Digitizing Appalachian Bluegrass Field Recordings

Grant to: East Tennesee State University Foundation (2019)


An award in the amount of $10,000.00 to East Tennesee State University Foundation in 2019.


Bluegrass, old-time, traditional Appalachian music – from 1961 all the way up to 1989 East Tennessee State University recorded yearly festivals of vernacular music. Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, Bill Monroe, The Carter Family, Johnny Cash, Flatt & Scruggs, Doc Watson, Del McCoury, J.D. Crowe, Clarence Tom Ashley, the Osborne Brothers – and dozens more performing for home audiences at their artistic peaks. The grant will help fund the restoration and digitization of over 800 analog recordings and 2,000 hours of audio of vernacular music festivals and field recordings, which feature bluegrass, old-time, and traditional Appalachian music. Many of these recordings are the only known copies to exist, containing unique performances and verbal contextualization that provide irreplaceable information on local performance practices. Once completed the Archive will work to provide public access to this material, thereby offering musicians and cultural historians from across the nation new opportunities for performance and research.

About the NRPF

The National Recording Preservation Foundation (NRPF) is an independent, charitable organization and registered 501(c)(3) entity. The NRPF works across the United States to foster awareness of the diverse perspectives and communities documented in audio, to support the preservation of historical and at-risk audio collections, and to coordinate resources for the digital preservation of audio recordings. The NRPF was mandated through federal charter by the U.S. Congress under the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-474) and was thereafter duly incorporated in 2010.

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