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Potter working in vicinity of Weaverville and Beech, western North Carolina

William A. Barnhill Collection

Photographs of North Carolina folklife, 1914-17

Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 20540-4730
Collection digitized? No. Selected images are provided here as a sample of the collection.

In 1969, William A. Barnhill gave to the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division materials from his photographic study, Pioneer Life in Western North Carolina, depicting the people, landscapes, agriculture, technology, and handicrafts of the mountain counties around Asheville, North Carolina, between 1914 and 1917. The gift included seventy-nine film positives made from Barnhill's 5x7 inch glass negatives (the negatives were not included in the gift), seventy-seven mounted gold-toned photographs that he made from the negatives, and one black-and-white mounted self-portrait photograph.

The seventy-seven gold-toned photographs are housed in LOT 11248, along with captions created by Mr. Barnhill and excerpted from Horace Kephart's book Our Southern Highlanders. Also included in the LOT is a biography of Mr. Barnhill by his friend, Harry Barsantee and a map highlighting the area in western North Carolina where Barnhill made his photographs. Later additions to LOT 11248 include thirteen Barnhill photographs received by the Library of Congress through copyright deposit and twelve photographs made by the Library's Duplication Services from film positives. Although the original, gold-toned photographs cannot be xeroxed, many have corresponding copy negatives made by the Library of Congress Duplication Services that have now been digitized. Mr. Barnhill requested that his images not be used for commercial purposes.

A number of Barnhill's photographs are featured in Richard M. Ketchum's article, "Appalachia 1914," in American Heritage, v. 20 (February 1969), pp. 26-41, 85 [P&P call number: E171.A43].

Note: Information for this entry was compiled in the late 1970's for inclusion in: Special Collections in the Library of Congress: A Selective Guide. Compiled by Annette Melville. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1980. The entry was substantially revised in 2000 by reference specialist Samuel V. Daniel III.

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  March 16, 2012
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