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Elkins, West Virginia
Saving West Virginia’s Cultural Treasures
A nineteenth-century Zuni jar. A series of Preservation and Access grants from the NEH has helped Davis & Elkins College protect its historically-significant collections. Photo courtesy of Davis & Elkins College, Stirrup Gallery, Darby Collection.

The Special Collections and Archives at Davis and Elkins College hold many of the school’s treasures. These include papers relating to its history and establishment as a National Historic Landmark; audiovisual materials documenting Appalachian music and dance; the manuscripts of Pearl S. Buck, the Nobel Prize-winning author; and the papers of Senators Henry Davis and Stephen Elkins. In addition, the Stirrup Gallery holds 10,000 items representing 3,500 years of material culture: firearms; Native American pottery, baskets, beads, and weapons; and spinning wheels, looms, and furniture used by the first European settlers in the Americas. A series of Preservation and Access grants from the NEH has helped the college protect these historically-significant collections.

“It’s one thing for us to say ‘we think these things are valuable.’ It’s another to have a specialist come in and say, ‘These are one-of-a-kind items that you are about to lose.’”
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