2 collections

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The collection consists of 21 films made by J. Aubrey Smith, donated by him in 2001, along with camera equipment he used and records he kept from his work (such as log books, maps to locations, notes on filming techniques, camera manuals, etc.). Smith's films were made for the Agricultural Extension Service. Some of them were sponsored by Rich's Department store. As sponsored films, they have a subtle or sometimes quite blatant message since the purpose of a sponsored film is to teach about or exhort the viewer to use a service or product. Since he was working for an agricultural entity, these films are primarily about improving agriculture, growing better crops, eliminating insects, and being efficient in the home and on the farm. During the post-World War II years as America was expanding economically, these films promoted the idea that a better life could be had through education, proper exploitation of local resources (such as the Agricultural Extension Service), more efficient use of home and farm equipment, all by tapping in to the improvements that had come from the war. The result would be an improvement of one's community by improving one's life, whether that be by using chemical pesticides, buying one's draperies at Rich's, joining a co-op, or learning new farming methods.

For 35 years, Foxfire has been collecting history of the Southern Appalachian region, its people, and their ways of life. Starting with the publication of the first issue of The Foxfire Magazine in March 1967, Foxfire students have collected over 2,500 hours of taped interviews, more than 80,000 black and white negatives and photos, over 10,000 color slides, and 1,100 videotaped interviews with the elders of the Appalachian region. A unique feature of the audiotaped, videotaped, and photographic collections is that the information was collected by high school students, transcribed for the most part by hand, and published in The Foxfire Magazine and book series. The archives include a large amount of data never published.
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