Accession Number: 47
John C. Campbell Folk School Records
Selected Records, 1923-1983
Selected Photographs, c. 1925-1985
3.3 linear ft.
Part A - Selected Documents
Series I - Board and Corporation
Meetings, Minutes and Reports, 1925-69
Series II - Directors’ Office Files. 1923-1969
Series III - Scrapbooks and Publications, 1952-82
Part B - Selected Photographs,
Series I - Brochures and News
Releases, c. 1970-83
Series II - General File, c. 1925-1983
Series III - Betty Denash Photograph Albums c. 1930-1950
Series IV - Larry Pontier Prints c.1980
Series V - Doris Ulmann Copy Prints and Copy Negatives
Access and Use
Provenance: The John C. Campbell Folk School collection
was compiled by the Settlement Institutions of Appalachia / Berea
College Research Resources Project (1979-1986), and funded by
the Appalachian Fund and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The records of the John C. Campbell Folk School were collected
and organized 1982-1983 by Project staff and then microfilmed
at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives.Selected
John C. Campbell Folk School photographs were collected, organized,
and reproduced by Project staff in 1986.
Access: The microfilm master negative is owned by Berea
College. A use copy is available in Hutchins Library’s
Archives and Special Collections Department. Because Berea College
does not own the copyright for the manuscripts or printed documents
included in this microfilm edition, it is the responsibility
of the researcher to secure permission to publish from the John
C. Campbell Folk School or its successors and assigns.
The copy negatives and a set of copy prints are owned by Berea
College and are available in Hutchins Library’s Special
Collections and Archives Department. Berea College has permission
to reproduce all or part of the school’s photographs, use
them in slide or film presentations, display them, or loan them
for displays, and to allow their use by researchers for reproduction
Preferred Citation: Either "John C. Campbell Folk School
Records, Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea, Ky," when
documents are cited, or "John C Campbell Folk School Photographic
Collection, Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea,
Ky," when images are used.
Related Berea College Archives
- Howard A. Kester papers, 1923-1972 Edited by Edward M. Wayland.
- Howard A. Kester papers, 1923-1972. Edited by Edward M. Wayland.
- The Appalachian Photographs of Doris Ulmann
Other Related Archives
Southern Historical Collection, Manuscripts Department Library, University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- John Charles and Olive Dame Campbell Papers (#3800).
- John C. Campbell Folk School Records, 1928-1988 (#5040)
The purpose of the Settlement Institutions of Appalachia / Berea College Research
Resources Project was to organize and preserve the original records and photographs
of the Settlement Institutions of Appalachia (SIA) and to copy those of historical
value to form a central research collection at Berea College. The resultant
microfilm and photo-reproductions are housed in the Archives and Special Collections
Department of the Berea College Library.
17 Boxes (7 reels microfilm, 15 boxes copyprints)
Part A: Selected Documents
||Board and Corporation Meetings, Minutes and Reports, 1925-69
|Reels 1 - 2
In addition to the yearly meeting minutes and reports from Folk School directors,
treasurers, and department heads, this series consists of copies of the Article
of Incorporation and By-laws (1925), annual audit reports (1939-1969), and
speeches, promotional writings, official reports, and journal articles (c.
1925-70). These records document the purpose and philosophy of the folk school,
its finances, staff, and physical facilities. The minutes provide substantial
information regarding the board and corporation membership and document decisions
made by those bodies during the forty-five year period.
|| Directors’ Office Files, 1923-1969
|| Reels 2 - 6
This series consist of office files pertaining to the administration of Olive
Dame Campbell (1925-1946) and Georg Bidstrup (1952-67) and part of John Ramsay’s
administration (1967-1969). Included are correspondence, studies, and reports
documenting daily operations, courses offered, and community work. The correspondence
consists mostly of letters to and from students, staff, board members, donors,
other schools, and state and federal agencies. There are farm reports (1927-1946)
relating to buildings, livestock, produce and supplies. Receipt books (1932-1954)
and time studies of carving output (1945-1946) give some insight into the workings
of the crafts department. Also this series includes minutes and reports of
the Brasstown Savings and Loan Association (1949-58), Mountain Valley Creamery,
Mountain Valley Cooperative Inc. (1928-49), and Southern Highland Handicraft
Guild (1960-65). This series is arranged according to two major chronological
periods:1923-66 and 1966-69. Guest books dating from 1925-69 are at the end
of the series.
||Scrapbooks and Publications, 1952-82
||Reels 6 - 7
Scrapbooks and newspaper clippings are the most extensive records in this
series. This material documents the folk school’s concerns and how they
were translated into specific programs and presented to the public. Pamphlets
and newsletters generated by folk school staff are also part of series III.
There are a few examples of pre-1940s pamphlets and newsletters, but the majority
date from 1940-69. Important subjects covered include natural dyeing publications
(collected mainly by Louise Pitman, crafts department head, c. 1930-45), folk
dance and song publications (primarily the published efforts of Georg and Marguerite
Bidstrup), and material on singing games and plays given at the folk school.
The series is arranged by record format or by topic.
Part B: Selected Photographs, c. 1925-1985
Overview of Part B
The photographs belonging to the John C. Campbell Folk School collection range
from those taken for insurance documentation and random snap-shots to elaborate
photo studies and arrangements depicting various aspects of Appalachian life
and culture. There were over 7,000 original images, but many of these were
duplicates. Ultimately, only 1,913 photographs (27%) of the total collection
were selected for duplication.
Overall, the photographic collection is extremely strong in its documentation
of folk school activities, particularly in the areas of Danish and other traditional
folk dance and traditional handicrafts, including ceramics, weaving, wood,
and metal work.
||Brochures and News Releases, c. 1970-83
||Boxes 3 - 17
This series consists of 705 promotional, but nonetheless exceptional photographs,
which document school activities, campus, and handicrafts. Subjects given particular
emphasis include folk art techniques, artifacts, and craftspeople at work.
||General File, c. 1925-1983
||Boxes 3 - 17
Photographs included in this series document Folk School activities, environs,
handicrafts, craftspeople, and campus. The series contains 1,104 images selected
from a variety of original formats, including loose prints, mounted prints,
albums, 35mm slides, and original negatives. Predominant dates are c. 1950-1983.
Particular emphasis is given to folk arts, craftspeople, and their work. Folk
dancing is also given attention with a number of photographs taken at various
festivals and special events.
||Betty Denash Photograph Albums c. 1930-1950
|Boxes 3 - 17
The four albums and a set of duplicate loose prints that comprise this series
document school activities involving woodcarving, weaving, dyeing, campus buildings
and farm, and folk dancing. The photographs were taken and / or collected by
Denash herself. Early carvers and instructors are extensively featured in this
||Larry Pontier Prints c.1980
|Boxes 3 - 17
Loose prints and 35mm negatives from the 1980s contained in this series include
studies of craftspeople and workshops as documented by Brasstown area photographer,
Larry Pontier. Included are views of black-smithing, copper sculpture, lapidary,
woodworking, pottery, and other crafts. Arranged alphabetically by subject.
|| Doris Ulmann Copy Prints and Copy Negatives c. 1922-1933
|Boxes 3 - 17
This series contains copy prints and copy negatives of original photographs
by nationally recognized photographer Doris Ulmann. Mrs. Ulmann traveled extensively
throughout the southern Appalachian region during the late 1920s and early
1930s documenting various aspects of mountain life and culture.
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