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American Folklife Center Collections: Vermont

This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture in the state of Vermont at the Library of Congress.


On the stage of the Coolidge Auditorium, Harold Spivacke, Chief of the Library of Congress Music Division, Helen Hartness Flanders, folklore scholar and wife of U.S. Senator Ralph Flanders, and Duncan Emrich, head of the Music Division’s Folklore Section, stand behind ballad singers James Finnemore of Maine, Elmer George of Vermont, and Asa Davis of Vermont. 1948. Folklife Today Blog. Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

American Folklife Center collections contain rich material documenting the folk traditions of Vermont. Among its sound recordings are cylinder recordings of New England ballads and folksongs collected by Phillips Barry dating from the 1930s, the Helen Hartness Flanders Collection documenting the folk music of New England, and recordings made by ballad collector and singer Margaret MacArthur.

In addition, a collection by anthropologist Anthony (Tony) Grant Barrand includes audio and video documentation of traditional English song and dance, May Day traditions, and performances by the Marlboro Morris Men, Green Mountain Mummers, and others at various locations in Vermont and New England.

Collections of Interest

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available.

Public Programming

Daisy Turner (1883-1988), born in Grafton, Vermont, the daughter of freed African American slaves, grew up listening to her father, Alec (1845-1923), tell stories of his family’s heritage. It was a multigenerational saga spanning two centuries, from enslavement in Africa, to a farmstead in Grafton. Over the course of numerous interviews with folklorist Jane Beck, Daisy shared these stories of her family, and also told her own life story, one of discrimination, resilience and strength—a powerful and rare account of the African American experience in New England from the 1880s forward. This talk considers Daisy Turner’s narrative in terms of memory and within a  larger canvas of social, cultural, and historical events.

Additional Public Programming