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Folklore Archive: Southern Upland Folklife in the Midwest Oral Histories

 Collection
Identifier: WSOH002713
Collection consists of audio recordings of 37 interviews with individuals or groups that document migration of Southern Appalachian whites to the metropolitan Detroit area. Major subjects covered include Appalachian folklore; bluegrass music and culture; work, family, and religious life; and Southern folklife in Detroit and the Midwest. Owing to the broad nature of folklore research, some recordings fall outside of the strict definition of oral history and may be better categorized as ethnographic field recordings. Several recordings consist partly or entirely of musical performances. Some interviews extend to multiple tapes, and some tapes contain multiple interviews.

Dates

  • 1981
  • 1995

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Due to the personal nature of oral history, the Library prohibits use of the material in any way that infringes on individual right to privacy, or results in libelous statements or slander, in accordance with U.S. law.

Permission to publish or quote must be obtained from the interviewee or interviewee heirs or assigns.

Extent

3 Linear Feet ((3 SB). ) : Includes 35 7-inch open reel tapes and 6 audiocassettes.

Abstract

The Folklore Archive, established in 1939 by WSU English professors Emlyn Gardner and Thelma James, contains the oldest and largest record of urban folk traditions in the United States. In 1981, as the Wayne State University Folklore Archive's contribution to the Great Lakes Art Alliance's Regional Folklife Project, field researcher Patricia Radecki documented the folk traditions of Southern Appalachian whites who had migrated to the metropolitan Detroit area, in part through oral history interviews. In 1995, students enrolled in Folklore Archive director Janet Langlois' folklore-oriented English course continued this documentary effort with research on "Southern Upland Folklife in Greater Detroit." Collection consists of audio recordings of 37 interviews with individuals or groups that document migration of Southern Appalachian whites to the metropolitan Detroit area. Major subjects covered include Appalachian folklore; bluegrass music and culture; work, family, and religious life; and Southern folklife in Detroit and the Midwest. Owing to the broad nature of folklore research, some recordings fall outside of the strict definition of oral history and may be better categorized as ethnographic field recordings. Several recordings consist partly or entirely of musical performances.

History

The Folklore Archive, established in 1939 by WSU English professors Emlyn Gardner and Thelma James, contains the oldest and largest record of urban folk traditions in the United States. In 1981, as the Wayne State University Folklore Archive's contribution to the Great Lakes Art Alliance's Regional Folklife Project, field researcher Patricia Radecki documented the folk traditions of Southern Appalachian whites who had migrated to the metropolitan Detroit area, in part through oral history interviews. In 1995, students enrolled in Folklore Archive director Janet Langlois' folklore-oriented English course continued this documentary effort with research on "Southern Upland Folklife in Greater Detroit."

Arrangement

Tapes are arranged numerically by A-V department numbering system.

Acquisition

Transferred to the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in July 1999 as part of selected materials from the Wayne State University Folklore Archive by the Folklore Archive director, Professor Janet Langlois.

Related Materials

Transcripts, student research papers, and background and administrative materials can be found in the Folklore Archive: Studies and Research Projects Records. Transcripts do not exist for all interviews.
Folklore Archive Collections, including the Greek-American Family Life Oral Histories and Student Field Project Oral Histories.

Processing History

Processed by Margaret Raucher, Lauren Kata, and Rebecca Bizonet. Finding aid written by Rebecca Bizonet on October 5, 2016.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Folklore Archive: Southern Upland Folklife in the Midwest Oral Histories
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Margaret Raucher, Lauren Kata, and Rebecca Bizonet.
Date
2016-10-05
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Sponsor
Description made possible by funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Revision Statements

  • 2019-02-22: Inventory added by Ciera Casteel.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA