The prints and negatives in Sing Along With Appalachia depict various aspects of life in the Southern Mountains, with a particular focus on the area now occupied by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A significant number of the prints and negatives focus on mountain life in the 1930s. Among the topics covered are food preparation, soap-making, cooperage, plowing, making rifles, and leather tanning. Portraits of men, women, children and families, as well as pictures of cabins and mountain landscapes, are included in the collection.
Many of the photographs contained in SAWA originally were taken by Charles S. Grossman, Edouard E. Exline, and Laura Thornborough. Grossman (1900-72) worked for the National Park Service at the GSMNP for ten years, from 1933-1943. During that time he photographed over 1700 buildings and hundreds of views of mountain people. Exline (1905-60) went to the GSMNP in 1934 under the Civilian Conservation Corps program. A landscape architect by profession, Exline was an amateur photographer of great talent. He documented events for the park service and on his own searched for scenic subjects. With Philip Maxwell, he published Valhalla in the Smokies in 1938. Laura Thornborough, resident of the Smokies and author of The Great Smoky Mountains (1937), took some of the photographs in the SAWA Collection. Other photographs were taken by Maurice Sullivan and George Grant.
Originally the SAWA prints and negatives were catalogued into the Appalachian Photographic Archives (APA) but were not kept together as a collection. The APA prints were brought together in 1989.
2.5 linear feet (80 black and white negatives, 73 black and white prints, 1 exhibit brochure, 1 oversize folder)