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Jo Zingg / Jeanette Knowles Appalachian Volunteers Oral History Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: BCA 0166 SAA 168

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of recorded interviews and a self-recorded memoir of key figures in the Appalachian Volunteers organization.

Listen to Interview recordings and / or read interview summaries


  • Created: 2008-2015

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 restrictions on use of this material other than federal copyright regulations.


4.00 boxes_(general)

Language of Materials



The project was initiated by Jo Crockett Zingg with the purpose of documenting key figures in the Appalachian Volunteers organization who had not been interviewed as part of previous oral history efforts. Zingg recorded eleven of the interviews over an approximate two year period, 2008 - 2010. Former AV worker Jeanette Knowles continued the project after Jo Zingg's death in 2012. Additional interviews were recorded at various times by historian Tom Kiffmeyer, Women's History scholar Jesse Wilkerson, and Berea College Archivist Harry Rice. The Appalachian Volunteers (AV) originated in 1964 when Milton Ogle, a staff member of the Council of the Southern Mountains (CSM), began organizing college students from Berea and other colleges to engage in repair and enrichment projects for substandard schools in eastern Kentucky. They obtained a federal grant that enabled Ogle to hire an assistant, Gibbs Kinderman, and additional staff, to expand the program and work with Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA). When AV staff began to challenge local power structures in the communities where they worked the CSM director, Perley Ayer, fired Ogle and Kinderman. The Appalachian Volunteers then organized independently, obtaining funding from the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) until politicians in Kentucky and West Virginia persuaded OEO to reduce and finally cut off funding. Milton Ogle resigned in 1968, and his replacement, David Walls, announced funding for AV's West Virginia projects would end at the beginning of 1969. The organization itself was closed down by April 1970. Staff and projects were spun off into other organizations such as the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund (Appalred).

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged as follows:

Box 1: Original Audio Cassette Interview Recordings

Box 2: Original Compact Disc Interview Recordings

Box 3: Interviewee Biography, Releases, Logs, and Photographs

Box 4: Interview Recordings CD Listening Copies

Other Descriptive Information

The collection was open for research in 2015.

BCA 0166 SAA 168

Processing Information

The collection was arranged by Harry Rice, Sound Archivist.  The finding aid was created in September 2015 by Lori Myers-Steele, Collections Archivist.

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