Image from the State Archives of North Carolina
I have been reprocessing the Hood-Williamson Archives on the Serpent Handlers of Southern Appalachia over the last several months. This collection actually sees a decent amount of use and there have been reports in the last few years that some of the material does not match the descriptions in the finding aid. The old, outdated finding aid also lacked the standardizations (specific headings, vocabularies, encoding schemes, etc.) that our field now uses. Reprocessing the collection involved me, scanning through hours and hours of serpent handling services in order to verify contents and match the contents to the appropriate descriptions. Though I realize this sounds super boring, I had a blast (my colleagues are rolling their eyes and thinking they are really tired of hearing about this collection from me).
The real point of this post is not for me to blabber on and on about this collection, but to announce that we have a spankin’ new, absolutely fabulous, digital finding aid published online for the collection! In the finding aid, every last DVD is described in painstaking detail and the finding aid is fully searchable (insert fist pump). Now, over the next several months (never an idle moment in the Special Collections), I’ll be working on creating internet-ready versions of all of the DVDs in the collection in anticipation of the creation of an online archive for these materials. Though we have many researchers who travel here to view this material, imagine the audience we will now have in an online environment (insert image of Chapel with dreamy eyes).
Don’t worry; I’ll keep everyone updated. 🙂
Is it weird that I’m also a little jealous you “had” to wade through all those videos? I think they would be fascinating! And congrats! May you have all the online researchers your heart desires 🙂
What a fascinating collection! I, too, am envious that you had the opportunity to get so deeply acquainted with this research.