The materials in the Ambrose N. Manning Collection date from 1955 to 1979. The papers resulted from Manning's interest in Appalachian literature and folklore and his participation in Appalachian organizations and events. A significant portion of the materials were obtained by Manning through his participation as a member of the first board of directors and as chairman of the board of the Appalachian Consortium.
The collection contains correspondence, newsclippings, event programs, meeting agenda and minutes, reports, budgets, project proposals, and research articles. The papers document the early years of the Appalachian Consortium including committee responsibilities, special funding sources, the Consortium Laurel Leaves Award, and board of director's membership. Other events covered in the collection are the East Tennessee State University folk fetival and the Appalachian Girl Scout Council Mountain Magic program. Also included are research articles on Appalachian literature and materials from Manning's folklore collection project at East Tennessee State University.