Finding Aids to Individual Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY FOLKLIFE PROJECT COLLECTION
Library of Congress
American Folklife Center
The Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project Collection consists of audio-
and video-recordings, photographs, manuscript materials, publications,
ephemera, and accompanying documentation related to the 1978 Blue Ridge
Parkway Project field survey. In cooperation with the National Park Service,
the American Folklife Center conducted a research project to document folklife
in and around an area of the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Virginia and North
Carolina border. Ten folklorists conducted the fieldwork, interviewing
residents of the area and documenting aspects of traditional culture.
The project created a collection of materials to be used in designing
and improving National Park Service interpretive programs. A final report,
The Process of Field Research, was presented to the National Park Service
in 1981. In addition, the project resulted in the creation of two publications,
a two-LP album set and a book.
Access and Reproduction: Listening and viewing access to the collection
is unrestricted. Duplication of the recorded materials may be governed
by copyright and other restrictions.
Key Subjects: baptisms; flat foot dance; folk architecture; folk narrative;
foodways; fox hunts; quilts; religious ceremonies; religious services and
music; sawmilling; secular music; social life and customs; square dance;
Physical Description: Location Numbers:
428 7" and 5" reels
at various speeds; AFS 21,363-21,829
(reels and cassettes);
39 60- and 90-minute
audiocassettes RYA 1336-1374 (cassettes);
RXA 2049 2476 (reels)
2 double-sided 12 in.
discs at 33 1/3 rpm AFC L69-70
551 rolls b&w 35 mm negatives
(approx. 16,400 images)
7 rolls of 2 1/4" negatives
63 b&w contact sheets
1 folder misc. copy negatives
114 b&w photoprints
(from negatives in the collection)
587 holders, color transparencies
(approx. 8,600 images)
38 holders, reference fiches
1 folder of miscellaneous internegatives
44 holders of selected duplicate slides
15 videocassettes 3/4"
sound, color AFC1981/004:V1-V14, V1-v1
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project Collection contains the
audiorecordings, videorecordings, photographs, publications,
ephemera, and accompanying manuscript materials associated with
the American Folklife Center's 1978 field study of folklife in
and around a 70-mile stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The study
covered parts of Grayson, Carroll, Floyd, and Patrick Counties in
Virginia, and Alleghany, Wilkes, and Surry Counties in North
Carolina. The Center undertook the project in cooperation with
the National Park Service. It was designed to achieve several
complementary goals benefiting its sponsors and the general
public, including citizens who live near the Parkway and visitors
who travel along it. To accomplish these goals, the project
examined and documented a range of traditional cultural
expression--oral, material, and behavioral. Products that
resulted from the project include a final report submitted to the
National Park Service; two publications: an LP record set and a
book; and an archive of documentation and analysis including
fieldnotes, audio and video recordings, photographs, essays, and
The project spanned the years 1978 to 1981 and involved three
phases: pre-fieldwork, fieldwork, and post-fieldwork. The pre-
fieldwork phase occurred between February and August 1978 and
involved identifying the section of the Parkway to study,
choosing field team members, and preparing a background research
document. The fieldwork took place primarily during August and
September 1978 and was conducted by ten folklorists and
photographers; Charles Wolfe and Carl Fleischhauer were field
coordinators. The fieldwork included an intern program designed
to train selected Park Service employees in folklife study.
Although each team member was a specialist in some area of
folklife or folklore, all members, except Margaret Owen who
focused on dance traditions, acted as generalists and documented
a variety of folk traditions. The materials they gathered are
diverse and cover a variety of topics. The subjects best
represented in the collection are religious services and music,
folk narrative, folk architecture, quilting, foodways, tobacco
culture, secular music, folk dance, and fox hunting.
The post-fieldwork phase lasted through 1981 and involved
preparing the project's final products. A final report,
_The Process of Field Research_, which summarized the project's
findings and recommendations, was presented to the National Park
Service. Two publications were produced: the book, _Blue Ridge
Harvest_, edited by Terry Eiler, Lyntha Scott Eiler, and Carl
Fleischhauer, and the two-LP album set, _Children of the Heav'nly
King_, edited by Charles Wolfe. In addition, several fieldworkers
wrote essays on particular topics. The collection was arranged
and housed in the Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of
Congress, and a large body of duplicate materials was presented
to the Parkway for use as a reference archive.
The collection not only documents the life span of the project
and recommendations presented to the National Park Service, but
also records and preserves life histories and folk traditions of
the Blue Ridge Parkway area. The materials span the years 1977 to
1981, with the largest portion dated 1978. The collection is
divided into four series by format: manuscripts, sound
recordings, graphic material, and moving images. The inventory to
the collection, photograph logs, and sound recordings concordance
(materials not included in this guide) provide detailed
descriptions of the contents.
