125 Years in Retrospect: A Brief Survey

This exhibit mirrors 125 Years in Retrospect: A Brief Survey of Appalachian State University's History, available in the display cases on the fourth floor of Belk Library and Information Commons.

Appalachian State University was founded as Watauga Academy (1899-1903). Before becoming a public institution and part of the University of North Carolina System, the school went through three name changes: Appalachian Training School (1903-1925), Appalachian State Normal School (1925-1929), and Appalachian State Teachers College (1929-1967). On July 1, 1967, the institution grew to become Appalachian State University (1967-present) and became a part of UNC's system in 1971. In 1972, Watauga College opened, a small learning community with an interdisciplinary studies-oriented curriculum.

The exhibit surveys a small portion of historical events and how global and social changes driven by App State community members affected the rural state institution. It is not a comprehensive historical narrative but rather a survey of catalysts of change. The included resources were chosen according to availability. The digital exhibit includes additional items not included in the physical exhibit.

Archaeology and Landscape in Bandafassi (Senegal)

This digital exhibition explores the archaeology of village communities in Bandassi, a dynamic cultural landscape in southeastern Senegal

Camp Yonahlossee for Girls

This site is a digital replication of the physical Camp Yonahlossee for Girls exhibit on display from June 2022 through March 2023, in the display cases on the fourth floor of Belk Library and Information Commons. Camp Yonahlossee, once located near Blowing Rock, North Carolina, was a summer camp for young women that operated from the 1920s to the late 1980s. The camp was founded by Dr. Adam Perry and Margaret Kephart, educators from Greensboro, North Carolina. Camp Yonahlossee was the female counterpart to the boys' Camp Yonahnoka located in nearby Linville, North Carolina. The camp's primary forcus was outdoor recreation with programs including horseback riding, archery, rifle shooting, swimming, sailing, and fencing. Crafts, dance, and theatre were also taught. Campers often attended year after year and developed strong, life-long friendships. When it closed, the camp became a resort focused on equestrian activities.

Documentary Film Studies

Documentaries on the history of Appalachian State University

Garden Creek Virtual Exhibit

This exhibit serves as an online exhibit focused on the history and the excavation of the Garden Creek archaeological site, located in North Carolina.

Portrait of Kelly E. Bennett
Kelly E. Bennett: Apostle of the Smokies

Dr. Kelly E. Bennett (1890-1974) was a pharmacist, prominent civic leader, and political representative for Swain County, North Carolina in the mid-20th century. This exhibit explores Kelly E. Bennett Papers, housed in Appalachian State University's Special Collections Research Center, and Bennett’s role in shaping tourism in Western North Carolina.

Mapping LGBTQ+ History in Watauga County

Although Watauga County, like the rest of Southern Appalachia, has been historically stereotyped as heteronormative and homophobic, LGBTQ+ individuals exist here. This project highlights important places to local LGBTQ+ history and those who bettered their communities by educating, supporting, and being themselves. We combine mapping, archival material, and historical research to illuminate the history and culture of Watauga county's LGBTQ+ communities.

Classical guitar
Matanya Ophee Collection

Guitarist, publisher, and pilot Matanya Ophee (1932-2017) amassed one of the largest collections of 19th-century guitar music in the world. A native of Israel, Ophee (rhymes with "coffee") became interested in classical guitar in the 1950s, studying with Richard Pick in Chicago. He immediately developed an interest in the history of the instrument and began acquiring early editions and manuscripts in the 1960s. In 1978, he established Editions Orphée in Columbus, Ohio, using items from his collection and elsewhere. Ophee's "day job" as a commercial airline pilot, as well as his ability to speak at least nine languages, gave him opportunities to collect one of the largest and deepest collections of rare manuscripts and prints for the classical guitar in the world.

In May of 2021, Appalachian State University acquired the Ophee Collection through J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians. The core of the collection, material from 1780 through the 1940s, is housed in the Special Collections Research Center on the fourth floor of Belk Library. Highlights include over five hundred first and early editions of major guitar composers including Fernando Sor, Mauro Giuliani, Matteo Carcassi, Ferdinando Carulli, and many others, as well as the only complete manuscript of the Dix Etudes by Giulio Regondi, discovered by Ophee in 1987. The collection also includes the personal scores and papers of Argentinian guitarist Doming Prat (1886–1944), as well as a large amount of rare music for the Russian 7-string guitar from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Mortgage Discrimination

This exhibit about racially restrictive mortgage covenants in Watauga County was created by Graduate Students from Dr. Kristen Deathridge's Spring 2022 Digital History Class, building on research conducted by past History Department graduate students. It was later updated by Fall 2022 Intro to Public History students.