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Blue Ridge Institute for Southern Community Service Executives Records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 1976-019

Scope and Contents

Consists of proceedings, presentations not included in the proceedings, minutes of business meetings, programs, photographs, registrations, attendance lists, correspondence, financial reports, planning information, newspaper clippings, audio tapes and video tapes of proceedings and interviews, and other related materials. Some proceedings within the Blue Ridge Collection are cross referenced under subject headings that relate to the specific city that was the subject of the report.

Arranged chronologically by year of the Institute, the collection includes reports offered at clinics during the Institute, other clinic materials, notes of Institute discussion groups, programs, printed invitations mailed to conference attendees, lists of names and addresses of Institute attendees, mailing lists of Institute members, and materials created by or addressed to the Blue Ridge Institute Executive Committee, later known as the Board of Directors.

Correspondence include letters to and from Institute members, memoranda, notes, announcements, agendas, General Assembly minutes, special committee reports, newspaper clippings, room assignments, reservation correspondence, Blue Ridge Assembly brochures, press releases, and Planning/Programming Committee documents.

Includes background materials used in planning future institutes, such as scholarly articles on community service issues, literature written by or about the speakers giving presentations at the Institute, songbooks, and publications such as the yearly "Black Mountain Gazette," published by the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly, and the report "Peopleizing Services A La Blue Ridge" by Institute member Harold J. Weekley.

Photographs in the collection include group photographs taken at each Institute. Some of photographs include keys identifying the attendees in the photo.


  • created: 1927-2006

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright holder for this collection is the Blue Ridge Institute for Community Executives. All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

The Blue Ridge Institute for Southern Community Service Executives was founded in 1927 by Arthur Alden Guild, Director of the Community Fund of Richmond, Virginia. The Institute was conceived for the benefit of voluntarily-supported and public-supported agencies in the health, welfare and youth-serving fields by having their executives meet for discussion of topics that affected their daily work. The avowed purpose was to improve existing leadership and create a desire in communities for better-trained people.

The first session, promoted as "A Vacation Institute for Southern Social Work Executives," was held on August 1-12, 1927, at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina. 56 social work executives from 15 states attended. Since then, the Institute has met every year except one - the 1944 session was cancelled due to a polio epidemic in North Carolina. Each institute has been held at the Blue Ridge Assembly, except for the 1943 session, which was held at the Green Park Hotel in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, due to wartime difficulties. The Blue Ridge Institute has contributed to the national health, welfare, recreation and community organization literature on a variety of important subjects. For example, the 1957 proceedings on "Staffing our Community Health, Recreation and Welfare Services" was completely exhausted during the fall of 1957, in preparation of the U.S. Report to the United Nations on the use of personnel. Also, the 1967 proceedings, "The Thrust for Community Betterment - Whose Responsibility?", became the source of information for Public Affairs Pamphlet No. 413 - "New Ways to Better Communities."

The Blue Ridge Institute has been largely nurtured and developed in a unique way by the volunteer services of the Community Service Executives who attended it. In the early years the national association of Community Chests and Councils assisted with some secretarial services and part-time professional consultation. This relationship ceased in 1968 and the institute leadership took over all responsibilities. Attendance at the Blue Ridge Institute is by invitation only. The invitation list is developed by the Board of Directors, which is made up of the officers and representatives from each state attending the conference, taking care to ensure broad representation from all service fields. Programs have covered all aspects of community organization and human services, and after the first few years a summary of the institute proceedings and presentations have been published annually.


13.20 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection includes the proceedings of the annual Blue Ridge Institute, presentations that were not part of the proceedings but were presented at the Institute, programs, invitations, invitation lists, correspondence, background material, photographs and various related materials, including audio tapes and video tapes.

Method of Acquisition

The first portion of the Blue Ridge Institute for Community Service Executives Records was donated to the Special Collections Department, Florida State University Libraries, by various members of the Institute, in 1976. A second portion of materials was donated to the Special Collections Department by Dr. Leila Calhoun Deasy in 1978. Additional materials have been donated periodically to the Special Collections Department by Dr. Donald R. Bardill.

Processing Information

The majority of this collection was processed in September 1976 by staff members of the Special Collections Department. Additional materials were processed in September 1978 and interfiled in the appropriate file folders by year of Institute. The final five boxes, comprised of previously unprocessed materials and Institute materials spanning the years 1979-2002, were processed in March 2003.

Box 5 eliminated during re-processing in June 2017.

Blue Ridge Institute for Southern Community Service Executives Records
Vinessa Erminio
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US