The Collection:
Collection Policy


A main component of the Craft Revival project is the virtual collection of documents, photographs, oral histories, craft objects, and artifacts that tells the story of the Craft Revival that took place in western North Carolina from 1895 to 1945. This virtual collection consists of digital surrogates that reside together in a database maintained by Western Carolina University's Hunter Library.

Most of the original materials used to produce the digital surrogates for this virtual collection are housed in seven institutions that comprise the project's partners. Collection guides for each of the project's partner institutions give general information about each institution, general information about their collections, and specific information about the collections and series of materials from which materials were selected for the Craft Revival project's virtual collection.

Project staff and partners use this collection policy as guidance for what materials are selected, digitized, and included in this virtual collection.

Types & Formats of Materials

Emphasis is placed on primary source materials, including original artifacts made or used by craft artists during the Craft Revival period. Examples include:

  • Craft items typical of the Craft Revival period and made in western North Carolina.
  • Tools used to create craft items such as looms, woodworking tools, blacksmith tools.
  • Photographs such as those depicting various craft items, illustrating the making of craft items, or portraits of crafts persons.
  • Craft artists’ personal papers pertaining directly to their lives as crafts people.
  • Personal papers of educators, organizers, authors, business owners pertaining directly to their contributions to the Craft Revival movement.
  • Records of businesses related to the production, marketing, or sales of craft items.
  • Records of organizations seeking to advance the education, production, marketing, and sales of craft materials.
  • Records of schools, trainings centers, institutes or workshops that served to train individuals in the production of crafts.
  • Publications, especially ephemeral items such as postcards, booklets, pamphlets, news clippings that describe certain crafts, craft makers, schools or organizations, or provide geographic or cultural context directly related to the topic.

Time Period

The date span of this project, 1895 to 1945, was chosen for specific reasons. Some of the key events relating to the Craft Revival in western North Carolina can be traced back to the 1890s. The end date for this project, 1945, was chosen because the post- World War II landscape expanded the Craft Revival movement into new directions: new organizations and events were formed, and there were dramatic new turns in the definition of craft and type of craft items created.

Because the date span for this project is firmly grounded in a specific period, it is important that the materials selected for this virtual collection were originally created between 1895-1945. Inclusion of materials created before or after this time period should contain information directly related to this time period. For instance, a brochure published by the John C. Campbell Folk School in 1950 may contain significant information about the history of the school and how it operated during the Craft Revival period. This exception may also relate to biographical information or a photograph about a significant Craft Revival person. Or, a particular craft item may have been created shortly before or after the period, but be typical of such materials created during that time.

Topics Covered

Materials included in the virtual collection should contribute to the story of the Craft Revival movement in western North Carolina. The more significantly the item contributes to the core story, the more desirable it is to include that item. Items that are only tangentially related to the topic and time period should be seriously evaluated as to whether their inclusion helps to advance the story or whether they may be of peripheral interest or serve to confuse users of the website. Topics include the following:

  • The creation of craft items in the western North Carolina region, identified as the 13 western-most counties.
  • Information about individuals (and their roles) such as educators, organizers, business owners, and authors who supported or galvanized the resurgence in various aspects of the Craft Revival movement in western North Carolina.
  • The creation and development of schools and organizations devoted to the instruction, advancement, and marketing of handmade crafts.
  • Materials and information related to the production and marketing of hand-crafted objects in western North Carolina.
  • The development of tourism and trade in the region as it relates to the creation and purchase of craft items.
  • Regional history of western North Carolina, southern Appalachian life, and Cherokee history and culture as these topics relate to other materials submitted to the project. This material helps construct the historical and cultural context of the Craft Revival in relation to North Carolina and regional history.

Source & Ownership of Materials

Submissions to the virtual collection are accepted from the partners participating in the project. Materials from other institutions may be published on the web pages, but are not added to the virtual collection (database). Partner institutions must own and have clear title to the original item represented in the virtual collection. For instance, materials from collections on deposit or photocopies of materials held in other collections are not included.

Copyright of Materials

All materials submitted to the database should have any copyright permissions satisfied before submitting the digital files to the project. If the partner institution owns materials, but not the copyright to the materials, it is the responsibility of the partner institution to research copyright ownership and satisfy any required permissions for inclusion in the project before submitting digitized materials to the project.