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Appalachian Studies


Barn in Appalachia

This Guide is designed to serve as a brief introduction to resources on Appalachia available at the Ohio University Libraries.

You can start searching in ArticlesPlus, below, but it doesn't cover all our relevant sources. Be sure to look on the other pages of this Guide as well.

Many of the resources listed here are limited to use by members of Ohio University. If you are using the Guide off-campus, you will need to do a brief login to identify yourself as a member of Ohio University before you can use these resources.

What is Appalachia?

Map of Appalachia This is the official definition from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the federal agency that "works for sustainable community and economic development in Appalachia."

Appalachia, as defined in the legislation from which the Appalachian Regional Commission derives its authority, is a 205,000-square-mile region that follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. It includes all of West Virginia and parts of 12 other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.


Book cover for encyclopedia of AppalachiaThe Encyclopedia of Appalachia is an excellent starting place for research about this region. Use it as you would any encyclopedia:

  • A source of background information on a topic.
  • A guide to further information on that topic: look at the ends of the articles for brief listings of books, articles, government information sources, etc. on the subject of the article.

Of broader geographic scope, but still worth looking at is the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.


The West Virginia Encyclopedia is a comprehensive online encyclopedia of the only state which is totally within the officially defined boundaries of Appalachia. It contains thousands of articles on West Virginia’s people and places, history, arts, science and culture.