Approximately 14,000 color and black-and-white slides from the Folklife Collection

Collection Number: S1577

Creator: Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs. Florida Folklife Archive

Title: Photographs and Slides of Folk Arts, Artisans, and Performers, 1910-1995

Quantity: 34.70, cubic ft., ca. 50,000 items


This series consists of negatives, photographs, and slides (both black and white and color) produced or collected by the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs and the Florida Folklife Archive.

The photographs depict folklife festivals and events such as the annual Florida Folklife Festival; artisans and craftsmen, such as quilters, carvers, and weavers, and their work; performances of folk dancers and musicians; educational and cultural programs sponsored by the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs; various ethnic groups and their art, including the Seminole Indians; persons employed in traditional Florida industries such as shrimping and turpentining; and Florida architecture.

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." Known as the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs from ca. 1985 until a 1995 reorganization, 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. 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.

Since 1995, the Florida Folklife Program has operated within the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources in Tallahassee and continues most of the same programs as the Bureau.

The same legislation that established the Florida Folk Life Program also established a "Florida Folk Life Council" within the Department of State to "advise the Secretary of State with respect to folk arts and folk life; stimulate and encourage statewide public interest and participation in folk arts and folklore; develop and promote Florida folk artists, performers, festivals, folk life projects, and folk resources; make studies, sponsor conferences and workshops throughout the state and make recommendations for the development of a statewide Florida Folk Arts program; [and] identify, document, collect, and preserve Florida folklore, folk arts, traditions, cultural heritage, skills, and customs and to make these resources available throughout the state." The Florida Folklife Council consists of seven members appointed by the Secretary of State for four-year terms.