The Congress of Appalachian Development portion of the collection includes correspondence, transcripts of members' testimony at government hearings, and articles and clippings about CAD and other Appalachian organizations (such as the Council of Southern Mountains, Appalachian Volunteers, and the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund). The Series relating to Ebersole's personal career include papers generated during his tenure at the United States Department of the Interior and work with the Area Redevelopment Administration. These include a number of river basin studies, materials pertaining to United States technical training of foreign nationals, and reports of federal projects in Appalachia. These materials are of value to students of Appalachian social movements, begun during the 1960s under programs initiated by the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Files include correspondence with, speeches and reports by and biographical information on key activists and important regional organizations. Among these are Harry Caudill and Tom Gish; Paul Kaufman, U. S. Senator from West Virginia; John Fetterman, and Milt Ogle. Organizations represented include Congress of Appalachian Development, the Council of the Southern Mountains, the Appalachian Volunteers, Council on Religion in Appalachia, Appalachian Research and Defense Fund, and the Appalachian South Folklife Center.
The addition to the Congress for Appalachian Development/Gordon Ebersole Collections (CAD) consists primarily of photocopies of correspondence between Ebersole and Harry Caudill, Paul Kaufman, Ann Pollard, Lewis Smith, and David Whisnant, along with reports, speeches, and clippings related to activities of the Congress for Appalachian Development and other Appalachian-related concerns shared by the correspondents.