Library & Cultural Heritage Archive

Cultural Heritage Archive

The Cultural Heritage Archive is the research and data center for the Betsy K. White Cultural Heritage Project, a program of William King Museum of Art. Since 1994, the Project has documented and photographed over 200 objects made by hand in Southwest Virginia & Northeast Tennessee prior to 1940. The goal of the Archive is to provide a lasting record of this region’s contribution to American decorative arts, including furniture, textiles, pottery, metalwork, musical instruments, art and other forms of material culture.

Examples of pieces in our permanent collection:

AIB-Fig 15_Smith_JP1966 AIB-Fig 1_Rose_JP1979 AIB-110 AIB-Fig 98_Gobble_JP2357

Funding for the Cultural Heritage Archive has been provided by:

Appalachian Regional Commission

Kaufman Americana Foundation

Rick & Susan Humphreys, in memory of GRC Stuart

Edwin F. LeGard

Mary Belle Price

Town of Abingdon

The Gwathmey Memorial Trust

William King Museum of Art Library

Serving the entire Southwest Virginia region as well as Northeast Tennessee, Western North Carolina and South Eastern Kentucky, William King’s Library is the only one west of Roanoke whose primary objective is arts and culture education. As such, it is the Museum’s mission to bolster the region– whose roots have long been planted in the cultural arts–with awareness and respect.

To meet this goal, the Library intends to accommodate specific areas of education. These include cultural heritage, exhibition history, curatorial records, and general arts based collections of books. Because the books cover such a large range of time and culture, a project that is currently underway will soon allow visitors to browse the library electronically.


The Print Archive is one of the most recent additions to the Library. Upon completion, visitors will be able to access all print materials affiliated with the Museum, including gallery guides, newsletters, education materials, special events, and much more.

Ultimately, the Library will provide a dedicated environment of arts based literature focusing on both the immediate region and across the world. The Library space is technologically equipped for projection purposes and the physical space is available upon request to host classes, discussions or lectures.

It is with hope and hard work that one day William King Museum of Art’s Library will not only be another open door in the community, but a gateway into the world.


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