Daniel W. Patterson and Beverly Bush Patterson papers, 1775-2001.

Creator: Patterson, Daniel W. and Beverly Bush.
Collection number: 20026
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Abstract: Folklorist Daniel W. Patterson (1928- ) Kenan Professor Emeritus of English and the former chair of the Curriculum in Folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patterson played a pivotal role in the development of the Southern Folklife Collection (SFC), which opened to researchers in 1989. He has published several books about North Carolina folk life, southern traditional and religious folk music, Shaker art and music, and other topics. Folklorist Beverly Bush Patterson, born Beverly Bush in Mineola, Tex. She served on the North Carolina Arts Council, from 1992 until her retirement from the position in 2004, when she took the position of Executive Director of the North Carolina Folklife Institute. One of her focuses was southern religious music. The Pattersons have often collaborated in their work and research. They were both involved as consultants with Tom Davenport on his folklife films and also worked with Davenport on the Folkstreams project and website for streaming folklife documentary films. Daniel and Beverly Patterson collaborated with Jim Peacock and Ruel Tyson on the World and Identity Primitive Baptist collection. Another well-known collaboration was the Index of Selected Folk Recordings Project, which provided access via microfiche to over 500 albums with information on individual songs now held by the Southern Folklife Collection. Letters, subject files, films, photographs and slides of folk musicians and folk traditions, audio recordings of music (including field tapes), videotapes about folklore topics, and other materials involving Daniel and Beverly Patterson, independent film maker Tom Davenport, and others, including Bobby McMillon working together or independently to produce films, books, and other materials about life in the mountains; Sacred Harp singing; the Shakers, including interviews with Shakers and field recordings of Shaker music and songs; the legend of Frankie Silver; folk music and folklore; and other topics. SFC material traces its history from 1960s folk archive, through the acquisition of the John Edwards Memorial Collection in 1983, and the opening of the SFC in 1989 at the Sounds of the South conference. There are also student papers that were written by Daniel Patterson’s students in the Curriculum in Folklore. Correspondents include folklorist and writer Archie Green; writer D. K. Wilgus and wife Eleanor R. Long Wilgus; Ralph Steele Boggs, founder of the Curriculum in Folklore at UNC in 1939; professor Cecelia Conway; publisher Hugh McGraw; folklorist Bobby McMillon; archaeologist Stanley South; novelist Russell Banks; composer Thomas N. Rice; blues collector and record producer Peter B. Lowry; and professor John Garst. Some materials relate to religious tunebook compilers, including John G. McCurry, who wrote a shape-note songbook in 1855 that Patterson and Garst republished in 1973. Subject files contain materials about religious songs; religious groups and movements such as the Primitive Baptists; music styles; religious tunebooks; and many other topics.

Repository: Southern Folklife Collection

Collection Highlights: The collection includes an interview with J. Mason Brewer, a black folklorist who worked extensively in Texas and North Carolina, recorded by Dan Patterson in 1965. Brewer reads black folktales as well. [1 reel, Audiotape FT1651] Also includes unaccompanied spirituals sung by Mabry Shaw who is joined on two songs by his nephew. (These were recorded by Dan Patterson at Shaw’s home in Ebenezer Community, Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1971). [Audiotape FT-1830 and FT-1831].