Welcome to this portal to Dr. Anne Mitchell Whisnant’s work about the Blue Ridge Parkway.
I originally created this site in 2006 upon publication of my book Super-Scenic Motorway: A Blue Ridge Parkway History (University of North Carolina Press).
I have continued to work on Parkway history, so in 2018 I expanded this site as a place to collect all of my Parkway work, including:
- Driving Through Time: The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway, a major repository of digitized material related to Parkway history. I co-manage this site with the UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries. It includes a set of interpretive essays about Parkway history written by my students and me.
- When the Parkway Came, a story about the Parkway’s creation written for young readers and those who read to and with them.
- My post-Scenic writing: Blog posts I wrote between 2008-10 for Virtual Blue Ridge’s now-defunct Blue Ridge Parkway blog, and other articles I’ve written about Parkway history.
- Links to student projects about Parkway history that my Introduction to Public History classes at UNC-Chapel Hill have built [coming soon].
- Links to materials from public presentations I’ve given about Parkway and National Parks history.
- A timeline of key dates in early Parkway history and a collection of primary documents related to specific issues in Parkway history .
I hope this site demonstrates that publication of a book does not necessarily represent the end of one’s work on a historical topic. Especially for someone like me, who has not worked professionally within the university tenure system and therefore has not been under pressure always to move to a “next” project, a single thread of inquiry may extend and evolve organically. To borrow a Parkway metaphor, the book was just one wayside on a longer road.
I continue to read, write, and speak about Blue Ridge Parkway history. If you’d like me to come and speak to your group, here’s how we can set that up.