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Collections Used By Berea Sound Archives Fellows

Bascom Lamar Lunsford Collection

These are correspondence, writings, song texts, journals, diaries, transcripts, photographs, sound / video recordings, and other material relating to the life of Bascom Lamar Lunsford, North Carolina folk music collector and festival promoter.


Jim Carrier Madison, Wisconsin / 2008-2009 Fellow / Topic: Music - Banjo

Jim CarrierProject: Jim Carrier is a longtime journalist who is currently writing a documentary script on the racial history of the banjo. Jim's Music Fellowship work will focus on banjo history, music and styles played by black and white individuals and bands in Appalachia. His study will utilize the Buell Kazee, John Lair, Bascom Lamar Lunsford, John F. Smith, Jeff Titon and D.K. Wilgus collections.  Jim and Bill Evans, an ethnomusicologist and professional banjo player, are proposing a 90-minute film to PBS. Evans and Rhiannon Giddens, an African American banjo player currently with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, will serve as film co-hosts who retrace their personal journeys of discovery into the history of the banjo. The documentary will include filming in Africa, explore the various branches of the banjo family, and deal forthrightly with the racial issues that the banjo accompanied.


Rob Clutton / Toronto, Ontario, Canada / 2011-2012 Fellow / Topic: Banjo Music

Project: Rob Clutton is a doctoral candidate in Music at York University in Toronto, Canada. He will be drawing upon Berea's recordings and manuscript collections of such banjo figures as Buell Kazee and Bascom Lamar Lunsford in support of dissertation research on five-string banjo music of the 1920s. Research outcomes in addition to the dissertation, will be at least one paper for the Society of Ethnomusicology and informal music exchanges with campus-community musicians.


Jennie Halperin / North Carolina and New York / 2010-2011

Jennie HalperinProject: Jennie Halperin is the curator and archivist of the Bascom Lamar Lunsford collection at Columbia University's Center for Ethnomusicology. Lunsford was a lawyer, folklorist and performer of traditional music from western North Carolina. More than 315 of his songs and tunes are documented in sound recordings he made at Columbia in 1935 

Jennie's Fellowship research will focus on the extensive recorded interviews, manuscript, photographs, and music recordings of Lunsford and his contemporaries found in Berea's Bascom Lunsford Collection.

Her work is in support of a Center for Ethnomusicology project that will create an open source, free, and downloadable teaching website that will make Lunsford's folk music legacy readily available to university and primary school settings. In addition to the Columbia and Berea collections, the project will draw upon materials from the Lunsford family, Mars Hill College, and the Library of Congress.