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Finding Aids to Individual Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture


AFC 1982/009

Library of Congress
American Folklife Center
June 1995


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; tobacco culture.

Physical Description:                               Location Numbers:


161 folders

Audio Recordings

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 
                                                    (published recordings)     

Graphic Materials

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

Moving Images

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.



                         SERIES I: MANUSCRIPTS

Location                       Contents

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 
                               fieldwork area.

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 
                               fieldworker's names.

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
                               by author.

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 
                               Carl Fleischhauer.

152-160                        Record set: Administration and production

Folder 161                     Other: Publicity related to the book and

                        SERIES II: SOUND RECORDINGS

Location                       Contents

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
                               Blue Ridge_.
                               Produced by Charles Wolfe. Washington, DC:
                               Library of Congress, 1981. Includes 
                               booklet. (Listening copy available in 
                               the Folklife Reading Room.)

                         SERIES III: GRAPHIC IMAGES

Location                       Contents

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

Location                       Contents

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
                               (AFC 1982/009:V1-v1).

1. See collection inventory (Folder B) for complete descriptions
and concordances.


                             RELATED PUBLICATIONS

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
Congress, 1981.

"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-
1981): 25-38.

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,
Gladesboro VA

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., 
Fairview VA

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, 
Floyd VA

Flatfoot dancing: Shockley's Shell Service Center, 
Hillsville VA

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


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