James Morgan Jarrell HomesteadThe MedleysMrs. Fannie Grubb & Ms. Alfreda
PeelOx team, people &
place not
PHOTO CREDITS: 1. James Morgan Jarrell homestead, Shelby, Virginia. Photo by Martin C. Perdue, 1976; 2. "Oh Pioneer" and "The Medleys, Reliques of the old frontier." Caption by Alfreda Peel, photographer unknown (ca. 1934); 3. Mrs. Fannie Grubb and Alfreda Peel. Photographer unknown (ca. 1934); 4. Ox team (people and place not identified). Photo in Alfreda Peel papers, photographer unknown.


    VFS Collectanea

The Archive of the Virginia Folklore Society is housed primarily in the Special Collections Division, Alderman Library, with some materials located in the Kevin Barry Perdue Archive of Traditional Culture, B001 Brooks Hall, at the University of Virginia. Among the Society's holdings are manuscript ballad, folksong, and folklore texts, correspondence files, sound recordings, photographs, Society newsletters, journal and book manuscripts, and reviews.

The Virginia Folklore Society: A Retrospective

The Virginia Folklore Society was founded on April 17, 1913 by C. Alphonso Smith, Edgar Allen Poe Professor of English Literature in the English Department, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. The Society is thus one of the oldest state folklore societies in the country. The broad outlines of change and growth in the study of folklore/folklife, however, is reflected on a small scale in the history of the Virginia Folklore Society and its three successive, but overlapping periods of development and achievement. These can be defined as: "The Quest for the Ballad," "The Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr. Years," and "Folklore/Folklife: Professionalization of the Discipline."

The Quest for the Ballad: This era began with the founding of the Society by C. Alphonso Smith and is identified with his efforts and those of notable collectors, such as John Stone, Alfreda Peel, Martha Davis and Juliet Fauntleroy, as well as other teachers and members of the Virginia State Educational Association. In the first Bulletin of the Society in 1913, Smith made the pursuit of the ballad explicit and primary. Although he expressed interest in other types of folklore and acknowledged that "[t]he ballad is not the whole of folklore," still this and all subsequent volumes of the Bulletin were devoted almost entirely to considerations of the ballad and its collection in Virginia (pp. 1-5).

Under C. Alphonso Smith's guidance as its first President and later as Vice-President and Archivist, early members of the Society concentrated on collecting oral versions of the classic English and Scottish ballads as defined by Francis James Child in his five volumes of The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, published between 1882 and 1898. In the Bulletin for the third annual meeting held November 26, 1915 at the John Marshall High School in Richmond, Smith reported on progress toward the Society's goal of obtaining at least 50 Child ballads in the State and he thanked "all those who have co-operated with us in the effort made to restore our lyric past, and to make it a part of our lyric present."

Smith also included an excerpt from a letter written to him by John Stone of Palls, King William County [who appears here in the records for the first time, but was elected President of the Society the following year]. "A few days ago", Smith wrote, "I received a letter from a Virginia teacher that contained these words:

"I enjoy the excitement of running down the ballad. In Culpeper county one day I walked fourteen miles, raised four blisters on my feet, and walked lame for a month. The next day, in spite of blisters, I walked seven more, but finished with versions of Lord Lovel, Barbara Allen, more news of The Hangman, and found the trail of Robin Hood. If we ever select a flag or standard for our Society, l propose for its heraldic device a hurrying heel or a fleeting foot glorified with four large blisters and underneath it these inspiriting words: 'In hoc signo vinces.' ["In this sign, we conquer"]." (Bulletin, Vol. 2, 1915, No. 4, pp. 4-10)

At the Society's 5th annual meeting held at the First Presbyterian Church in Roanoke on November 30, 1917, John Stone, by then formally referred to as "the Knight of the Blistered Heel," spoke in his President's remarks of "the fascinating experiences in collecting ballads, and announced a plan for getting into every county in the state in an organized effort among the teachers to save these priceless ballads from becoming lost in the obscuring rush of busy days." Although he continued to serve as the Society's Archivist, C. Alphonso Smith had become Professor of English at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and the Edgar Allen Poe Professorship of English Literature at the University of Virginia had passed to VFS member and vice-President, John C. Metcalf, formerly of Richmond. The meeting closed with Miss Alfreda M. Peel of Salem, Virginia singing several ballads, followed by several including The Hangman's Tree sung by Mr. John Stone. Bulletin, Vol. 4, 1917, No. 6, p. 3-4).

By 1920, Stone's expansive program had suffered from membership and revenue loss in the wake of World War I. In the Secretary-Treasurer's report for the "Year Ending November 25, 1920," J. B. Ferneyhough noted that after paying $16.80 for paper and printing of the Bulletin, $.65 on envelopes for same, and $1.13 on postage to send them, the Society's balance in the Treasury was $.52. (Report for 1920, Bulletin, No. 8, p. 10). However, the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Virginia took an interest in the Society the following year and supported John Stone's "ballad tours" by donating $500 "for the recapture of these priceless relics of colonial literature scattered through the State." The typescript of instructions written by C. Alphonso Smith to John Stone regarding the field work to be carried out with that support, as well as excerpts from Stone's meticulous accounts of expenditures including his final $.25 charge for shoe polish are of some historic interest in the annals of supported folklore research. Needless to say, the Society's Bulletin for 1921 was gratefully dedicated to the Colonial Dames of America.

Two figures, who were important in the later periods of the Society's history, appeared on the scene for the first time at the 10th annual meeting on November 30, 1923, again held at the John Marshall High School in Richmond. One of these persons was Benjamin C. Moomaw, Jr. of Barber, Virginia, who was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the Society. He, along with Miss Alfreda M. Peel, "delighted the audience by singing many of the ballads that the Society [had] collected."

The second individual was Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr. who was, at that time, an Instructor of English at the University of Virginia, where he remained throughout his lifetime. C. Alphonso Smith introduced Davis as the person who will "publish our findings" and wrote in the Bulletin that "I shall turn over all of our ballads to him and he will select, reject, and edit as he thinks best." Davis was elected Archivist of the Society at that meeting. (Report for 1923, No. II). In June of 1924, Dr. C. Alphonso Smith died in Annapolis, Maryland. With his passing, the Virginia Folklore Society entered the second and longest phase of its history.

The Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr. Years: Meetings of the Society were held intermittently between 1924 and 1967, with both the purpose and organization of the Society becoming less clearly defined and apparent. There were periods of intensive collecting, recording and publishing, alternating with intervals of relative inactivity with regard to folklore.

In 1929, Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr. completed his initial work as editor and published 51 ballads collected under the auspices of the Society in Traditional Ballads in Virginia. (For citations from reviews of this volume, see Publications). Later, Davis wrote a series of articles for The University of Virginia News Letter (April 1, 1931; February 1, 1932; November 15, 1934; and March 1, 1935) describing the ongoing efforts of the Society and urging the further collection of ballads and folksongs. And many Society members did continue through time to actively collect folksongs or other folklore materials and to deposit the results in the Society's archive.

Juliet Fauntleroy's response to a questionnaire sent out by Davis in 1936 as part of a Modern Language Association's survey of folk-song collectors and collections is revealing in this regard. The text of her reply is as follows:

Collector: Miss Juliet Fauntleroy, Altavista, Virginia.
      This collection of ballads and folk songs was begun in 1914, for the Virginia Folk-Lore Society. The texts were collected chiefly in Campbell County, Virginia, but a few from adjoining counties.
      About 60 ballads and ballad variants, with about 28+ tunes, were sent to Dr. Alphonso Smith, of the University of Virginia, and were published in "Traditional Ballads of Virginia," by Dr. Arthur Kyle Davis.
      About 350 ballads and songs, including about 15 ballads and ballad variants, with about 85 tunes, were sent to Dr. Arthur Kyle Davis, of the University of Virginia. These have not yet been published.
      Phonographic records of some of these ballads and songs were made about 1933 by Dr. Arthur Kyle Davis.
      The chief value of this collection probably lies in its local interest. It will be published only through the Virginia Folk-Lore Society, for whose benefit only it was made.
    Altavista, Virginia,
    September 11, 1936.

Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr. Papers, Accession #9829, Box 2, Manuscripts Division of the Special Collections Department, Alderman Library, University of Virginia.

Beginning in 1932, Davis recorded 325 aluminum disks of folksongs and ballads, many of which, as suggested by Fauntleroy's comments, had been previously collected from informants identified earlier in the Society's history. These recordings, which were made possible by a $1,000 grant to Davis and the Society from the American Council of Learned Societies, are among the earliest field recordings of Anglo-American folksong extant in this country. Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr. Papers, Accession #9829, Box 4, Manuscripts Division of the Special Collections Department, Alderman Library, University of Virginia.

In March of 1934 Davis was able to obtain some funding from the Civil Works Administration, one of the Depression-generated New Deal programs. With that assistance he hired John Stone to collect folksongs and Winston Wilkinson to transcribe music. The project only lasted three weeks, but in that short time Stone managed to add another 89 songs to the Society's archive. Davis also was able to employ University of Virginia student and Crozet native, Fred F. Knobloch, in the spring of 1935 through the student-aid provision of another New Deal agency, the Federal Emergency Relief program.

In addition, Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr. served at least one term as President of the Southeastern Folklore Society founded by Reed Smith. Its annual program held at the University of Virginia in April, 1941 included Virginia ballads and folksongs sung by one of Alfreda Peel's informants, Mrs. Texas Gladden of Roanoke County. The meeting featured a variety of other presentations including the following sampling: The Virginia Players presented a performance of "'Virginia Overture' (A One-Act Play Based on Some Folk Elements)"; a Quartet from the University of Virginia Glee Club sang "Two Folksongs, harmonized for men's voices"; Winston Wilkinson illustrated "Virginia Fiddle Tunes"; Richard Chase presented "The Jack Tales in the Southeast"; Folk Dancing was "illustrated by Dancers and Musicians of Albemarle County, Virginia"; and Alan Lomax of the Archive of American Folksong, Library of Congress, sang with banjo accompaniment, a program of "American Ballads and Folksongs". Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr. Papers, Accession #9829, Box 5, Manuscript Division of the Special Collections Department, Alderman Library, University of Virginia.

In 1949, Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr. edited and published Folk-Songs of Virginia: A Descriptive Index and Classification. Otherwise, Society activities appear to have been at their lowest ebb during World War II and for a number of years following. By the mid-1950s, however, Davis, with the help of students George Walton Williams, Matthew Joseph Bruccoli and Paul Clayton Worthington, pursued further collecting possibilities and began efforts to make taped copies of the earlier aluminum disk recordings.

With the assistance of the aforementioned students, Davis also published More Traditional Ballads of Virginia in 1960. In dedicating the book "To the Memory of C. Alphonso Smith, Martha M. Davis, Juliet Fauntleroy, Alfreda M. Peel, and John Stone", Davis gave symbolic recognition--even though belated in some cases--to the passage of an age and a generation in the history of both the Society and of ballad collecting in the old style and tradition.

On March 15, 1963, Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr. wrote another article for The University of Virginia News Letter titled, "Folklore in Virginia: Its Collection and Study." Perhaps stimulated by the urban folksong revival that was underway nationwide, he stated, "the time seems ripe to revive the Society and to set its course toward the assembling of the State's miscellaneous folklore." This article prompted a considerable response and receipt of folklore collectanea (for one such item, see Puzzle Rhyme in the VFS Collectanea section following). With that renewed interest, the Society began again to have regular annual meetings in 1967 and folklore materials began coming into the Society's archive in greater volume. Davis had plans to expand Society activities, including the publication of a journal, and he had made preliminary steps in those directions. Those projects were left unrealized when Professor Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr. died in September, 1972.

Folklore/Folklife: Professionalization of the Discipline: The third phase of the Virginia Folklore Society's history actually began prior to Davis's death, when the media influence from the urban folksong revival and the development of scholarly programs in Folklore at several universities combined both to attract and create a demand for persons trained in such a discipline. In part in response to those particular circumstances and in part due simply to serendipity, several such newly trained Folklore specialists came to work in Virginia and not unexpectedly, soon became involved with the Virginia Folklore Society. With a Ph.D. from the Folklore Progam at the University of Pennsylvania, Charles L. Perdue, Jr. came to teach Folklore courses in the University of Virginia's English Department in 1971 and later became jointly affiliated with both the English & Anthropology Departments there. Shortly thereafter J. Roderick Moore, with an M.A. in Folklore Studies from the Cooperstown Program in New York State, began working and teaching first at Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, then at the Blue Ridge Institute of Ferrum College in Ferrum, Virginia.

The contact between Perdue, specifically, and Davis at the University with regard to the Society was obviously shortlived. Nevertheless, a collaborative effort to revitalize the Society shortly after Davis's death involved long-time members, Ben C. Moomaw, Jr., President; C. Alphonso Smith, Jr. and Virginia F. Jordan, Vice-Presidents; and Fred F. Knobloch, Secretary-Treasurer; along with Perdue and Moore, their wives Nancy J. Martin-Perdue and Elizabeth Moore, Thomas E. Barden, a former student of Davis's, and many others.

The Society was incorporated as a non-profit, educational organization in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with tax-exempt status and bulk-rate mailing privileges by 1974. A newsletter began publication in April of that same year, and by October, 1974 the Society's logo and heading were designed by member/artist, Elizabeth Moore. The design was printed for the first time on Volume 1, Numbers 2 & 3 of the newsletter with the following explanation accompanying it:

The bird has been found as a finial on the patchbox of guns made in Wythe, Pulaski, and possibly Botetourt Counties. It has also been found on fraktur in Wythe County. The bird is sometimes found holding a snake and is shown on a Southwest Virginia rifle of about 1820, clutching a man. It is not clear whether the bird represents a turkey or a bird of prey. Examples of the bird design are found in Pennsylvania but the design with the topknot is unique to Virginia.

The decision was made to separate the Society from its former association with the Virginia Educational Association and to hold regular, annual meetings, independently, each Fall in Charlottesville, Virginia. These were begun in November, 1974, with occasional Spring meetings held in various regions of the State. In 1979 the Society began publication of an occasional journal, with this being the fourth volume in the series of Folklore and Folklife in Virginia.

In spite of its new face, the reorganized Society retained the stamp of an earlier era, which was manifested to a large degree through the personalities and interests of Ben C. Moomaw, Jr., who continued as president of the Society until his death in 1978, and Fred F. Knobloch, who retired as the Society's secretary-treasurer shortly before his death in 1981.

Mr. Moomaw was a fine storyteller and singer, who insisted that the program for the meetings should be a mix of scholarly presentations alternating with ballad singing and tale telling. He also determined that Barbara Allen should be the Society's emblematic ballad and should be sung at the beginning of each meeting. The front-page obituary for Moomaw in the Covington Virginian of March 13, 1978 noted that "His hobby for Virginia Folklore brought him in contact with the Virginia Folklore Society and after serving as the state secretary for several years, he assumed the office of president of that group." The lengthy memorial dwelt mostly on Moomaw's Chamber of Commerce work and it clearly held his greatest contribution to have been the effort to secure construction of Gathright Dam, which created the lake named for him Lake Moomaw. For those who heard his virtuoso recitations from memory of examples from Peter Piper's Practical Principles of Plain and Perfect Pronunciation at Society meetings, however, he will be remembered differently.

As with the dedication of More Traditional Ballads in Virginia in 1960, the Society meeting in November 1982 marked another passage of sorts. It did not begin with the singing of Barbara Allen. Six of the seven individuals on the program had some background in folklore study. Two of these persons had graduated from the University of Virginia and done graduate work in Folklore one obtaining an M.A. degree in Folklore from Western Kentucky University, the other enrolled at that time in the graduate program in Folklore at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. One of the program participants had just obtained a Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Virginia. Three others were graduate students in Education at UVA and were working with Dr. John Bunch, then the Society's Treasurer. In turn, Bunch had formerly been a student of Richard Dorson's in the Folklore Program at Indiana University. The remaining speaker on that particular program was a Professor of American Studies, Dr. David E. Whisnant, whose topic was "The White Top Folk Festival and the Politics of Culture in Appalachia in the 1930's." In significant ways, the Society was symbolically moving away from earlier views that equated folklore with "popular antiquities."

As stated in the beginning of this retrospective, the changes that have taken place in the Virginia Folklore Society reflect changes that have occurred in the field of Folklore generally, and also in other similar disciplines nationally, since 1913. The expansion of definitions of folklore to include material culture; the establishment of graduate programs in Folklore at Indiana University, the Universities of Pennsylvania, Texas, and California at Los Angeles, and elsewhere; and the movement of folklorists, who were trained in those settings and who thus have a broader view of the discipline, into a wide range of public sector positions have led to a gradual professionalization of the field.

Consistent with those directions, the Society was in recent years directly involved in the creation of the position of Virginia Folklife Coordinator. A proposal to create such a position was submitted by VFS Executive Board members to the National Endowment for the Arts, Folks Arts Program, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA) in 1988. This venture, which was subsequently funded, was a cooperative one between NEA, VCA, and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFHPP). The Folklife Coordinator, Garry W. Barrow, was interviewed and hired in 1989 to develop and administer a statewide Virginia Folklife Program, working under the heading of the VFHPP in Charlottesville. Initially, the Virginia Folklore Society Executive Board acted in an advisory capacity to that program, along with representatives from VCA and VFHPP. The fact that the position was called the Virginia Folklife Coordinator was, in itself, a reflection of the changes, already suggested, that had been occurring in the field of folklore/folklore in the late 1960s to 1970s.

We have seen in this period a movement toward a holistic approach to the study of folk culture a move from the study of item, such as the ballad, to the study of the cultural context in which that item is situated and performed. Likewise there has been a move from the dedicated amateur to the trained professional. Unfortunately, while we may have gained in tangible ways from that process, we may also have lost something in terms of the pure excitement and missionary zeal exhibited by early workers. Now we are not on a "quest for the ballad," we do research. Whether this is ultimately good or bad for the field, for folklorists, and for the "folk" will be for future generations to judge. We necessarily move on and leave that for the Virginia Folklore Society's 100th anniversary to determine.

The pages on MEMBERS & COLLECTORS and SINGERS & STORYTELLERS in this section are being completed and will soon be put up on the page. In the meantime, please accept our apologies and keep checking this site for further developments.

VFS Collectanea

Puzzle Rhyme     

Archive of Virginia Folklore Society Data Card, ca. 1963. Collected by Julia G. McLaughlin of Charlottesville, Virginia from Mrs. C. A. Gathright, 70, of Goochland, Virginia:
     Tittimus, tittimus, ti, toe, tee,
     Tie two tubs to two tall trees.
     How ma[n]y t's in that?
     Answer: Two - in the word 'that'."


In 1962, Prof. Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr., wrote his will directing that his personal papers and the Virginia Folklore Society's archival holdings be deposited in the Manuscripts Department, Alderman Library, UVA following his death. Through the years since 1913, the materials amassed under the auspices of the VFS constituted a sizeable collection of ballads, folksongs, witch tales, miscellaneous folklore items, as well as, recordings and as the Society's archivist, Davis clearly recognized the need for the preservation of these materials in perpetuity. At the same time, he also expressed in his will "the hope that there may be established in the Library a separate Archive of Virginia Folksong or Folklore."

The materials were deposited according to Davis's bequest on November 17, 1972. The present archivist of the Virginia Folklore Society, Prof. Charles L. Perdue of the Departments of English and Anthropology at the University of Virginia, examined Prof. Davis's papers for the purpose of fulfilling his hope for a separate Archive of Virginia Folklore based on the Virginia Folklore Society materials. On June 28, 1973, the VFS holdings were withdrawn and archived in the Library under a separate accession number from that of the Davis collection. At the time, the VFS materials comprised 25 Boxes, 14 Card Index Files; and 219 Recordings (P-229-409 & T-296-333).

The holdings of the Virginia Folklore Society Archive described in the following guide are deposited under the Accession #9936 in the Manuscripts Department, Special Collections Division of Alderman Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Initially, the Society restricted the use of any of its archival holdings except by permission of the Society's Archivist. On September 7, 1976, this restriction was removed insofar as it pertained to the use of the materials for general research purpose, however, publication, in any form, of Virginia Folklore Society archival materials remains restricted, except by written permission obtained from the Archivist. Requests for such permission should be addressed to VFS Archivist, Professor Charles L. Perdue, Room 219, Bryan Hall, University of Virginia, 22903 or by e-mail to clp5a@virginia.edu.

Compiled by Charles L. Perdue, February 1974

Boxes 1-14

     All songs as sent in by VFS  workers, arranged in the order
     used in Folk Songs of Virginia: A Descriptive Index

Boxes 15-16

     All songs as sent in by VFS workers, arranged in the order
     used in Traditional Ballads of Virginia.

Boxes 17-19

     All songs as sent in by VFS workers, arranged by the County
     of origin. Also contains a folder of "German Songs," and a
     folder of "Music Collected by Lucy A. McIlwaine."

Boxes 20-22

     All songs as sent in by VFS workers, arranged by collector's
     name - some miscellaneous.

Box 23

Folders 1-8:   VFS songs arranged by collector's name.
Folder  9:     Duplicates.
Folder 10:     Change in order in catalogue.
Folder 11:     Ballads pulled because "non-Child."
Folder 12:     Miscellaneous Ballads
Folder 13:     Miscellaneous Ballads.
Folder 14:     Miscellaneous material re: Ballads & Folklore
Folder 15:     Songs from Haysi, Va, (Dickenson Co )
Folder 16:     Sheet Music, Fauntleroy.
Folder 17:     Sheet Music, Knobloch.
Folder 18:     Sheet Music, Martha Davis
Folder 19:     Sheet Music, Unknown and Minor.
Folder 20:     Sheet Music, John Stone
Folder 21:     Sheet Music, Alfreda Peel.

Box 24

Folder  1:     Transcriptions of Non-Child Ballads.
Folder  2:     Transcriptions of Non-Child Ballads.
Folder  3:     Transcriptions of the Folksongs of Virginia, on
Folder  4:     Traditional Ballads and Folk tunes of Virginia,
               transcribed by Mrs. Paul Cheatham.
Folder  5:     Excluded texts of Various Ballads.
Folder  6:     Excluded texts of Various Ballads.

