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Wilma Dykeman Collection



Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Print Material

Audio / Video User Copies

Original Audio Cassette Recordings (Not Public Use)

Original Audio and Video Recordings (Not Public Use)

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Wilma Dykeman Collection | Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

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Collection Overview

Title: Wilma Dykeman CollectionAdd to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1959-1998

ID: RG 09/9.16

Primary Creator: Dykeman, Wilma -- 1920-2006

Other Creators: Hutchins Library

Extent: 2.0 Boxes (General)


This collection is generally arranged as follows:

(1) Print Materials

(2) Audio Visual Recordings

Subjects: Appalachian Ministries Educational Resource Center., Appalachian Region, Southern., Appalachian Studies Conference., Berea College, Berea College -- Convocations, Berea College -- Faculty, Berea College -- Trustees, Dykeman, Wilma -- 1920-2006, Jones, Loyal -- 1928-, Mountain Maternal Health League., Perrin, Alfred.

Languages: English


Wilma Dykeman (1920-2006) lived all her life near the French Broad River in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. Born in Asheville, Dykeman traced her interest in writing to the stories her parents read aloud to her when she was a child. By the time she was in elementary school, she was making up her own stories, plays, and poems. After graduating from high school and Biltmore Junior College in Asheville, Dykeman attended Northwestern University and received a bachelor’s degree in speech. The summer after her graduation from Northwestern, Dykeman met and married James R. Stokely, Jr., of Newport, Tennessee, a poet and nonfiction writer. The Stokelys, who maintained homes in both Asheville and Newport, raised two sons and collaborated on several books.

Throughout her career as an author, speaker, historian, educator, and environmentalist, Dykeman wrote eighteen works of fiction and non-fiction, gave hundreds of speeches, held the office of Tennessee State Historian for twenty-two years, taught at and served as trustee for multiple colleges, worked tirelessly for the respect of Southern Appalachians, and was a pioneer in bringing national attention to civil and women’s rights and environmental issues.  Dykeman’s critically acclaimed novels especially reflect her understanding of people in the North Carolina mountains. The Tall Woman (1966), which, like all of her books, has gone through numerous printings, tells of a determined mother’s fight for education and justice in the years after the Civil War. The Far Family (1966) picks up several generations later and shows how long-lasting her efforts were.

Dykeman’s close relationship with Berea College included serving on its Board of Trustees and speaking and lecturing often at the college.  Appointed Goode Professor of Appalachian Studies in 1992,  Dykeman taught two courses through the Berea College Department of English and Theatre: ENG 113 (Art of Autobiography) and ENG 284 (Appalachian Literature) and gave campus lectures.  Additionally, in 1966, Dykeman published Prophet of Plenty (1966) a biography of W.D. Weatherford, a Southern leader who worked for racial peace and justice and greatly influenced the policies of Berea College (and who was father of Berea’s sixth president, Willis D. Weatherford, Jr.).

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains personal papers of Wilma Dykeman including biograpical information, correspondence, clippings, copies of her writings, and a manuscript of Prophet of Plenty: The First Ninety Years of W.D. Weatherford.  The collection also contains numerous audio and video recordings of lectures, commencement, and convocation speeches Dykeman participated in or delivered mostly at Berea College.

Subject/Index Terms

Appalachian Ministries Educational Resource Center.
Appalachian Region, Southern.
Appalachian Studies Conference.
Berea College
Berea College -- Convocations
Berea College -- Faculty
Berea College -- Trustees
Dykeman, Wilma -- 1920-2006
Jones, Loyal -- 1928-
Mountain Maternal Health League.
Perrin, Alfred.

Administrative Information

Repository: Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

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

Use Restrictions: There are no restrictions on the collection other than federal copyright regulations.

Preferred Citation: [Record/Folder/Box], RG 9/9.16: Wilma Dykeman Papers.  Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Berea, KY.

Processing Information: Finding aid completed June, 2017.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1: Print Material],
[Box 2: Audio / Video User Copies],
[Box 3: Original Audio Cassette Recordings (Not Public Use)],
[Box 4: Original Audio and Video Recordings (Not Public Use)],

Box 4: Original Audio and Video Recordings (Not Public Use)Add to your cart.
Item 1: AC-VR-007-001Add to your cart.
INTERVIEW: Wilma Dykeman by Jim Wayne Miller 10-1-73. Discussion of Return the Innocent Earth and other writings. Produced by Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
Item 2: AC-OR-130-001Add to your cart.
Wilma Dykeman - 1977 Berea College Appalachian Studies Workshop. Discusses her own writing and that of Mildred Haun, in particular her book The Hawk's Done Gone. 6-12-77
Item 3: SC-VT-038-001Add to your cart.
Berea College Convocation 4-16-92: Wilma Dykeman Stokley reading from her Explorations and The Tall Woman with wide ranging remarks on the themes of "discipline and freedom" and "imagination and reality."
Item 4: SC-VT-585-001Add to your cart.
Mountain Maternal Health League 50th Anniversary Dinner 10-21-86. Main speaker - Wilma Dykeman. Includes numerous persons instrumental in the organization's founding, operation at the time, financial and community support. (See Also WD's RG 9 Collection) Some of these are Louise and Francis Hutchins, Eleanor Churchill, Julia Stammer, Dr. A.S. Holms, Betty Olinger, and Bill Suters. SEE ALSO Mountain Maternal Health League Collection SAA 53

Browse by Box:

[Box 1: Print Material],
[Box 2: Audio / Video User Copies],
[Box 3: Original Audio Cassette Recordings (Not Public Use)],
[Box 4: Original Audio and Video Recordings (Not Public Use)],

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