Reinhardt University awarded grant for library exhibit

Erika Neldner

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Reinhardt University students and faculty will collaborate on a library and online exhibit beginning next fall thanks to the Humanities Research for the Public Good Grant from the Council of Independent Colleges.

Dr. Donna Coffey Little, professor of English, answered the call for the CIC grant, which sought opportunities to highlight collections in college archives, libraries and museums.

Little, who has done extensive research about Pine Log Mountain, knew of original works in the Hill Freeman Library & Spruill Learning Center archives. Specifically, she had read works of female authors contained in the archives that told stories of life during the early 20th Century when Reinhardt University was considered “up in the mountains.”

“I felt that both students and the community could learn a lot from these forgotten writers about what life was like in North Georgia in the days before paved roads and automobiles. Few realize that at that time, we were considered part of Appalachia,” Little said.

The proposed exhibit, tentatively entitled “Forgotten Women Writers and an Appalachian Community, 1890-1950,” will be housed at the Hill Freeman Library & Spruill Learning Center and on the Reinhardt University website.

The exhibit will feature the works of Corra Mae Harris, Frances Elizabeth Adair and Rose Pendleton Chiles. Their works focused on the lives of those who lived near Pine Log Mountain and the landscape itself. From farmers to miners and millers, Pine Log Mountain has many rich, historical stories to be told.

Reinhardt students and faculty will join together this fall, utilizing the $10,000 awarded grant, internships and archival resources to create the exhibit for public consumption. The Etowah Valley Historical Society will serve as a community partner.

“Reinhardt has a new Museum Studies minor, and the student interns on this project will get real-life experience in doing primary source research and constructing a display that will help the entire community better understand its roots,” Little said.

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