The West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search

The West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search, Inc. (WVHQS) was organized in 1990 with the primary objectives of documenting West Virginia quilts made prior to 1940, publishing a book with the collected data, and establishing a data repository in the state archives for research availability. Documentation days took place in six regions during 1992. There were 42 locations around the state and with the help of numerous volunteers, a total of 4,204 items were documented. In 1994 an Oral History project was established to interview and record the stories of 39 documented quilt makers. Walt Kordek and Randy Tucker designed a computer data entry package and information was entered by seven WVHQS volunteers. Walt and Fran Kordek then compiled and summarized the data. Writer Fawn Valentine was contracted to write the book with the WVHQS in an advisory role. Jurgen Lorenzen of Nicholas Photography professionally photographed the quilts chosen for the book. In 1998 Ohio University Press of Athens, OH, with major funding from the West Virginia Humanities Council, agreed to publish the book. West Virginia Quilts and Quilt makers: Echoes from the Hills became available in the fall of 2000.

West Virginia State Archives and History:

The original documentation forms, slides and black and white images are housed at the West Virginia State Archives located in the Culture Center at the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, WV. The state archives is the repository for the historical records of West Virginia, both governmental and private. Established in 1905 and located in The Culture Center at the Capitol Complex in Charleston, West Virginia, the State Archives serves researchers through a reference library, mail research, and a continually developing website with online exhibits, finding aids to collections, and other historical information. As the repository for the West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search, the state archives houses the color slides, black and white documentation photos (for which we also provided the film processing and contact printing) and the information sheets for each quilt acquired during the documentation project.

Funding and Acknowledgements:

Major funding for the project came from One Valley Bank of Charleston, WV, The National Quilting Association, West Virginia Commission on the Arts, West Virginia Humanities Council, and many private donations.

The project would not have been possible without the assistance of many volunteers, especially from the West Virginia University Extension Homemakers and quilt guilds throughout the state. The following volunteer individuals were instrumental in forming the organization, designing the methodology, collecting and preparing data for the book: Marjorie Coffey, Roberta Farmer, Martha Sue (Mopsy) Forbes, Elizabeth Granholm, Alice Hersom, Joni Hoffman, Barbara Howard, Margaret Humble, Betsy Keen, Fran Kordek, Margaret Meador, Martha Offutt, Juanita Reed, Jean Kittle Talbott, and Fawn Valentine.

Digital images from the original images were made possible by funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities, received through the Quilt Index project. Thanks for this phase go to Archivist, Debra Basham.

Project description provided by West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search, Inc.

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