Hunter Library to celebrate anniversary of Appalachia encyclopedia

Scholars, writers, musicians and enthusiasts of Appalachian culture will gather at Western Carolina University as part of National Library Week activities to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the publication of the Encyclopedia of Appalachia by the University of Tennessee Press.

A seminal resource of the region’s history, ideas and culture, the encyclopedia has been more than a decade in the making, and includes several WCU faculty members among its contributors and section editors.

The event will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 19, in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center, and is open to the public free of charge. The keynote speaker will be Jean Haskell, encyclopedia co-editor. The event includes a panel discussion with three section co-editors – WCU faculty members Mary Jean Herzog from the department of psychology, Anna Fariello from Hunter Library, and emeritus faculty member Curtis Wood from the department of history. Appalachian folk singer Lee Knight will perform at the event, and a reception and book signing will follow the main program.

Eloise Hitchcock, Hunter Library’s associate director, said the idea for the celebration originated from discussions within the library about National Library Week. “This year’s theme is ‘Come Together at Your Library,’ so we thought there was no better way of doing this than by bringing together the individuals who made the encyclopedia a reality, and allowing them to share their experiences with our community,” Hitchcock said.

“Encyclopedia of Appalachia: A Celebration,” is sponsored by the Friends of Hunter Library through a visiting scholar’s grant from Western’s Division of Academic Affairs. For more information, contact Eloise Hitchcock at (828) 227-3421 or