Buckaroos in Paradise: Ranching Culture in Northern Nevada, 1945-1982


The research that underlies this online collection resulted from the Paradise Valley (Nevada) Folklife Project, carried out by the American Folklife Center in 1978-1982. From 1980-1985, the findings from this research project were disseminated in a series of exhibitions and publications and significant portions of their content have been incorporated here.

The Paradise Valley Folklife Project and the roles played by members of the research team are outlined in Folklife Research and Team Fieldwork. The project was directed by Howard W. Marshall, now of the University of Missouri at Columbia. The team included Richard E. Ahlborn, curator of community life in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History; Thomas Vennum, Jr., ethnomusicologist at the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies; Linda GastaƱaga, of Reno, Nevada; Keith Cunningham, of Northern Arizona University; Suzi Jones, then an Oregon folklorist and now the deputy director of the Anchorage Museum of History and Art; and William A. "Bert" Wilson of Brigham Young University. They were joined by James Deetz, then director of the Lowie Museum at the University of California, Berkeley, and historical archaeologists Eugene Prince, Lynn Eisenmann, Jamey Deetz, and Margaret Purser.

This collection emphasizes the importance of the field project's media documentation and special note should be given to the contributions of Carl Fleischhauer, then a staff member of the American Folklife Center, who worked as a still photographer and filmmaker on the project, together with William H. Smock. Fleischhauer is now the Technical Coordinator (Production) for the National Digital Library Program at the Library and in this role also helped shape this online collection.

The American Folklife Center and all of the members of the field research team express their grateful thanks to the people of Paradise Valley for sharing their knowledge, stories, photographs and hospitality. Leslie J. and Marie Stewart and their son, Fred, proprietors of the Ninety-Six Ranch, deserve special mention. Les not only took the time to teach the team about ranching and buckaroo culture but also produced a series of marvelous documentary motion pictures, some of which are included here.

The American Folklife Center staff assisted in every stage of production of the online presentation. In the early stages of the digitization process, Catherine Bowers, Camila R. Bryce-Laporte and Marie Walter sought, organized and rehoused collection materials. Catherine Bowers input data for 2,400 photographs and drawings into the bibliographic database. Catherine Hiebert Kerst catalogued the collection, creating and editing databases to facilitate searching and display. Nora Yeh, Archivist, planned and coordinated the archival and digital processing of the Paradise Valley collection. Alan A. Jabbour and James B. Hardin shared their folklife and editorial expertise to shape the content and structure of the site. Steven M. Pape assisted in quality review. Doris M. Craig provided administrative support.

Thomas H. Bramel served as liaison from the National Digital Library Program to the American Folklife Center, working closely with all participants throughout the duration of the conversion process. Digital Conversion Specialists Robin A. Fanslow and Christa Maher assisted with database maintenance and conversion. Rachel I. Howard researched and clarified background information, including permissions and glossary definitions. Mary Ambrosio programmed the indexing and display of the documents. Melissa Smith Levine evaluated rights issues and permissions requirements. Glenn Ricci designed the graphic layout. Andrea Greenwood, Glenn Ricci, Tracey Salley and Barak Stussman coded the HTML web pages. Marc Dudley oversaw the creation of the digital video files from initial transfer through quality review. Dominique Pickett digitized the maps used in this presentation. Thomas H. Bramel created the digital audio files. Philip J. Michel of the Library's Prints and Photographs Division advised and assisted in the preparation of the 2,400 still photographs for digitization. JJT, Inc. scanned the color slides, black-and-white photographs and architectural site plans. Rachel I. Howard coordinated the scanning of the images with JJT, and Rachel I. Howard, Christa Maher and Laurel A. McIntyre reviewed the quality of the images. Jeff Finlay and Emily Baker assisted in the editorial process.

The University of Nebraska Press has generously granted permission for the reprinting of Howard W. Marshall's "Buckaroo: Views of a Western Way of Life" article from the 1980 Buckaroos in Paradise: Cowboy Life in Northern Nevada publication.