Record Group:


Call Number:

S 1576


Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs. Florida Folklife Archive.


Audio recordings of Florida Folk Festival performances and other folk events




4440.00 items




Arranged by format (reel-to-reel, cassette, digital), then chronological

Restrictions on Access:

A few recordings have access restrictions

Terms Governing Uses:

Use and reproduction of brittle older reel-to-reel tapes is at the discretion of archives staff.

Cassette copies or CDs are first use copies when available. To determine whether there is a cassette tape available, check the reel-to-reel index logs in Series S1579, Indexes and Accession Registers to the Audio Tapes, Video Tapes, Photos, and Slides in the Florida Folklife Archive, for the reel-to-reel tape in question to see if there is a cross-reference to a cassette tape number. See the full container/shelf list for reel-to-reel tapes available on compact disk (boxes B0052-B0061), including list of tapes not recorded.

Biographical / Historical Note:

Legislation of 1979 (79-322, SB 1208) transferred to the Department of State the Florida Folk Arts component of the Stephen Foster Memorial and authorized appointment of a Folk Life Director to oversee the program. The Florida Folk Life Program was charged to "identify, research, and develop Florida folk artists, performers, folklore, traditions, customs, and cultural heritage and make folk art resources, festivals, and folk life projects available throughout the state."

The office was known as the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs from ca. 1985 until it was re-organized in 1995. The bureau operated under the Division of Historical Resources, coordinating the annual Florida Folk Festival and directing such programs as Folk Arts Apprenticeships, Folk Arts in Education, Folk Heritage awards, and numerous research and collecting projects and programs. Today the Florida Folklife Program continues to implement most research, documentation, and presentation of Florida Folklife.

Part of the bureau was the Florida Folklife Archive, originally established in 1976 and maintained by the bureau as a depository for field notes and research findings of the folklife program and for the folklife collections of other researchers.

Summary Scope Note:

This series consists of audio recordings of performances by or interviews with folk musicians, craftspersons, storytellers, and folklife interpreters. Included are reel-to-reel, audio cassette, and digital audio tape (DAT) formats.

Most of the recordings document performances by national and local folk personalities at the annual Florida Folk Festival from 1954 to 1995. In addition, there are a small number of reproductions of Works Progress Administration (WPA) folklore field recordings from the 1930s and early 1940s, including recordings collected by Zora Neale Hurston on which her voice can be heard both speaking and singing. Together, the recordings document such areas as children's lore, foodways, religious traditions, Seminole culture, maritime traditions, ethnic folk culture, material culture, and occupational lore.

Finding Aid:

Series S1579, Indexes and Accession Registers to the Audio tapes, Video Tapes, Photos, and Slides of the Florida Folklife Archive, contains tape log index sheets with itemized listings for each tape. There is also a shelf listing for the audio recordings in this series.

Associated Material:

Series S1577, Photographs and Slides of Folk Arts, Artisans, and Performers, contains slide carousels to accompany audio tapes in this series for slide/tape programs produced by the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs.