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Cratis Williams Papers



Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

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Cratis Williams Papers, 1940-1985 | Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

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Collection Overview

Title: Cratis Williams Papers, 1940-1985Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Williams, Cratis D.

Extent: 2.9 Linear Feet. More info below.


The collection is arranged in series as follows:

Series 1: Personal/Biographical

Series 2: Correspondence

Series 3: Writings

Subjects: Graham, Sylvia., Williams, Cratis D. -- 1911-1985

Languages: English


Cratis Dearl Williams grew up in rural Lawrence County, Kentucky, where he began to study the speech, tales and songs of mountain folk, and taught in a one-room school. He became known for his presentations of Appalachian singing styles and dialects. His first wife (m. 1937), Sylvia Graham, came from the same area and attended both Berea Academy and Morehead State Teachers College (BA, 1937). A poet and teacher, her health was fragile. In 1942 Sylvia was diagnosed with tuberculosis and entered a sanatorium in Beckley, WV, where she later died. Williams went on to build a distinguished career at Appalachian State Teacher's College (now Appalachian State University) in Boone, North Carolina, as a teacher, scholar and administrator. His second marriage (1949) was to Elizabeth Lingefelt; the couple had two children. His books include: Ballads and Songs (1937), The Southern Mountaineer in Fact and Fiction (1966), William H. Vaughan: A Better Man than I Ever Wanted to Be (1985), Southern Mountain Speech (1992), I Become a Teacher: A Memoir of One-Room School Life in Eastern Kentucky (1995) and Tales from Sacred Wind: Coming of Age in Appalachia (2003).

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection consists of personal items and miscellaneous writings relating to Cratis Williams and Sylvia Graham Williams. It includes their letters to each other, poems in manuscript by Sylvia Graham Williams, family letters, Cratis Williams' correspondence with Loyal Jones and others, Cratis Williams' Master's thesis and miscellaneous writing, slides and photographs, and personal memorabilia.

Subject/Index Terms

Graham, Sylvia.
Williams, Cratis D. -- 1911-1985

Administrative Information

Repository: Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

Alternate Extent Statement: 6 boxes

Access Restrictions: Items in Series II of the collection—family and personal correspondence between Cratis and Sylvia Williams—may be restricted.  Federal copyright regulations apply to all other materials. Please cite information. Records can be accessed through the Reading Room, Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Hutchins Library, Berea College.

Acquisition Source: Loyal Jones

Acquisition Method: Cratis Williams gave these items to Loyal Jones for the Berea College Archives

Appraisal Information: Sylvia Graham attended Berea Academy.

Related Materials: Cratis D. Williams Papers at Appalachian State University. For more information please see http://collections.library.appstate.edu/findingaids/ac102.

Preferred Citation: [Object identification], Cratis Williams and Sylvia Graham Williams Papers, Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea, KY.

Finding Aid Revision History: The finding aid was revised in January 2016.

Other Note: BCA 0056 SAA 056

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Personal/Biographical],
[Series 2: Correspondence],
[Series 3: Writings],

Series 1: Personal/BiographicalAdd to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Sylvia Graham - Miscellaneous personal itemsAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Sylvia Graham - Personal school materials - Morehead StateAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Sylvia Graham - Morehead State materials and Berea College Labor CertificateAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Personal items of Sylvia and Cratis WilliamsAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Cratis Williams - Personal itemsAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Newspaper articles and clippings - Cratis WilliamsAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Writings about Cratis WilliamsAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Awards received by Cratis Williams, Weatherford Award, Oliver Max Gardner AwardAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Photographs, Prints and SlidesAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Personal/Biographical],
[Series 2: Correspondence],
[Series 3: Writings],

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