The Montana Folklife Survey was conducted in the summer of 1979 by the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress, in cooperation with the Montana Arts Council. The survey was a field research project to document traditional folklife in Montana.
The collection consists of approximately 145 sound recordings, 10,500 photographs; and 3 ½ linear feet of manuscripts that document interviews with Montanans in various occupations including ranching, sheep herding, blacksmithing, stone cutting, saddle making, and mining; various folk and traditional music occasions including fiddle and mandolin music in Forsyth; fiddle and accordion music performed in Broadus; the Montana Old-Time Fiddlers Association in Polson; Irish music, songs, and dance music on concertina and accordion in Butte; a Serbian wedding and reception in Butte; hymn singing of the Turner Colony of Hutterites; the annual Crow Fair in Crow Agency; storytelling on the Milk River Wagon Train, and other documentation of rodeos, trade crafts, vernacular architecture, quilting, and other reminiscences and stories about life in Montana in 1979. The survey team was led by Barre Toelken, and included folklorists Paula Johnson, Gary Stanton, Kay Young, and photographers Michael Crummett, Carl Fleischhauer, Tom McBride, Miiko Toelken, and George Wasson and was conducted from June 28, 1979 to September 15, 1979.
The online presentation includes the majority of the sound recordings and photographs. Selected manuscripts include those materials created by the fieldworkers, the audio and photo logs, field notes, and final reports. The remainder of the collection is available in the Folklife Reading Room at the Library of Congress. A finding aid to the entire collection is also available online.
My colleague Tammy Troup pointed out this great resource to me, which she learned about from the Library of Congress Weekly Digest Bulletin. Be like Tammy. Bring relevant Library of Congress information to your inbox by clicking here.
P.S. Please come say hello to us at the MEA-MFT conference, by stopping by our booth, attending our Thursday Institute, or coming to our Wednesday night reception. Information on the Wednesday night reception and Thursday institute is here.