The rich and varied folk traditions of West Virginia are well represented
in the collections of the American Folklife Center. Among its recordings
are: interviews with the Hammons family, documenting the family's musical
and storytelling traditions; Pentecostal religious services; folk music
and folklore of bituminous coal miners; and hundreds of hours of other
folk music, including fiddle tunes, hammered dulcimer, banjo, and guitar.
From 1991 to 1993, in cooperation with the National Park Service, the Center
conducted the New River Gorge Folklife Survey, documenting the folk traditions
of the area in and near the New River Gorge National River. The survey
led to recommendations to the National Park Service on the creation of
a cultural heritage center in the park.
In 1994 the Center began the Coal River Folklife Project, an ethnographic
study of cultural heritage and environment, particularly focusing on traditional
and innovative practices connected with the forest, land, and other natural
resources in and around the Big Coal River of southern West Virginia.
Finding Aid: View a complete list of our West Virginia collections.
Local Legacies: This project provides a "snapshot" of local culture as it was expressed in the year 2000. View West Virginia's Local Legacies projects.
Veterans History Project: Browse state collections from the Veterans History Project.
Songs of America: Browse an interactive state map for selected songs from the American Folklife Center’s collections, as well as songs from the Library’s Music Division and Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.
Coal River Folklife Project Collection: Ethnographic field project documenting traditional customs and land use in the mountains of southern West Virginia's Big Coal River Valley from 1992 to 1999. [catalog record] [online presentation]
Gandydancer: Traditional string band music from West Virginia. Recorded December 12, 2007.
[webcast and event flyer]
Folklife Resources: Find state folklife-related agencies, societies, archives, higher education programs, and more, in Folklife Sourcebook: A Directory of Folklife Resources in the United States.
Published Recording: The Hammons Family: A Study of a West Virginia Family's Traditions,
Library of Congress AFS L65-66. [audiocassette]