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Appalachian Religion Survey Records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: BCA 0036 SAA 034

Scope and Contents

These are completed data schedules and related narratives from a 1931-1933 Appalachian regional religion survey undertaken by the Institute of Social and Religious Research.  The survey gathered data from approximately 1000 churches and missions in seventeen counties representing the states of West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky.

Materials consist of completed survey schedules, narrative commentary, and compilations of miscellaneous reference information on the surveyed counties. In addition to fieldwork data, surveyors drew on census statistics and other sources in the completion of the forms. Miscellaneous newspaper clippings, hand-drawn maps, photographs, and correspondence are included for some of the churches.


  • created: 1931-1933


Conditions Governing Access

Records can be accessed through the Reading Room, Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Hutchins Library, Berea College.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no known restrictions on the collection other than federal copyright regulations. Please cite all references to this collection.


6.00 ms_boxes

Language of Materials



The 1931-1933 Appalachian regional religion survey was conducted in connection with a broader economic and social study of the region undertaken by the U. S. Department of Agriculture.  Survey results were published in the books, Religion in the Highlands: Native Churches and Missionary Enterprises in the Southern Appalachians (1933) by Elizabeth R. Hooker, and Economic and Social Problems and Conditions of the Southern Appalachians by the U. S. Department of Agriculture in 1935.

Arrangement Note

Arrangement by series: General, Home Missions, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia. and the U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Data was organized under the categories of county, church, ministers, sermons, and Sunday schools. County schedules summarized economic, social, and geographical information. Church schedules provided basic statistical information including church names, addresses, affiliations, organizational histories, and building descriptions.  Minister schedules detailed pastors' background and qualifications. Sermons / Sunday school schedules summarized sermons and forms of worship with subjective commentary by field staff on the substance (or lack of it) contained in sermons and Sunday school lessons.  The Ministers and Sermons / Sunday school schedules are particularly reflective of the biases of the field staff in relation to their subjects.

Other Descriptive Information

Also Referred to as the 1935 Religious Survey

BCA 0036 SAA 034

Processing Information

The finding aid was updated November 2015.

Archon Finding Aid Title
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Berea College Special Collections and Archives Repository

Hutchins Library
100 Campus Drive
Berea Kentucky 40404 US