Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Our mountain work

I'd like to spotlight a serial, Our mountain work, from the UNC branch that went live on the Internet Archive recently. There are twelve volumes available. The first volume dates around the 1910s but the bulk of the serial, volumes two through twelve, cover the mid-1940s to the late 1980s.

As I prepared this serial I found myself admittedly distracted by the content. My part with the NC Religion project asks me to pull and examine items for any conservation issues that might delay digitization. According to my job description, I'm more concerned (or should be) with the physical context of the item rather than the intellectual content. But sometimes when neat material comes along, I can't help but let my eyes wander...

Our mountain work was published by the Home Missions Committee of Asheville Presbytery. The serial focuses on the Mountain Orphanage, which is known today as the Black Mountain Home for Children, Youth & Families. The Black Mountain Home site provides a historical background of the institution. Just to borrow some of their information - Reverend R.P. Smith founded the orphanage in 1904 with a four-room cottage filled with six children. Rev. Smith was orphaned at 12 himself. Asheville Presbytery provided funds for Rev. Smith's initiative and the home expanded quickly. The publication, Our mountain work, was headed by the Asheville Presbytery and detailed many of the happenings of the orphanage such as children's birthdays, graduations, charitable solicitations among other news related to the Asheville Presbytery. For instance, here are a few shots of an article requesting book and magazine donations for the orphanage's library:

For anyone with an interest in Asheville, Presbyterianism, orphanages, children, education and outreach, Our mountain work would be a great serial to consult. Or, if you're just plain curious then click on over to the publication on Internet Archive. And skim through these other neat serials while you're at it!

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