Friday, March 14, 2014

Exhibit Illuminates Appalachian Culture, Challenges Stereotypes

UK Libraries Special Collections is illuminating the rich culture of Appalachia and challenging stereotypes of the region with its "Immigrants in the Coalfields" exhibit on display now in UK's Margaret I. King Building. The free exhibition will be open to the public 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday until April 4.

Images, maps, documents and oral histories from UK Special Collections tell the story of Appalachia unheard to many, a mix of cultural, ethnic, and racial identities and a cultural mosaic illustrated in the coal camps of Eastern Kentucky.

Visitors to the exhibit first experience a national perspective of Appalachia, often stereotypes like those portrayed by Horace Kephart in "Our Southern Highlanders," where Kephart describes the Appalachia population as “more English in speech than Britain itself, more American by blood than any other part of America.” Ultimately, visitors encounter personal accounts of immigrants in Appalachia, proving the region's diversity, and giving credit to those who have enhanced the culture of Appalachia to the rich heritage it holds.

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