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Eric J. Olson papers

Identifier: AC-903

Scope and Contents

This collection holds most of the personal and professional files of Dr. Eric J. Olson, former Librarian of the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection at Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, from 1978 until his retirement in 1993. Among these papers are course syllabi, lecture notes, ungraded student essays and bibliographies, papers from his musical courses, Fiddlers' Conventions announcements, song and ballad lyrics, German genealogical correspondence and family trees, research articles on history, music, and other interests, and several formats of music.


  • 1893-2006, undated


In Series I, Subseries B: Genealogy Research, most of the correspondence files are written in German. All other materials are in English.

Access Restrictions

One folder in Series I is restricted due to confidential information. All other materials are open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room without restrictions. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections.

Biographical Note

Eric J. Olson (January 27, 1941-January 14, 1999), the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection's first professionally trained librarian, began his term as Appalachian Collection Librarian in June 1978. Olson, who came to ASU from Western Carolina University where he worked as a cataloger, was also a well-known folk revivalist musician. Olson retired from University service in 1993.


17.5 Linear Feet (5 record cartons, 3 large flat boxes, 3 medium flat boxes, 8 large shoeboxes, 2 small shoeboxes, 1 half-size manuscript, 3 manuscript, 1 medium square box, 2 oversize folders, 3 envelopes in Cold storage)


The Eric J. Olson Papers houses the personal and professional collegiate and musical files of Dr. Eric J. Olson, former Appalachian Collection Librarian at Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina. This collection is the majority of the files from his office pertaining to the Collection, his musical career, his extensive audiovisual collection, and other papers accrued during his career.


This collection is arranged in five series, some of which have subseries. Series I: Personal and Professional Papers and Genealogy Research is further subdivided into three subseries: Subseries A: Personal Papers; Subseries B: Genealogy Research; and Subseries C: Professional Papers. Series II: Appalachian Collection Records is arranged alphabetically. Series III: Course Syllabi, Papers, and Notes about Music and Festivals is divided into two subseries: Subseries A: Course Syllabi and Papers and Subseries B: Music Events, Papers, and Notes. Series IV: Articles, Newsletters, and Catalogs is arranged alphabetically. Series V: Audiovisual Materials is divided into four subseries: Subseries A: Other formats; Subseries B: Audiocassettes; Subseries C: Reel-to-reel tapes; and Subseries D: Videos/VHS.

Acquisitions Information

The collection has no accession number, but it was given to the Appalachian Collection in increments by Dr. Olson. Additions were donated by his widow, Mrs. Kit Olson, in 1999.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Anita Elliott, September-October 2014. This collection was processed as part of a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grant funded extensive processing of the backlog within the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection between 2012 and 2014.

AC.903: Eric J. Olson Papers, 1893-2006, undated
by Anita Elliott
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository