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Preserving Appalachian Voices in the Michael and Carrie Nobel Kline Collection: Home

Digital preservation project description and access portal

 

In 2019-2020, Berea College Special Collections and Archives conducted a Recordings at Risk digitization project to preserve and provide online access to more than 700 audio and video recordings created by folklorists Michael and Carrie Nobel Kline. The focus of the project was to save field recordings made between 1994 and 2006 documenting families and communities in an area that stretches from Parkersburg, West Virginia to the coal region of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The resulting digital archive comprises a diverse selection of oral history interviews, personal reminiscences, historical presentations, music performances, and radio programs. These recordings document life experiences in neighborhoods, religious congregations, businesses, factories, mines, farms, ethnic social clubs, singing societies, and music ensembles. Some recordings reflect on Native American life, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slavery, the Underground Railroad, later African American experiences, natural disasters, and fading technologies and crafts. Ethnic groups represented include those that are rarely associated with the Appalachian region, despite their long presence here: Jews and immigrants from Asia, Latin America, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe.

All materials in the digital archive are part of a larger collection of folklife and music resources donated to Berea College Special Collections and Archives by the Klines for scholarly study. The preservation process included migrating data off magnetic tape and other recording media and storing digital master and access files on secure servers. Audio Archivist Harry Rice managed the grant project in consultation with Special Collections and Archives staff. To enhance discovery of the data, Hutchins Library director Calvin Gross and colleagues Ann Cinnamond and Jessica Hayden assisted by creating individual item records in the Berea College Library catalog and in OCLC Worldcat.org.

 

Recordings at Risk is a national regranting program administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to support the preservation of rare and unique audio, audiovisual, and other time-based media of high scholarly value through digital reformatting. The program is made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Content Overview

Of the seventy-seven topical groups (series) of recordings, documents, and images in the Michael and Carrie Nobel Kline collection at Berea College, seven representing Appalachian counties in West Virginia and Pennsylvania were selected for digitization as part of the 2019 CLIR Recordings At Risk grant. The seven series are:

  • Pendleton County, West Virginia Audio Recordings

  • Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Audio Recordings

  • Seneca Rocks Discovery Center Audio Recordings

  • Staunton – Parkersburg Turnpike Audio Recordings

  • Wheeling, West Virginia Spoken History Project Audio Recordings

  • Miscellaneous Audio Recordings

  • Reel-To-Reel Audio Tape

 

Please use the links to the right or below to access the digital content.

 

Series 9: Pendleton County, West Virginia Audio Recordings

Online data: 6 folders containing 70 recordings, 65 documents, and 34 images

This series consists of original DAT and minidisc interview recordings with listening CD copies (Boxes 15 & 16.)  The recordings were part of the Klines' work producing an audio tour for the Pendleton County, West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

The recordings depicted the culture and history of each of the county's distinct river valleys and the county seat of Franklin. Sixty residents were interviewed for the four-part CD series that featured track numbers corresponding with numbered signs at historic sites along mapped routes.

To access these resources, use this Finding Aid Link or this Digital Archive Link.

Series 12: Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Audio Recordings

Online data: 4 folders containing 138 recordings and 41 documents

This series consists of original minidisc, DAT and cassette interview recordings resulting from the Klines' work beginning in 2004, documenting the multi ethnic folklife and local memory in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania in the eastern anthracite coal country of northern Appalachia. Traditions represented include those of Germany, England, Wales, Ireland, Italy, Poland, The Ukraine, Lithuania, the Carpatho-Rusyn region, Pakistan, India, other parts of Asia, and Latin America.

To access these resources, use this Finding Aid Link or this Digital Archive Link.

Series 13: Seneca Rocks Discovery Center Audio Recordings

Online data: 3 folders containing 18 recordings, 10 documents and 24 images

This series consist of original DAT and minidisc audio interview recordings resulting from the Klines' 2002 work for the USDA Forest Service documenting the history of the 1839 era Sites Homestead also known as the Wayside Inn or the Sites Inn in Pendleton County, West Virginia.

To access these resources, use this Finding Aid Link or this Digital Archive Link.

Series 14: Staunton – Parkersburg Turnpike Audio Recordings

Online data: 4 folders containing 118 recordings and 65 documents

This series consists of original minidisc and DAT interview recordings resulting from the Klines' 2007-2008 work for the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance.

Themes covered ranged from Native American life, Revolutionary and Civil Wars, gristmills, waterways, slavery and the Underground Railroad, coal mining, timbering and the oil and gas boom, as well as family and community life. Recording excerpts were originally used to produce a seven CD audio history highlighting life along the Turnpike.

To access these resources, use this Finding Aid Link or this Digital Archive Link.

Series 21: Wheeling, West Virginia Spoken History Project Audio Recordings

Online data: 18 folders containing 285 recordings (450 audio files) and 100 documents                

This series consists of original cassettes, DAT, and video interview, event and radio program recordings. They resulted as part of the Klines' 1992-1993 work documenting Wheeling, West Virginia culture, arts, work, and history in connection with the establishment of the Wheeling National Heritage Area by the National Park Service.

One hundred sixty interviews were conducted representing neighborhoods, religious congregations, downtown businesses, factories, breweries, mills, mines, ethnic social clubs, singing societies, jazz bands and old Wheeling Jamboree radio musicians. The interviews were drawn upon to produce thirty-three Wheeling News Register newspaper features and a twenty-two part radio series, Talking Across the Lines, broadcast on station WWVA.

This preservation and access effort is the result of a collaboration between the Ohio County, West Virginia Public Library and the Department of Special Collections and Archives of Berea College’s Hutchins Library.

To access these resources, use this Finding Aid Link or this Digital Archive Link.

Series 33: Miscellaneous Audio Recordings

Online data: 1 folder containing 67 recordings (90 digital audio files)

This series consists of original CD, cassette, DAT, and minidisc recordings that are not included in any of the Klines' specific documentation projects. Sixty-seven recordings from this broad assortment of unclassified materials were selected for inclusion in the Kline digital archive because of their connections to the five geographic series listed above.

To access these resources, use this Finding Aid Link or this Digital Archive Link.

Series 38: Reel-To-Reel Audio Tape

Online data: 1 folder containing 15 recordings

Items from Series 38 were also selected for inclusion in the Kline digital archive because of their connections to the five geographic series listed above. Recording topics include the Tucker County, West Virginia flood; the Stonewall Jackson Dam Project; Singing Schools; the Mannington Mine Disaster; Wheeling, West Virginia; Ohio River Navigation; and the Underground Railroad.

To access these resources, use this Finding Aid Link or this Digital Archive Link.

Rights Statements

This Library Guide is published by Berea College Special Collections and Archives under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain. No rights reserved.
Copyright and intellectual property rights of original materials in the Michael and Carrie Nobel Kline collection are retained by Michael and Carrie Nobel Kline until January 1, 2047, after which all such rights will transfer to Berea College. The donors grant permission to Berea College Special Collections and Archives to provide public access for research, teaching and private study.
If you are a copyright holder and believe that Berea College Special Collections and Archives has not properly attributed your work to you or has used it without the requisite permission, please contact us.