In 1937, Sam Jack Hyder, Oris Hyder’s father, purchased a movie camera and began making home movies on 16mm film.  Thanks to Sam’s investment, the Oris Hyder Film Collection exists – a time capsule of various home movies showcasing the typical Appalachian family living near Milligan College (now known as Milligan University) in Elizabethton, TN from 1937 to 1960. By documenting the world around him, not only does Sam Hyder provide evidence against the uneducated hillbilly stereotype often associated with Appalachian natives, but he also exhibits the importance of family and tradition rooted in Appalachian culture.
It’s no surprise that negative stereotypes generalize the Appalachian region with images of “uneducated hillbillies and feuding family clans, prone to ill temper and violence, and dependent on illegal activities” ; however, the Oris Hyder Film Collection proves this misconception couldn’t be farther from the truth. Instead, the film collection focuses on wholesome scenes of farming, family, and college life full of weddings, graduations, and other life events often experienced within the typical American family. Rather than depicting the violent, illiterate image of Appalachian people, Sam Hyder and his family convey the Appalachian family that “tends to emphasize family tradition”  and is involved in education. No longer are the Appalachian people only associated with ill-educated hillbillies, but also an average American family with strong traditions and values.
The intimate home videos of the Oris Hyder Film Collection redefine the image of the Appalachian people as educated and communalistic rather than terrifying, sheltered creatures by simply documenting the everyday life of an Appalachian family and community. “Southern Appalachia and its people have been the subject of speculation, romance, prejudice, and scholarship since the late 19th century,” but the creation and development of the Appalachian Studies Association in 1977 is “redressing the negative representation of mountain people.”  With the help of personal films, such as the Oris Hyder Film Collection, and other historical resources, Appalachian scholars, as well as Appalachian natives, are able to reclaim their own identities through research and communication. Even though the footage from Milligan College dates back to the 1950’s, it’s quite possible that the students represented in the film kickstarted the identity renaissance of the Appalachian people still occurring today.
 Brown, James S., and Harry K. Schwarzweller. “The Appalachian Family.” Change in Rural Appalachia: Implications for Action Programs, edited by Harry K. Schwarzweller and John D. Photiadis, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1971, pp. 85–98. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctv512xx9.10. Accessed 16 Mar. 2021.
 Lichter, Daniel T., and Lisa A. Cimbaluk. “Family Change and Poverty in Appalachia.” Appalachian Legacy: Economic Opportunity after the War on Poverty, edited by James P. Ziliak, Brookings Institution Press, 2012, pp. 81–106. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/10.7864/j.ctt1261k5.7. Accessed 16 Mar. 2021.
 Oris Hyder Film Collection, Archives of Appalachia, East Tennessee State University
 Ray, Celeste, editor. “Southern Appalachia and Mountain People.” The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Volume 6: Ethnicity, by Charles Reagan Wilson, University of North Carolina Press, 2007, pp. 82–89. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/10.5149/9781469616582_ray.11. Accessed 16 Mar. 2021.