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Record Group Number: 000158
Series/Collection Number: .S 1584
Creator: Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs. Florida Folklife Archive
Title, Dates: Stetson Kennedy donation records, 1936-1989.
Amount: 0.33 cubic ft.
Medium Included:
Organization/Arrangement: Arranged by subject.
Terms Governing Use:
Biographical/Historical:     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.

    Stetson Kennedy spent most of his life studying the people of Florida, their lives, and their environment.  He was born in Jacksonville (Fla.) on October 5, 1916.  Between 1937 and 1942 he headed the Florida Writers' Project unit on folklore, oral history, and social-ethnic studies for the Works Progress Administration.  He carried a sound recorder with him around the state to capture the songs, tales, and anecdotes of the people of Florida.  In 1950 he ran unsuccessfully as an independant candidate for the United States Senate from Florida on the platform of "Total Equality."      Kennedy was a founding member of the Florida Folklore Society in 1982 and its president in 1989.  He has written and published many books on Florida and Southern culture including Palmetto Country and Jim Crow Guide.  He has received many awards such as the Negro Freedom Rally People's Award in 1947, the Florida Folk Heritage Award in 1988, and the Cavallo Foundation Award for civic courage in 1991.  He lives in Jacksonville (Fla.).
Summary: This series consists primarily of catalog card copies, but also contains other lists, records, correspondence, clippings, periodicals, and instructional material that pertain to Stetson Kennedy's donation of his folklore collection to the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs in 1988 (now at the Florida State Archives--Series S1585, Stetson Kennedy Florida Folklife Collection). That collection includes some of the Florida folklore materials in his possession as collected by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Florida Writers' Project with the help of Robert Cook, Alton C. Morris, and John Avery Lomax during the 1930s and 1940s, as well as such materials from other sources. Included in this series are photos of Stetson Kennedy and others at recording sessions and at other locations; copies of the accession records for Kennedy's donation; a typescript of a travelog by Charles Joseph Lathrobe that describes Tallahassee in the 1830s; and copies of the periodicals US Week and Direction from 1938 through 1941.
Finding Aids: Folder listing available.
Additional Physical Form:
Reproduction Note:
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Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields: Cook, Robert
Lathrobe, Charles Joseph.
Folk music Florida
Folklore Florida
Folklore Performance Florida
Folk songs Florida
Folklore and education Florida
Folk singers Florida
Oral tradition
Ethnic folklore Florida
Folklorists Florida
Photographs. aat
Periodicals. aat
Florida Description and travel
Florida Social life and customs
Florida Songs and music
Added Entries Morris, Alton Chester, 1903-
Lomax, John Avery, 1867-1948
Kennedy, Stetson
Florida. Dept. of State.  --Division of Historical Resources.
United States. Work Projects Administration.
United States. Works Progress Administration.
Federal Writers' Project (Fla.)
Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs
US Week

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