Collections and Resources, Exhibits, Southern Folklife Collection, Special Collections

Exhibition Celebrates 25 Years of the Southern Folklife Collection

25 Years of the Southern Folklife Collection
Melba Remig Saltarelli Exhibit Room
Wilson Special Collections Library
August 21, 2014 – January 15, 2015
Free and open to the public
(919) 962-3765 or

southernfolklife25imageThe history, music, and culture of the South are now on view in an exhibition that marks the silver anniversary of the Southern Folklife Collection at the Wilson Special Collections Library.

25 Years of the Southern Folklife Collection features photographs, sound recordings, and materials related to prominent Southern cultural icons. Highlights include early Dolly Parton recordings, Guy Carawan’s banjo head, photographs of Doc Watson, and even rubber crawfish used as a promotional item for the album Swampland Jewels.

The free public exhibition will be open through January 15, 2015, in the Melba Remig Saltarelli Exhibit Room.

The Southern Folklife Collection, one of the nation’s foremost archives relating to the American South, contains over 250,000 sound recordings, 3,000 video recordings, and 8 million feet of motion picture film, as well as thousands of photographs, song folios, and more.

The roots of the Southern Folklife Collection extend to the 1960s. In 1968, faculty members of the Curriculum in Folklore inaugurated the UNC Folklore Archives. A few years earlier, in 1962, the John Edwards Memorial Foundation (JEMC) in Los Angeles had been established as a folk music archive and research center named for a young Australian record collector.

In 1983, UNC purchased the John Edwards Memorial Collection, and, in the fall of 1986, the UNC Folklore Archives and the JEMC combined to form the Southern Folklife Collection. The new collection officially opened for research during the Sounds of the South conference at UNC in April 1989.

In its first 25 years, the Southern Folklife Collection has grown six-fold. The collection operates a publication series and produces public programming, including lectures, concerts, conferences, symposia, film screenings, and exhibitions.

To learn more, visit the Southern Folklife Collection online or in the Wilson Special Collections Library.

Related Links


Comments are closed.