Frank Clyde Brown Recordings

North Carolina folk songs and stories from the golden age of field recording, 1914-1943 More »

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About the Digital Collection

The Frank Clyde Brown digital audio collection is drawn from the Frank Clyde Brown papers, which contains 60 wax cylinders, 51 aluminum lacquer (acetate) phonodiscs, and 25 aluminum phonodiscs extant from Brown's original field recordings. This collection provides access files for the 1,049 performances on the original media.  Brown recorded these performances between 1914 and his death in 1943, as part of his lifelong exploration and collecting of North Carolina and Appalachian folk music, ballads, and folklore.  The recordings form the backbone of the seven-volume Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, a landmark work in folk scholarship published between 1952 and 1964. To read more about the digital collection, go to the Frank Clyde Brown Recordings Library Guide

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Source Collection

This digital collection comprises selected materials from the following archival collection at David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library:

Frank Clyde Brown papers 1912-1974

Collection #RL.00160 | 70 Linear Feet (98 manuscript boxes; 1 oversize box)

English professor, Duke University, folklorist of Durham, N.C., and founder in 1913 of the North Carolina Folklore Society. Collection centers around Frank Clyde Brown's lifelong exploration and collecting of North Carolina and Appalachian folklore, which resulted in this vast archival collection of original folklore materials and editorial records for the seven-volume Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore (published 1952-1964). Collection is comprised of field recordings on wax cylinders and phonodiscs; tens of thousands of field notes, transcriptions of original songs, stories, and traditional expressions; musical scores; and numerous journal articles, student theses, books, and lists. Also included are the papers of Charles Bond, a Duke graduate student who studied and expanded the collection in 1970. The vast majority of the folklore sources originated in North Carolina, but there are some materials from other regions. Subjects include: African American traditions; ballads and songs (music as well as lyrics); European roots of North American folklore; folk music; folk poetry; games and parties; oral traditions and storytelling; sayings, names, and superstitions; social conditions in the Southern States; work songs; and North American folklore in general. In addition, one can find rich resources on the study and teaching of folklore, and attitudes during the 1920s to 1950s about Southern customs and communities.

Collection Guide »

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