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Collection Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project

About this Collection

The Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project was conducted by the American Folklife Center in cooperation with the National Park Service. Ten folklorists from the American Folklife Center conducted fieldwork in August and September 1978, and collected related materials from 1977 to 1981. The materials were collected for use in designing and improving National Park Service interpretive programs along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The collection consists of sound recordings, video recordings, photographs, manuscripts, sheet music, printed ephemera, artifacts, administrative records, and ethnographers' field notes.The survey examined folklife in and around an area of the BlueRidge Parkway at the Virginia and North Carolina border. The project documented old-time music, tales, hunting and hunting stories, farming, tobacco cultivation and auctions, vernacular architecture, quilting, foodways (including drying, canning, and baking), religious music and beliefs, as well as dance events featuring square dancing and flatfoot dancing. Recordings and photographs document local music (including concerts, fiddlers' contests, and music in homes), community events, church services and baptisms, local radio programs, and interviews with white and African American residents. The collection includes two American Folklife Center publications based on these materials and a final report presented to the National Park Service: "The Process of Field Research, Final Report on the Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project" by Carl Fleischhauer and Charles Wolfe (1981).

This online presentation includes the majority of the sound recordings and photographs in this collection. Selected manuscripts include those materials created by the fieldworkers, such as audio and photo logs, field notes, and final reports. The remainder of the collection is available in the Folklife Reading Room at the Library of Congress. A finding aid to the entire collection is also available online.

The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its resources available and useful to the Congress and the American people. Through its website, the Library offers broad public access to a wide range of information, including historical materials that may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes. Such materials must be viewed in the context of the relevant time period. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in such materials. The events documented here are the personal recollections and perspectives of participating individuals; they are recordings of people's own stories and not necessarily the truth.

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