Digitized! Community Action in Appalachia: An Appraisal of the “War on Poverty” in a Rural Setting of Southeastern Kentucky, 1968

The University of Kentucky has just finished digitizing a report on the Knox County Economic Opportunity Council (KCEOC) that was conducted by a group of UK researchers and published in 1968. The report is entitled “Community Action in Appalachia: An Appraisal of the “War on Poverty” in a Rural Setting of Southeastern Kentucky.” The lead author was Paul Street.

This 13-unit collection assesses the early years of the KCEOC. Irma Gall of the Lend-A-Hand Center was an important founder of the program and the first community center coordinator. Peggy Kemner of Lend-A-Hand also worked with the KCEOC health program.

The collection is available through the UK Online Appalachian Resources page in the “Community Studies” section available here: http://libwwwapps03.uky.edu/omeka/app-community It is also cataloged under the “War on Poverty” section here: http://libwwwapps03.uky.edu/omeka/app-poverty

Here’s the main page for the UK Special Collections Research Center Online Appalachian Resources page: http://libwwwapps03.uky.edu/omeka/appalachian-resources

Thanks so much to the folks at the library who were willing to digitize this important collection.

I hope to use this collection to expand on some of my past research on the KCEOC.

The scope and depth of this project is immense. It is most likely the only study of its kind on a Community Action Program during that time period in Appalachia if not the rest of the country. The collection is incredibly important to the history of the War on Poverty in Appalachia and holds significant insights into not only the social conditions of the area and how the program was administered, but also the particular framing and understandings of poverty and government intervention that were employed by social scientists and practitioners during the period.

The library also sent me pdfs of all 13 units if anyone is interested in sharing those. They will be available as soon as the UK Library system is upgraded later this year.


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