Picturing Appalachia is a collection of early 20th century photographs that provide a glimpse into the life, culture, and natural landscape of the southern Appalachian mountains, in and around western North Carolina. The collection includes images by popular Great Smoky Mountains National Park photographers George Masa and Jim Thompson, as well as lesser-known photographers, like T.H. Lindsey, R.A. Romanes, A.L. Ensley, and George Sherrill.

Picturing Appalachia is a 21st century digital rendition created in the same vein as the popular 1872 print collection, “Picturesque America,” which introduced America to the scenic grandeur sited between its shores. Likewise, “Picturing Appalachia” illustrates the natural landscape, farms, and small towns in the southern Appalachians for those who may not know them firsthand. It is these pictures—along with the growth of the railroad and the publication of various travel brochures—that have made western North Carolina a popular travel destination.

Picturing Appalachia is made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.