Series I: Manuscripts
The manuscript materials provide supporting documentation for the
entire project, including the creation of the final products.
Documents pertaining to the planning and administration of these
activities are found here. Publications such as books, brochures,
articles, maps, audio recordings, and so forth provide background
on the Blue Ridge area. Project documentation includes
fieldnotes, daily journals, logs describing the content of
photographs and audio-visual recordings made during the
fieldwork, and related ephemera. This series also contains essays
on the project and copies of the final report and published book.
Series II: Sound Recordings
This series includes the 467 audiocassettes and reel-to-reel
tapes used to document the fieldwork undertaken. They provide a
record of interviews, music, social events, and staff
conferences. Logs that identify the content of the recordings are
found in Series I. Also included in this series is the published
two-LP set based on the collection, _Children of the Heav'nly
King: Religious Expression in the Central Blue Ridge_.
Series III: Graphic Images
More than 25,000 images document the fieldwork performed in the
Blue Ridge Parkway study area. They include black and white
negative rolls, contact sheets, and miscellaneous photoprints.
Color transparencies and reference fiches are also included. Logs
describing the content of the field photographs are found in
Series I. A more complete set of b&w contact sheets is located in
the Folklife Reading Room.
Series VI: Moving Images
This series contains 14 videocassettes that primarily document
dance, but also include children's games, a television news
report on the project, and an apple-drying process. Logs of
these videotapes can be found in Series I.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF SERIES
SERIES I: MANUSCRIPTS
Folders A-B Archive of Folk Culture administrative
materials. The collection guide (this
document) and the collection inventory.
Folders 1-3 Planning and background research:
"Preliminary Research Survey," by Peter
Bartis, early planning notes, consultant
contract and correspondence.
Folders 4-8 National Park Service: Drafts and final
versions of the cooperative agreement,
progress reports, financial reports.
Folders 9-13 Budget and expenditures: Budgets, fund
records, notes for actual expenditures.
Folders 14-27 Fieldworkers: Selection process notes,
responsibilities, contracts and
correspondence (arranged alphabetically
by fieldworker), conferences.
Folders 28-31 Logistics: GSA cars, business cards,
hotel and local arrangements.
Folders 32-36 Correspondence: With general public,
informants, churches, and miscellaneous.
Folders 37-39 Public relations: Certificates of
appreciation, press releases, project
Folder 40 Post-project: Miscellaneous.
Collected Publications and Ephemera
Map drawer Posters: Concerts and shows.
41-48, 50 Miscellaneous Publications: Telephone
books, articles, handbooks, almanacs,
local newspapers, sheet music, National
Park Service publications, church-related
Folders 52-55 Covers: Photocopies of jacket covers,
audiocassette and 8-track labels.
Box 14 Artifact: Wooden puzzle.
Folders 56-67 Fieldnotes: Original fieldnotes arranged
alphabetically by fieldworker.
Folder 68 Informants: Interview reports, lists.
Map Drawer Maps: Marked and unmarked maps of the
97-108a Black and white logs: Logs describing
black and white images (photographs),
arranged alphabetically by fieldworker
and in numerical order by sheet number.
Also includes courtesy print requests
and presentation set of black and white
110-120 Color logs: Logs describing color images
(photographs) arranged alphabetically by
121-131 Sound recordings logs: Sound recording
logs arranged alphabetically by
fieldworker. Includes team meetings and
edited presentation sets (copies
given to the National Park Service).
Folder 132 Videotape logs: Logs to videotapes.
Reports and Products
133-137 Fieldworkers' essays. Essays on specific
topics arranged alphabetically by
138-140 Final Report: Draft and final copy of
_The Process of Field Research: Final
Report on the Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife
Project_. Prepared by Carl Fleischhauer
and Charles Wolfe. Also includes
distribution list and correspondence.
141-144a Other Publications: Published articles
written about the Blue Ridge Parkway
Folklife Project. Arranged alphabetically
145-151 Book: Drafts, production notes,
distribution list, and final copy of
_Blue Ridge Harvest: A Region's
Folklife in Photography_ edited by
Lyntha Scott Eiler, Terry Eiler, and
152-160 Record set: Administration and production
Folder 161 Other: Publicity related to the book and
SERIES II: SOUND RECORDINGS
AFS 21,363- 428 7" and 5" reels (recorded at various
21,829 speeds and track formats) and 39
audiocassettes of original field
recordings, team meetings, and i
presentation selections. Within the
AFS numerical sequence, arranged
alphabetically by fieldworker.
