Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections, 1937-1942


Rachel I. Howard, Digital Conversion Specialist, and Thomas H. Bramel, Digital Projects Coordinator for the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, organized and developed Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections for the National Digital Library Program.

Essential support was provided by a generous grant from The Texaco Foundation.

Stetson Kennedy served as consultant to this online presentation: he wrote the special presentation essay, "A Florida Treasure Hunt," shared his expertise throughout the preparation of the collection for digitization, and graciously authorized the reproduction of photographs from his personal collection. Ivy Bigbee of Ivy Bigbee Photography, Jacksonville, Florida, repaired and digitized the photographs illustrating Stetson Kennedy's essay and took the photograph of Stetson that illustrates his biography.

Peggy Bulger, director of the American Folklife Center and former Florida state folklorist, assisted greatly with this project, sharing her knowledge of Florida folklife and her contacts with Floridians. She and Center editor James Hardin edited the framing texts. Cataloger Catherine Hiebert Kerst provided helpful advice on foreign-language materials. Digital Conversion Specialist Laurel McIntyre assisted with Spanish translations, coordinated with Library of Congress area specialists to identify and translate other foreign-language materials, and performed copyright research on English-language recordings.

Larry Appelbaum of the Library's Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division transferred the audio from ten-inch preservation reels to DAT. Rachel I. Howard digitized the audio to WaveForm, and Thomas H. Bramel created the derivative audio file formats.

Systems Integration Group scanned the manuscript materials and converted them to SGML-encoded texts. Beth Davis-Brown coordinated the scanning.

Deborah Thomas coordinated the scanning of the map of Florida from the Library's Geography and Map Division.

Mary Ambrosio of the Library's Information Technology Services programmed the indexing of the database.

Glenn Ricci of the National Digital Library Program at the Library of Congress designed the graphic layout and, with Rachel I. Howard, coded the HTML pages.

Emily Lind Baker and Jurretta Jordan Heckscher of the NDLP's Editorial Team reviewed the framing texts.

Melissa Smith Levine and Emily Howie of the NDLP advised on legal matters (copyright and other restrictions).

A number of language and culture specialists inside and outside the Library assisted with this Web presentation.

Special thanks to the following Library of Congress catalogers and reference specialists, who identified and translated much of the foreign-language material in this collection:

Mary Jane Deeb, Arab World Area Specialist, African and Middle Eastern Division;

Everette Larson, Head of Reference, Hispanic Division Reading Room;

Amparo Torres, Conservation Division, and her cousin, Lorraine Perry--great-great-granddaughters of Pedrucho Figueredo, composer of the Cuban National Anthem;

Theresa Papademitriou, Law Library, who assisted with Greek translations;

and Helen Fedor, Slovak Area Specialist; George Kovtun, Czech Area Specialist; and Eric Solsten, Italian Area Specialist, European Reading Room.

Thanks also to Linda L. Arret and Larry E. Dixson of the Library's Network Development and MARC Standards Office, who offered advice about special character sets.

The following people provided information about the collectors, the performers, and the communities where the recordings were made:

Archivist Beth Golding, of the Florida State Bureau of Archives and Records Management in Tallahassee, shared her knowledge of Florida WPA administrative history.

University of Florida English Department professors Ira Clark and Bob Thomson and University Archivist Carl Van Ness provided background information on Alton C. Morris, leading to contact with his son, Kenneth D. Morris, who also shared his memories of his father.

JuCoby Pittman, director of the Clara White Mission in Jacksonville, provided background information on Eartha White.

Seminole Chief James Billie and Communications Director Peter Gallagher advised on the Seminole performances.

Writer Charles Foster, author of Conchtown USA, shared contact information for the daughter and granddaughter of Wilbur and Mary Jane Roberts, Bernice R. Smith and Betty Jean Jacobs. Foster's book also served as a valuable resource for this project.

The Reverend W. M. Arp of St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Slavia, Florida, provided background information on the Slovak performances recorded there in 1939.

Ortero Espinola, president of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce in Key West, knew the performers recorded at the San Carlos Institute in 1940. Dr. Rafael Peñalver and Bill Collins of the San Carlos Institute provided information about the Institute's former director, Benildes Remond Sanchez (née Isern), and shared contact information for Señora Sanchez's brother and sister, Joel Remond and Belga Maza.

Mario Gonzalez of the Circulo Cubano (Cuban Club) in Tampa attempted to trace the performers recorded there in 1939.

Katie Faklis, director of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral Choir in Tarpon Springs, and her husband, George Faklis; Dr. Kathy Monahan, director of Cultural and Civic Services for the City of Tarpon Springs; Kathy Alesafis and Dorothy Pappas of the City Clerks' Office of Tarpon Springs; and folklorist Bob Stone and Florida state folklorist Tina Bucuvalas assisted in the effort to locate Greek performers and their next-of-kin.

Herbert Corse, son of Dr. Carita Doggett Corse and Kenneth D. Morris, son of Alton C. Morris, supported our endeavor to make the recordings of and by their relatives available on the Internet.