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Identifier: MS F1-30 F1

Scope and Content Note

From the Collection:

The core of the collection consists of 8 linear feet (442 reels) of tape-recorded sound captured by field workers of the University Folklore Research Project, 1949-1965, under the direction of Mary Celestia Parler Randolph. While most of the 137,400 tape-feet of recorded sound preserves Arkansas and/or Ozark folk-songs sung by the indigenous folk of the area and recorded "live" in their native locales, a few of the reels also record instrumental music performed without vocal accompaniment on fiddle, banjo, guitar, dulcimer, harmonica or other native instruments, and some contain non-musical tales, anecdotes, etc. recited by the folk of the area.

In addition, the collection includes: 8 linear feet of unpublished typescript transcriptions of the contents of the recorded songs; 34 1/2' of Folklore Class Reports, 1958-1981; 2.5 linear feet (22 vols.) of bound typescript copy preserving various folk tales, sayings, beliefs, riddles, games, maxims, remedies, etiologies, etc.; and 1.5 linear feet of miscellaneous typescript material.

There are 442 reels of tape (219 boxes)

Total of recorded tape: 137, 400 feet.

An estimated 4 to 5% of this is nonmusical. About the same amount is instrumental. The instrumental music includes fiddle tunes, banjo, guitar, and harmonica selections in solo or various combinations. One group of selections is played on a dulcimer -- not the traditional three-stringed instrument of the Tennessee mountains, but a more elaborate type constructed in the Ozarks.

The Majority of the taped songs have musical accompaniment, either by the singer or another (or others). Only a very few are recited.

Musical notation (simple melody) for folksongs collected in this general area appear in 3 master's theses as follows:

Carlisle, Irene. Fifty Ballads and Songs of Northwest Arkansas. U. of A., 1952.: These all appear on the above-mentioned tapes. The author states that the musical notes for these 50 songs were obtained by picking them out on the piano with the help of the informant, or from the tape recording.

Henderson, Eleanor. An Ozark Song Book. U. of A., 1950.: This includes musical notation (simple melody) for about half of the 50 songs in the collection. These tunes were obtained by singing them with the informant and/or picking them out on the piano. The author indicates that part of the songs collected were put on magnetic tape, in which case they may be incorporated in Reels 1-88.

Garrison, Theo. Forty-five Searcy County Songs. U. of A., 1944.:Musical notation (simple melody) for more than half of the songs in this collection is included. In his "Notes on Informants" the author states that certain tunes were supplied by the singer. It is not clear how the others were obtained.

Within series F16, Class reports and projects, the bulk of the materials represent projects conducted in Mary Celestia Parler Randolph's classes. MS F16.6 boxes 63-72 and MS F16 Boxes 1-2 contain materials from projects conducted in Robert Cochran's classes. The class reports were written by students of folklore at the University of Arkansas and combine written, photographic, and audio materials on a broad range of folklife topics.


  • From the Collection: Creation: 1949-1998, 2009


Access Information

From the Collection:

Access Restrictions Apply: Tapes in Special Collections are masters and are restricted for preservation reasons; researchers should use user copies in Media Services when available.

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
(479) 575-8444