RYA 1336-1374; RXA 2049-2476.
AFC L69-70 2-LP album set, _Children of the Heav'nly
King: Religious Expression in the Central
Produced by Charles Wolfe. Washington, DC:
Library of Congress, 1981. Includes
booklet. (Listening copy available in
the Folklife Reading Room.)
SERIES III: GRAPHIC IMAGES
Albums 1-3 551 rolls of black and white negatives
arranged numerically by roll number.
Folders 72-95 63 black and white contact sheets arranged
numerically by roll number.
Folders 96-96a Miscellaneous black and white negatives,
contacts, and copy negatives.
Boxes 15-17 114 black and white photoprints, various
Holders 1-587 Color transparencies arranged
alphabetically by fieldworker and
588-625 Reference copies of color transparencies.
626-669 Selected presentation duplicate slides.
109-109a Miscellaneous color internegatives and
caption sheets for selected presentation
SERIES IV: MOVING IMAGES
V1-V14 15 3/4" sound, color videotapes. Primarily
documents local dance events, but also
includes children's games and other
activities, a copy of a television news
spot on the program, and an apple-
drying process. Filmed by members of the
field team, August-September 1978.
Includes viewing copy of AFC 1982/009:V1
1. See collection inventory (Folder B) for complete descriptions
Eiler, Lyntha Scott, Terry Eiler, and Carl Fleischhauer (eds.).
_Blue Ridge Harvest: A Region's Folklife in Photographs_.
Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1981.
Eiler, Lyntha Scott, Terry Eiler, and Carl Fleischhauer. "People
of the Blue Ridge: A Photographic Portrait." _The Quarterly
Journal of the Library of Congress_ 38 no. 3 (Summer 1981): 134-
Fleischhauer, Carl. "Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project
Continues." _Blue Ridge Institute Newsletter_ 2 no. 3 (Fall
1979): 1, 6.
Fleischhauer, Carl. "Blue Ridge Fieldwork." _Folklife Center
News_ 3 no. 4 (October 1981): 8-15.
Fleischhauer, Carl and Charles Wolfe. _The Process of Field
Research: Final Report on the Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife
Project_. Washington, DC: American Folklife Center, Library of
"Folklife Center Joins National Park Service in Blue Ridge
Survey." _Folklife Center News_, 1 no. 3 (January 1978):1, 8.
Gould, Geoffrey. "Blue Ridge." _Topic_ (USIS magazine for
Africa) 139 (1982): 57-65.
Jabbour, Alan. "Folklife Today on the Blue Ridge Parkway."
_National Parks and Conservation Magazine_ (April 1980): 20-22.
Johnson, Geraldine. "Plain and Fancy: The Socio-Economics of Blue
Ridge Quilts." _Appalachian Journal_ 10 (Autumn 1982): 12-13.
Mullen, Patrick. "Two Courtship Stories from the Blue Ridge
Mountains." _Journal of the Virginia Folklore Society_ 2 (1980-
Wolfe, Charles. "The Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project."
_Journal of the Virginia Folklore Society_ 2 (1980-1981): 15-24.
Wolfe, Charles (ed.). _Children of the Heav'nly King: Religious
Expression in the Central Blue Ridge_. (LP) AFC L69-70.
Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1981.
The following dance events were documented for the project during
August and September 1978 through photographs, sound recordings,
and video recordings. Some of the documentation occurred over
multiple dates at the same location. Interviews with informants
conducted by Margaret Owen in September and October 1978 are also
included. For additional information, see Margaret Owen's
fieldnotes, folder 65. For more specific documentation
information, see the printed version of the finding aid.
Dance demonstrations: Iroler's store,
Dance competitions, informal dancing:
Galax Fiddler's Convention, Galax VA
Weekly square dance: Fancy Gap Elementary School,
Fancy Gap VA
Weekly square dance: Ruritan Bldg.,
Weekly square dance: Blackberry Ridge VA
House dance: Dix Freeman's house, Pine Ridge NC
Sunday dance: Mabry Mill, Meadows of
Dan VA (often featuring Luther Boyd)
Flatfoot dancing: English class, Floyd High School,
Flatfoot dancing: Shockley's Shell Service Center,
Interview: Dix and Charlie Mae Freeman, Pine Ridge NC
Interview: Luther and Grace Boyd, Meadows of Dan VA
Interview: Tommy Jarrell, Toast NC
Interview: Clinton Iroler, Fancy Gap VA
Interview: E.G. Branscombe, Fancy Gap VA
The above collection guide has been prepared for Internet
dissemination in ascii text. Fonts and an appendix with a table
showing more specific information about dance materials have been
removed. For a printed version of the whole guide, write to The
American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, DC