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Jerry Wayne Williamson papers,

 Collection — oversize: E1, drawer: 26
Identifier: AC-179

Scope and Contents

The Jerry Wayne Williamson Papers consists of Williamson's scholarly work about Appalachian stereotypes and popular culture. Materials from Movies Series were his research notes for his book Hillbillyland: what the movies did to the mountains and what the mountains did to the movies. Included are multiple studio photographs, newspaper articles, movie synopses of early films, movie scripts, and 167 videotaped movies and television programs. The Videotape Interviews Subseries originated from his work with the Appalachian Journal and his Appalachian Studies Colloquium course taught at Appalachian State University in which graduate students interviewed various Appalachian Studies scholars. The Scrapbook Series contains materials created by Williamson's English and Appalachian Studies students. Subjects covered include hillbillies stereotypes, country music, and yard art.


  • 1911-2001

Access Restrictions

An appointment for research is required. No restrictions to access with exception of one document. Box 14, Folder 6 contains personal information regarding a third party and is closed until 2160. No Inter-Library Loan. Use of audiovisual materials requires the creation of a user copy, if none exists. The user copy will be maintained as part of the collection. Researchers desiring a user copy for their own use outside of the repository should consult the Application for Duplication of Closed Collection Materials information on the Special Collections website. Photographs are housed separately within a cold storage unit. Please allow additional time to allow the photographs to adjust to room temperature.

Copyright Notice

Appalachian State University does not own copyright to any photographs or movies within this collection. Written permission from copyright holder is required for the duplication of photographs.

Biographical Note

Jerry Wayne Williamson (1944-) was born to Bill and Irene Williamson in Dallas, Texas. He was educated at Wayland College and University of Utah. Williamson worked as an English professor at Appalachian State University from 1970 to 2000. He taught classes in Appalachian Literature and Appalachian Film as well as Appalachian Studies Colloquium. He also edited the Appalachian Journal, An Appalachian symposium: essays written in honor of Cratis D. Williams (1977), and Interviewing Appalachia: the Appalachian journal interviews, 1978-1992 (1994). He wrote The myth of the conqueror: Prince Henry Stuart, a study of 17th century personation (1978), Southern mountaineers in silent films: plot synopses of movies about moonshining, feuding, and other mountain topics, 1904-1929 (1994), and Hillbillyland: what the movies did to the mountains and what the mountains did to the movies (1995). Williamson was also active in the Appalachian Studies Association and the Democratic Party.


20 Linear Feet (33 boxes, 1 records carton, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



The Jerry Wayne Williamson Papers consists of Williamson's scholarly work, primarily generated from Williamson's research on film depictions of "hillbillies" and of video recordings of various Appalachian Studies scholars. Much of the collection was generated as research for his book, Hillbillyland: What the Movies Did to the Mountains and What the Mountains Did to the Movies.


This collection is organized into two series: Series I: Movies (Research, Henry King and Larry C. Bradley Collection, Videotapes); Series II: Student Work (Videotape Interviews, Scrapbooks). Photographs and videocassettes are stored separately. Please allow additional time to allow the photograph to adjust to room temperature.

Missing Title

  1. Billings, Dwight B., 1948-
  2. Jerry Wayne Williamson
  3. Williamson, J. W. (Jerry Wayne), 1944-

Acquisitions Information

Jerry Wayne Williamson donated this collection to the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection in 1998, 2000, 2001. It was opened to the public on 15 April 2003.

Processing Information

Processed by Kathryn Staley, 2003; Encoded by Kathryn Staley, Rosemary Ulrey, Rachel Critzer, 2005.

AC.179: Jerry Wayne Williamson Papers, 1919 - 2001
Processed by: Kathryn Staley; machine-readable finding aid created by: Kathryn Staley, Rosemary Ulrey
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository