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Collections Collections Collections Ryan Anthony Donaldson


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The Middle Atlantic Folklife Association and the New York State Folk Arts Roundtable hosted a conference in Cooperstown, New York entitled "Collections, Collections, Collections" from April 10 - 13, 2008. I participated in the panel,
"Hidden Treasures: An Overview of the NY State Folklore and
Folklife Collections held by the New York State Historical
Association and the New York State Archives."
This is my presentation from the panel session.

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Collections Collections Collections Ryan Anthony Donaldson

  1. 1. COLLECTIONS COLLECTIONS COLLECTIONS “HIDDEN TREASURES” PANEL: Overview of NYSHA & NY State Archives’ Folk Collections Presented by Ryan Anthony Donaldson of the panel, with Florence Carnahan and Pamela Cooley Joint Meeting of the Middle Atlantic Folklife Association and the New York State Folk Arts Roundtable Cooperstown Graduate Program Fenimore Museum Auditorium Cooperstown, NY 11 April 2008 2:30-4:00PM
  2. 2. “An Archive From Back to the Future” -
  3. 3. ArchivesWithinArchives “Collections and Files Maintained by the Archive of New York State Folklife,” Bruce Buckley Folklife Collection, New York State Archives
  4. 4. ANYSF Antecedents:: two key collections 1. H.W. Thompson Folklore Archive- Core Collection, 1934-1959 Manuscript archive (with illustrations and photographs) 1,688 student reports from New York State College for Teachers (later SUNY-Albany) & Cornell University
  5. 5. ANYSF: Earliest known recording “Weather Lore” c.1940 (audio clip, digitized from reel-to-reel)
  6. 6. ANYSF Antecedents: two key collections 2. Louis C. Jones Folklore Archive Summer 1940- Spring 1946 -Manuscript archive (unpublished) -Followed Thompson’s lead with curriculum-based local community & family history projects Also includes: New York Student Folklore Contest (high school) -New York State Proverb Project -Grit Magazine Ghostlore Collection
  7. 7. ANYSF Antecedents: LCJ Folklore Archive Seven Main Categorization Subjects: • Child-lore • Local Legends • Supernatural and Songs • Folk Song • Folksay (proverbs, remedies, place-names, agricultural and weather lore) • Folkways and Customs • Individuals and the Community • Narrative and Folk History With many sub-headings *Index available at the NYSHA Library
  8. 8. Archive of New York State Folklife: By The Numbers 1964-1983, core collection 1,200 projects 1,820 total recordings 1,800 reel-to-reel audio recordings- 7”- 72% ANYSF audio-visual workstation 5”- 24% studio in “Bonnie” trailer, c. 1975, CGP Slide Collection 3”- 3% 20 video recordings helical scan, beta, vhs
  9. 9. Archive of New York State Folklife: Oversized Architectural drawings Gravestone rubbings Portfolio & poster projects Material culture/ephemera
  10. 10. Archive of New York State Folklife: Contextual multi-media projects a/v, surveys, renderings, floor plans, tapes, photographs, barn reports…
  11. 11. Traditional Music and Storytelling Son House Rare Performances Heard Again Son House concert, with Creighton Linday and Leslie Riddle, Cooperstown High School, 1971. Photos by Milo V. Stewart
  12. 12. Traditional Music and Storytelling Jesse Wells Henry Glassie’s notes from interview with Jesse Wells. Digitized from microfilm. Available from NYSHA Library.
  13. 13. Heritage of Hard Work: HOPS documentation Jesse Wells discussing hops (1964)
  14. 14. Heritage of Hard Work: The Adirondack Packbasket video Richard Axt project
  15. 15. Fieldwork outside the classroom: Dorothy “Dew” Shonsey filming squaredancing, Milford, NY, 1976
  16. 16. Fieldwork outside the classroom CGP Folk students documenting a music festival in Ferrum, VA, 1976. CGP Slide Collection
  17. 17. Priority of Preservation Digital reformatting team: CGP SUNY-Oneonta National Baseball Hall of Fame NBHoF digital media workstation, Oct. 2006
  18. 18. Preservation
  19. 19. (back to the) Future 1. Rights & Access- New policies & initiatives for folk collections
  20. 20. (back to the) Future “How much data do we lose each day when someone presses the DELETE key?” Bruce R. Buckley, 1991 2. Community Cataloging
  21. 21. (back to the) Future 3. Collaboration Group photo from Fife Folk Conference, 1978, Logan, Utah. (Standing left to right) Hector Lee, distinguished collector of Mormon folklore who received his doctorate in American Civilization from the University of New Mexico; Barre Toelken, director of Utah State University’s folklore program from 1985-2003; Jan Harold Brunvand, professor at the University of Utah from 1966-1996, receiving his Ph.D. from Indiana University’s folklore program in 1961; Eliot Wigginton, founder of Foxfire curriculum and publisher of Foxfire magazine; Austin Fife, French and literature professor at Utah State University who studied Mormon folklore; (kneeling left to right) William A. Wilson, president of the Utah Folklore Society and editor of Western Folklore journal; Bruce Buckley; and Wayland Hand, founder and director of the Comparative Folklore and Mythology program at UCLA. Photo courtesy of Utah State University, Special Collection and Archives. Photo courtesy of Utah State University, Special Collections and Archives.
  22. 22. Contact information & links: E-mail: Diane Eller with farmer holding CGP Archives on flickr: scales, 1969. ANYSF #68-0008, NYSHA Library. quot;The Archive of New York State Folklife : A Narrative History and Assessmentquot; National Baseball Hall of Fame-NYSHA Library, URL:
  23. 23. * Special Thanks * * Mona Buckley • Florence and John Carnahan • Pam Cooley, NYS Archives * Benjamin Harry, NBHoF * Anne McFarland, NBHoF * Stephen Miller, Instructional Services, SUNY-Oneonta * John Potocnik * Cathy Raddatz, CGP * Gretchen Sorin, CGP * Milo V. Stewart, CGP & NYSHA * Dan Ward, CGP * Lori Beth White, CGP * Randy Williams, Utah State University * Wayne Wright, NYSHA Library