Box 25

Folder  1:     Notebook of Ballads Collected by Alfreda Peel.
Folder  2:     Mms Folk Songs Acquired by John Stone.
Folder  3:     Songs Sent in by John Stone.
Folder  4:     Composition Book of Songs from Mary Armstrong.
Folder  5:     John Stone's Account of Ballad Hunting in
               Virginia; Account with Pictures by Alfreda H.
Folder  6:     Folk Society Newsletters.
Folder  7:     Song written by Wm H. McHenry.
Folder  8:     Folklore Material - Miscellaneous.
Folder  9:     Songs and Ballads.
Folder 10:     Folk Sayings, Expressions, Rhymes, Jingles,
               Riddles, Similes, and Proverbs.
Folder 11:     Folktales: Contains 104 pages of material; about
               110 tales, a great many are witch tales. Tales are
               both black and white in origin.
Folder 12:     Sketches of Ballad Singers by F Knobloch.
Folder 13:     Superstitions/Beliefs: 65 pages of material plus a
               21-page article on "Superstitions," by Charles B.
               Swaney. Also has 12 cards containing beliefs.
Folder 14:     Beliefs, Expressions, Tales, Dyes, Medicine. There
               are 21 pages of material that are here filed
               together because two or more types of material are
               given on a page. Mostly beliefs.
Folder 15:     Duplicates, mostly of material in Folders 10, 11,
               13, and 14.

Box 26

Folder  1:     Folk-Song Material. Songs sent in to VFS. A list
               dealing with recordings.
Folder  2:     Songs sent in to VFS. List of Fauntleroy's songs.
Folder  3:     VFS Papers and Membership List.
Folder  4:     VFS Bulletins.
Folder  5:     Miscellaneous Materials Relating to the VFS.
Folder  6:     Photographs taken by VFS Workers.
Folder  7:     Music for Traditional Ballads of Virginia
               (Orig. Sheets).
Phonograph Recordings:

The large collection of the recordings in the VFS holdings were made by A.K. Davis with the assistance of Fred Knobloch and other Virginia Folklore Society members/collectors, ca. 1932-1940, on Fairchild aluminum transcription disks. Mr. Davis divided these recordings into four groups: A: (12-inch disks); B: (l0-inch disks), C: (8-inch disks); and D: (6-inch disks). All of these recordings have been transcribed to the indicated tapes and detailed bibliographical data on the recordings may be found in the slip-list prepared by Mr. Davis, which has an index to song titles. There are 343 items on 180 disks, plus some taped material.

Following the four lettered series are some recordings made by Fred Knobloch, and miscellaneous disk and tape recordings.

        SERIES           PHONO NUMBERS            TAPE NUMBERS

        A: 1-87          P: 229-315               T: 296-313  

        B: 1-44          P: 316-359               T: 314-320

        C: 1-30          P: 360-389               T: 320-323

        D: 1-5           P: 390-394               T: 323

Knobloch recordings:     P: 395-399               T: 324

Miscellaneous disks:     P: 400-409

Miscellaneous tapes:                              T: 325-333

Note from the Archivist: These recordings, with exception of T: 315 and P: 389 (see below) which were not received with the collection, were taken to the Library of Congress, Archive of Folk Culture, on January 16, 1975 and copied to preservation quality, 10-inch tape recordings. These recordings are housed in the Kevin Barry Perdue Archive of Traditional Culture, Room B001, Brooks Hall. In turn, these 10-inch tapes have been copied to cassette tapes and are available for listening in the KBPATC.

The document transferring the recordings to Charles L. Perdue and, subsequently, to the Library of Congress for copying, states that recording C-30 (P-389) was not received with the collection. A copy of that recording, however, was available on Tape 323 and it was copied to the preservation tapes.

Material still under the A K. Davis Papers Accession #9829 that are of possible interest to folklore scholars using the Virginia Folklore Society Archives include Boxes 6-10 and 21-24:

These boxes contain the correspondence of C. A. Smith and A. K. Davis dealing primarily with folksong and ballad collecting. Some of this correspondence is with members of the Virginia Folklore Society and some to miscellaneous individuals who sent in material or had information and/or questions regarding folksongs.

"Founded on April 17, 1913, the Virginia Folklore Society is one of the oldest state folklore societies in the country."

c/o Department of English, 219 Bryan Hall, Charlottesville, VA 22903


Top of Page
|| Home Page

Last updated on June 12, 1998