Ethnographies and Ethnographic-like Works on Appalachia


The majority of material written on the Appalachian region to date is often fictitious in nature or includes local color stories, sentimental narratives, and derogatory ethnic descriptions. This document is designed as an introduction to ethnographies and ethnographic-like literature on Appalachia, which ideally present scholarly or at least factual content. The material is often scattered among a variety of academic disciplines ranging from anthropology to health science, and sociology to political science.

Introductory Text: 

Campbell, John C. The Southern Highlander and His Homeland . Spartanburg, SC, Reprint Co. [c1921]. 405 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS: F210 .C2 1973.

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 
  • Appalachian Region -- Community
  • Appalachian Region -- Economic Conditions
  • Appalachian Region -- Family
  • Appalachian Region -- Social Conditions
  • Appalachian Region -- Social Life and Customs
  • Appalachian Region, Southern -- Social Life and Customs -- Case Studies
  • Coal Miners -- Appalachian Region
  • Coal Mines and Mining -- Appalachia
  • Kentucky -- Community
  • Kentucky -- Social Life and Customs
  • North Carolina -- Community
  • North Carolina -- Social Life and Customs
  • Virginia -- Social Life and Customs
  • Tennessee -- Social Life and Customs
  • West Virginia -- Community
  • West Virginia -- Social Life and Customs
Library of Congress Call Numbers: 
  • BX6337
  • F457.K6
  • HD9545
  • BX6383
  • F574.D49
  • HN49
  • E185.93
  • HC107
  • HN78
  • F210
  • HC110
  • HN79
  • F456.2
  • HD5326
  • LC205.A6
  • F457.B5
  • HD5855

Beaver, Patricia D. Rural Community in the Appalachian South . Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press, Inc., c1986. 182 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS: HN79.N8 B43 1992.

Brown, James Stephenson. Beech Creek: A Study of a Kentucky Mountain Neighborhood . Berea, KY: Berea College Press. 297 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS: F456.2 .B76 1988.

Caudill, Harry M. Night Comes to the Cumberlands : A Biography of a Depressed Area . Boston, Little, Brown, 1963. 394 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS and ASU MAIN STACKS: HC107 .K4 C3.

Coles, Robert. Migrants, Sharecroppers, Mountaineers . Boston, Little, Brown, 1971. 653 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS and ASU MAIN STACKS: HC110 .P6 C56 v. 2.

Hicks, George L. Appalachian Valley . New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1976. 112 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS: F262 .L64 H52.

Stephenson, John B. Shiloh: A Mountain Community . Lexington, University of Kentucky Press, 1968. 232 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS: HN79 .A13 S82.

Guides, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries: 

Encyclopedia of World Cultures . Boston, MA: G.K. Hall, 1991-1996. ASU REFERENCE: GN550 .E53 1991.


Appalachian Bibliography. Morgantown: West Virginia University Library, 1968, 1972, and 1980. ASU APP COLL STACKS: Z1251 .A7 A6.

Appalachian Outlook. Morgantown West Virginia University Library. 1964 -- present. ASU APP COLL STACKS: Z1251 .A7 A55.

Bibliography of Southern Appalachia. Charlotte T. Ross, ed. Boone: Appalachian Consortium Press, 1976. ASU APP COLL OVERSIZE: Z1251 .A7 B5x.

Edwards, Everett Eugene. References on the Mountaineers of the Southern Appalachians . Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Library. 148 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS: Z1251 .A7 E28 1935a.

Munn, Robert. The Southern Appalachians: A Bibliography and Guide to Studies . Morgantown: West Virginia University Library. 106 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS: Z1251 .A78 1961.

Abstracts and Indices: 

Anthropological Literature . “The Anthropological Literature file (ANL) contains records describing articles and essays in Anthropology and Archaeology of two or more pages, from works published in English and other European languages.” Updated quarterly.

Sociological Abstracts. Bound: v.1-44, 1953-1996. ASU REFERENCE HM1 .S67. Online version also available.


Appalachian Heritage. Hindman, KY: Appalachian Heritage, Inc. Vol. 1, 1973 -- present. ASU APP COLL STACKS: F106 .A137 A6.

Appalachian Journal: A Regional Studies Review . Boone, NC: Appalachian State University. v. 1, 1972 to present. ASU APP COLL STACKS: F216.2 .A66. Indexed in vols. 7, 18, and 23.

Goldenseal . Charleston, WV: State of West Virginia, Department of Commerce. ASU APP COLL STACKS: F241 .G64.

Human Organization: Journal of the Society for Applied Anthropology . [Washington, DC]: The Society. v. 8, 1949 to present. ASU PERIODICALS.

Journal of Appalachian Studies. Morganton, WV: West Virginia University for the Appalachian Studies Associaiton. ASU APP COLL STACKS: F106 .J74 (bound issues). Check current APP COLL periodicals for other issues.

Rural Sociology . Baton Rouge: Rural Sociology Section, American Sociological Society. Library has Microfilm: v.1-5, 1936-1940; v.13-31, 1948-1966. Bound: v.5-18, 1940-1953; v.25, 1960; v.31, 1966 to present. ASU PERIODICALS.

Other Sources: 

The Human Resources Area File , or HRAF, may be a useful research tool.

The division on Mountain Whites breaks down 28 standard sources on Appalachia deemed ethnographic-like. The material is presented in subject-category extractions. For example, under the subject “Family Relationships” is a number corresponding to its microfiche file number where all of this particular subject’s components from all 28 publications are collectively presented. The HRAF thus provides an efficient means of locating subject-specific material on Mountain Whites. It is also useful for comparative studies with other culture groups. Additional divisions include Cherokee, Rural Irish , and Highland Scots . There are 79 major subject divisions and 637 minor subdivisions.

Compiled by: 

Compiler: Lori Briscoe, 29 October 1998