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The South Georgia Folklife Collection is housed in the Archives and Special Collections of Odum Library at Valdosta State University.  This multi-genre and multi-format ethnographic collection is an outgrowth of the South Georgia Folklife Project, founded by folklorist and ethnomusicologist Dr. Laurie Kay Sommers in 1996. It reflects ten years of field documentation and public programs from 1996-2006.  Highlights of the collection include Southeast Georgia Sacred Harp, Okefenokee Music Survey, Flint River fisheries, Traditions of Turpentiners, Folkwriting (Lessons on Place, Heritage and Traditions for the Georgia Classroom), online exhibits, and a radio archives of documentary programs originally broadcast on Georgia Public Radio and other public radio affiliates.

The SGF Collection includes both published and unpublished materials which document traditional culture drawn primarily from the southern third of Georgia. Principal collectors are Laurie Kay Sommers, her students, and--for turpentine materials--fieldworker Timothy C. Prizer. The SGF collection includes more than 350 field sound and video recordings (both music and oral interviews), over 1500 photographs, manuscripts, fieldnotes, books, commercial recordings, and vertical file materials from a wide array of genres. Although the collection is multi-genre, music materials predominate.

The collection is organized into distinct series which reflect topical foci:  South Georgia Folklive Overview, Resources (books, articles, commercial audio and video recordings), Vertical File (organized topically and geographically), Sacred Harp, Turpentine, Suckerfish, Okefenokee, Folkwriting, Sounds of South Georgia (radio and accompanying fieldwork), Wiregrass (radio and exhibit materials and some materials from the original 1977 Library of Congress field survey  titled “the South Central Georgia Folkife Project“), Last Harvest (seasonal and agricultural workers exhibit based on materials from Echols County, Georgia and Apopka, Florida), Exploring Community Heritage, and  Student Projects (from courses taught by Laurie K. Sommers).

vsu archives
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research and reports
Sacred Harp
Wregrass Exhibit
Collection Highlights
Georgia Council for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts

This website is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts (CGA) through the appropriations of the Georgia Assembly. GCA also receives support from its partner agency, the National Endowment for the Arts.