Stephen (ed.) Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press, 1980. pp. 126-128. E184.A1 H35 ASU COLL


Flynt, J. Wayne. Poor Southern Whites: A Selected Bibliography of Published Sources . New York: Garland Pub, 1981. Z251 .S7 F6

Fowler, Gary L. Appalachian Migration: A Review and Assessment of the Research . Prepared for the ARC. Chicago: U. of Illinois at Chicago Circle, 1980. HB 3525 .A137A66

Obermiller, Phillip. “A Short Bibliographic Essay on Urban Appalachians.” Appalachian Journal . 5. 1 (Autumn 1977), 152-163. F 216.2 .A66

Roark, Stephanie. “Central Appalachian Migration and Urban Appalachians in Mid-West Cities.” Unpublished. December 1997. Located in the Appalachian Collection in the Bibliography notebook.

Sullivan, Maureen R. (ed) Urban Appalachian Readings & Resources . [compiled by the Youth Services Training Project of U.A.C.] ; Cincinnati, Ohio: Urban Appalachian Council, [1980]. HN79.A13 U7 1980


Baltimore Evening Sun , daily, April 1910 - September 1995. Found at Enoch Pratt Library, Baltimore, MD.

Now and Then , Fall 1984, 3x yearly. Johnson City, TN. F217.A65 N68

Appalachian Journal , v. 1-, Semiannual Autumn 1972 - Spring 1974, Quarterly Summer 1974 -. Boone, NC. F216.2 .A66

Journal of Appalachian Studies , v. 1 - . Semiannual 1995. Morgantown, WV. F217 .A65

Journal of Marriage and the Family , c1964- quarterly. Menasha, WI. F106.J74 (located in ASU periodicals)

Urban Appalachian Voice , 1988 - . Cincinnati, OH. F106.J74

Mountain Life and Work . Monthly (bi-monthly July & Aug.), Dec. 1970- Quarterly, Apr. 1925-summer 1965. Berea, KY. GR103 .M5

People’s Appalachia , quarterly, spring 1971-spring 1973, monthly, Mar.-Dec. 1970. Morgantown, WV. HC107.A127 P45

Offers selected readings on Appalachian Migration and Urban Appalachians. While it is focused primarily on migration to mid-western cities, provides information and links to research pertaining to migration to the north as well. Compiled by Phillip Obermiller

Compiled by: 

Complier: Melanie D. Keyes, 11 December 2002