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Ray Hicks telling stories at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, 1999
Ray Hicks telling stories at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, 1999. Photo by Tom Raymond. Part of the cultural documentation found in Tennessee's Local Legacies projects.


The American Folklife Center contains rich and varied material from Tennessee that document the diversity of the state's folk traditions. Among its recordings are hundreds of hours of folksongs, including African American and Anglo American traditions; folk tales, including "Jack tales" recorded in the 1930s; religious services, including tent revival meetings, faith healing, and snake handling; shape-note singing; and recordings of the Harmon Family of Cades Cove, who were relocated with other families during the creation of Smoky Mountain National Park. In 2001 the American Folklife Center acquired the International Storytelling Collection which contains manuscripts, sound recordings, graphic materials, moving images, electronic media, and artifacts that relate to the storytelling revival of the 1970s through the present.


Finding Aid: View a complete list of our Tennessee collections. [full text]

Local Legacies Collection: This project provides a "snapshot" of local culture as it was expressed in the year 2000. View a list of Tennessee's Local Legacies projects.

Veterans History Project: Browse state collections from the Veterans History Project.

Songs of America: Browse an interactive state map for selected songs from the American Folklife Center’s collections, as well as songs from the Library’s Music Division and Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.


Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver: Bluegrass and Gospel music from Tennessee. Recorded at the Library of Congress, September 13, 2006: [webcast and event flyer]

Additional Resources

Educational Resources: View a list of educational materials related to Tennessee from A Teacher's Guide to Folklife Resources.

Folklife Resources: Find state folklife-related agencies, societies, archives, higher education programs, and more, in Folklife Sourcebook: A Directory of Folklife Resources in the United States.

Print Publication: "The Photographs of Maggie Lee Sayre: A Personal Vision of Houseboat Life," Folklife Annual 90. [catalog record]

Published Recordings: Play and Dance Songs and Tunes, Library of Congress AFS L9 [audiocassette]; and Versions and Variants of "Barbara Allen," Library of Congress AFS L54 [audiocassette]


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   May 15, 2015
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