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Appalachian Heritage Project

Image of mountains with text Appalachian Heritage Project

Funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Appalachian Heritage Project was created in conjunction with the grant to renovate space at the Strawberry Plains campus for a much-needed library to both house Pellissippi’s Appalachian Collection as well as serve as a venue for quarterly programming and exhibits to support humanities education at the college.  

This project was first conceived in 2017 by librarian Susan Martel, who came to Pellissippi from outside of Tennessee but who continually noted the local library staff’s love of all things Appalachian and their strong identification with the history and culture of the area and its people. The grant committee's proposal for an initiative focused on Appalachia and a new library for the Strawberry Plains Campus was successful. In November of 2018, Pellissippi State was awarded a $400,000 matching National Endowment for the Humanities Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grant, and donors and the college matched over half of that amount to support the Appalachian Heritage Project (AHP) and accompanying library. 

The AHP provides an opportunity to tell the compelling stories of the region through a circulating collection of books and videos currently housed in the Hardin Valley Campus library as well as e-books and streaming content accessible through the Pellissippi Libraries' databases. The physical collection materials will move to the expanded and renovated library and community space at Pellissippi State's Strawberry Plains Campus library in fall 2022. In addition, the project provides a vehicle for the College to expand humanities partnerships across the region and to increase community outreach via exhibits, lectures, and special programming. Our unique region deserves our attention and exploration and the Appalachian Heritage Project works to highlight, preserve, and promote the celebration and study of our area for our students, faculty, staff, and community.