Southern Appalachian Migration Archive Report
The Migration Archive is an effort to collect and preserve the accounts of natives of southern Appalachia who migrated to the industrial Midwest during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Millions of people traveled between the two regions during these years, mainly in search of better‐paying jobs in northern factories, but also to keep together families and communities that were becoming increasingly “inter‐regional” as a consequence of this migration. By preserving their stories, the archive will allow future researchers, as well as college students and members of the wider community, to access the evolving meaning and significance of the concept of “place”, in the lives of southern Appalachians who often found themselves divided between two different places called home.
This project has been a critical source of material and ideas for Max Fraser’s current dissertation/book project, tentatively titled “The Hillbilly Highway: A Social History of Transappalachia in the Twentieth Century.” It has also been useful in the development of an undergraduate course he is currently teaching as a Visiting Lecturer in the History Department at the College of the Holy Cross, called “The Great Migrations, 1910‐1970.”