The Library of Congress has been digitizing unique primary source collection materials since the 1990's. The following digital collections focus on materials connected to the life and work of Zora Neale Hurston as a folklorist and artist.
This collection combines sound recordings and manuscript materials from four discrete archival collections made by Work Projects Administration (WPA) workers from the Joint Committee on Folk Arts, the Federal Writers' Project, and the Federal Music Project from 1937-42. This online presentation provides access to 376 sound recordings and 106 accompanying materials, including recording logs, transcripts, correspondence between Florida WPA workers and Library of Congress personnel, and a proposal to survey Florida folklore by Zora Neale Hurston. The presentation includes recordings of Hurston made by Herbert Halpert, in which she can be heard singing songs she collected in Florida and the Bahamas and of her talking about her field research. American Folklife Center.
The collection includes 400 snapshot photographs made in the course of sound recording expeditions carried out by John Avery Lomax, Alan Lomax, and Ruby Terrill Lomax, between 1934 and ca. 1950 for the Library of Congress. Included are photographs of Zora Neale Hurston. Prints and Photographs Divison.
The recordings of former slaves in Voices Remembering Slavery: Freed People Tell Their Stories took place between 1932 and 1975 in nine states. Twenty-three interviewees discuss how they felt about slavery, slaveholders, coercion of slaves, their families, and freedom. Zora Neale Hurston was among the interviewers. American Folklife Center.
This collection present ten plays written by Hurston (1891-1960), author, anthropologist, and folklorist. Deposited as unpublished typescripts in the United States Copyright Office between 1925 and 1944, most of the plays remained unpublished and unproduced until a manuscript curator rediscovered them in the Copyright Deposit Drama Collection in 1997. The plays reflect Hurston's life experience, travels, and research, especially her knowledge of folklore in the African-American South. Manuscript Division.