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Mtn. News: Bookmobiles, Archives & More

Mtn. News: Bookmobiles, Archives & More

In this episode we learn about the history of Letcher County’s Bookmobile. And, we’ll celebrate American Archives Month by listening back to an oral history interview from the Appalshop archives.  Last, but not least from the Ohio Valley Resource, we’ll hear about pollution, climate change, and floods.

Broy Dollarhide onboard the Letcher County Bookmobile, October 2019. Photo by Rachel Garringer.


First, WMMT’s Rachel Garringer spent two days in early October riding along on the Letcher County Bookmobile digging into the history of this service in Eastern Kentucky. In this piece you’ll hear sounds of driving around Letcher County with Bookmobile driver Broy Dollarhide, interviews with the head librarians in Jenkins and Blackey, and a Bookmobile regular in Thornton, Kentucky.

Then, October is American Archives Month: a time to celebrate the people and places working to preserve the stories, images, films, sounds, and material culture of our communities. Since its founding in 1969 Appalshop’s mission has been to document, disseminate, and revitalize the lasting traditions and contemporary creativity of the region. The Appalshop Archive grew out of this mission and works to preserve the creative output and history of the independent, non-profit organization, as well as orphaned media materials and other collections that help enrich our understanding of the history, culture, art, and social issues of central Appalachia.

The Hollyfield Family in Jenkins, KY. Photographed by Picture Man Mullins. Photo courtesy the Appalshop Archive.

And so, what better way to celebrate American Archives month, than to bring you audio from the Appalshop Archive!  The following is an excerpt of an oral history interview conducted by Appalshop’s Elizabeth Barrett & Bob Gates (who founded the KY Folklife Program.). They spoke with Effie & Collins Hollyfield at their house in Dunham, KY on March 2nd 1991. Effie & Collins were members of the African American mining community in Dunham & in this clip Bob & Elizabeth ask them about how they got to Letcher County from Southern Alabama in the 1930s. Collins Hollyfield goes on to talk about his work in the Coal Mines working for Consolidation Coal, and the segregation of the town. Bob & Elizabeth then ask them about race relations in the mines at the time.

Last in this episode of Mountain News:  Flash floods have been a problem in Kentucky for decades. The extreme rainstorms that cause them are getting worse – and that’s especially bad news for Kentucky’s poorest counties. For the Ohio Valley Resource & the Center for Public Integrity, WMMT based reporter Sydney Boles brings us the story.

Music on this episode features Pigmeat Jarrett with a tune called “Got to Move” from his album Look At the People. That album was produced by Appalshop’s own JuneAppal Recordings. This episode was produced by Rachel Garringer.







African-American history,
American Archives Month,
appalachian history,
Appalshop Archive,
arts & culture,
coal industry,
Rural Libraries,