American Folklife Center: AFC’s James Madison Carpenter Collection Is Online

American Folklife Center: AFC’s James Madison Carpenter Collection Is Online. “The collection itself was the work of James Madison Carpenter, a Harvard-trained scholar who gathered more than 3,000 traditional songs and 300 folk plays, as well as fiddle tunes, folk customs, children’s games, and traditional tales. He collected most of them in Britain between 1928 and 1935, with a smaller number coming from the USA, between 1927 and 1943…. He spent time in local communities recording traditional ballads, ‘bothy songs,’ seasonal carols, sea shanties, and more. Unlike earlier collectors, he made sound recordings of some of his contributors on wax cylinders, including some performers whose songs and tunes had previously been notated only by hand.”

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