REPOSITORY

Western Kentucky University Library Special Collections, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives

Identifier
NFAI.R.00000023
Repository Name
Western Kentucky University Library Special Collections, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives
Alternate Name
Western Kentucky University / TopSCHOLAR
Type of Repository
Academic Libraries, Archives, Museums
Repository State
Kentucky
Repository Description

TopSCHOLAR is the research and creative activity database of Western Kentucky University. It contains nearly 10,000 items, including theses, capstone projects, faculty publications, and conferences and journals.

ARCHIVES
Folklife Archives consist of papers and projects created by WKU folk studies faculty, undergraduate and graduate students about traditional and modern folk ways including folk songs, folk beliefs, regional speech patterns, ethnographic studies, occupational folklore, community surveys and vernacular architecture. Included is a vast archive of sound recordings in various formats of interviews, oral histories, and musical performances.

GENRES
Student papers, fieldwork, oral history interviews and transcriptions, ethnographic studies, genre collections, i.e. folk songs, faculty papers.

DATES
1800s - current.

LOCATIONS
Primarily Kentucky and south central region.

HIGHLIGHTS

Major Folklife Archive Collections Lynwood Montell – Interviews, research and field notes, correspondence, manuscripts of professional papers and books of nationally recognized folklorist William Lynwood Montell, retired WKU folk studies faculty member. Especially strong in materials about gospel music, cultural studies of people in specific geographic regions of the Cumberland Mountain region of Kentucky, ethnographic studies of rural teachers, undertakers, lawyers, and doctors, folk architecture with emphasis on log structures, Native Americans and African Americans. Kenneth and Mary Washington – Research material related to her books on Kentucky quilts and Appalachian author Jesse Stuart and his books about the legendary “Bud Long” of Warren County, Kentucky and woodworking techniques in Kentucky. Morgan, John – Fieldwork collected for a thesis on dark-fire tobacco barns in North Carolina and Calloway County, Kentucky. Also includes interviews with crew members from Ohio River tugboats and basket makers, as well as collected ghost stories and supernatural tales. Wilson, Gordon – Correspondence, diaries, recorded interviews, manuscript writings, published articles, speeches, notes, and photographs concerning Wilson’s folklore research. Much of the collection relates to his study of dialects and folkways in the Mammoth Cave region of Kentucky. Also includes a large assemblage of folk beliefs and proverbs. Wilgus Folk Song Collection – Over 5000 folk songs collected by J. K. Wilgus and his students classified by genre. Montell Folk Song Collection – Approximately 2700 folk songs collected by Lynwood Montell and his students classified by genre. Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society – Correspondence, organizational papers, publications, project files and statewide quilt registry with photos and slides. Russell County, Kentucky – Interviews with contemporary and former residents of Russell County, Kentucky. Topics include the building of Wolf Creek Dam and the displacement of the indigenous population, teaching in rural schools, gospel music, logging, and local tourism. Trigg County, Kentucky African Americans – Interviews with 18 individuals about rural folkways of African Americans in this western Kentucky county. Topics include tobacco cultivation, hog production and slaughtering, food preservation, education, attitudes towards African Americans, social life and customs, and rural sociology. African Americans in Upper Cumberland Region – Collection contains interviews with or about African Americans in the upper Cumberland region of Kentucky and Tennessee. The interviews are life histories focusing on what it was like growing up in the region. Hog Butchering – Statements and reminiscences of Kentucky residents who participated in or conducted hog butchering in Kentucky. Information was gathered from various informants between 1963-1969. Material is arranged alphabetically by collector, consisting of specific details about executing hogs, processing and preserving meat, and rendering lard. Freeport Project – Interviews, transcripts, photos, field notes, recording indices related to an African American community in Warren County, Kentucky. Major subjects addressed include: farming and sharecropping, integration and segregation, social life and customs, education, ghost stories, and religious life. Kelly Lally – Interviews, transcriptions, and indices related to service in the Civilian Conservation Corps camps at Mammoth Cave during the 1930s and 1940s. Oral History of Early Twentieth Century New Deal Archaeology – Interviews and transcriptions about the effect of New Deal archaeology in western Kentucky and its relationship to tourism. Kentucky River Folklife Program – Interviews, transcriptions, tape summaries, photographs, slides, etc. related to the rural culture along the Kentucky River: farming, music, textile production, storytelling, foodways, gardening, religious life, fishing, meat preservation, auctions, petroleum industry, etc. Over Here, Over There – Interviews relating memories of the World War II era home front and the experiences of those who served in the military around the world. Topics include rationing, entertainment, communications, segregation, combat experiences, and war propaganda. Joel Stoner – Fieldwork, photographs, recorded music, and interviews with musicians who were active in the 1970s music scene in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Remember Me When I Am Gone – Interviews and transcripts related to a quilt exhibition of the same title. The subject of the exhibition was memory quilts. The interviewees discuss friendships and relationships found in friendship quilts and those made while quilting. Includes several interviews with persons associated with the AIDS quilt project. Thomason Political Collection – Student fieldwork related to the oral political traditions in counties throughout the Commonwealth. Sarah Gertrude Knott – Correspondence and organizational files for the National Folk Festival Association. Knott started the Festival in 1934 and served as its national director until 1971. Some personal correspondence and photographs included.



FORMATS
Sound Recordings - 4,000 (3,000 cassette tapes and 1,000 reel-to-reel)
Moving Images - 200 (25 Beta, 50 films, 125 vhs)
Photographs - 2500
Paper Records - 348 linear feet
Digital Data - 1200 of the sound recordings digitized into .wav files; 30 born digital collections

COMMENTS
Includes student papers, fieldwork, oral history interviews and transcriptions, ethnographic studies, genre collections, i.e. folk songs, faculty papers. Also, just announced: Kentucky Folklife Program has moved to the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology in Potter College of Arts & Letters after 20 years as a successful interagency program of the Kentucky Historical Society and Kentucky Arts Council.

 



Repository Description Source
[information from NFAI Survey]
Repository Contact
Connie Foster (Dean, WKU Libraries)
Jonathan Jeffrey (Professor, Manuscripts/Folklife Archives Coordinator)
Address
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd.
Bowling Green, KY 42101
USA
Telephone
(270) 745-5265
Email
jonathan.jeffrey@wku.edu

Objects in this Repository

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