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The editorial advisory board of the Journal of East Tennessee History has selected UT archivist Aaron D. Purcell as the winner of the 2006 McClung Award for his article, "A Damned Piece of Rascality: The Business of Slave Trading in Southern Appalachia." Purcell’s article focuses on the slave-trading firm of Meek, Haynes and Company to demonstrate the important role that southern Appalachia played in the institution of slavery.

Purcell has a doctorate in history from UT and has served as the university’s Archivist since 2000. He will begin as director of special collections at Virginia Tech in Nov 2007. He is the author of a photographic history of UT and is working on a scholarly monograph that examines several early TVA employees who were accused of being communists.

The McClung Award of the East Tennessee Historical Society is given to the contributor of the paper which is judged to be the best of those printed in each number of The Journal of East Tennessee History. Papers must relate to some phase of the history of Tennessee and must cite sources. Originality, scholarship, power of interpretation, clarity of expression, logical arrangement, and literary form shall be the tests applied by the judges.
These awards are in memory of Calvin Morgan and Barbara Adair McClung, deceased, founders of a notable collection of Tennessee and Southern history at Lawson McGhee Library, Knoxville.