Collection Number: 20228

Collection Title: Alison Joanne Kahn Collection of North Carolina Coastal Fieldwork, 1986-1990

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


Archival processing of the Alison Joanne Kahn Collection of North Carolina Coastal Fieldwork was made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Size .5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 125 items)
Abstract Field recordings and documentation related to a National Endowment for the Arts and North Carolina Arts Council-funded project on traditional arts and maritime trades of North Carolina's coastal region. Alison Joanne Kahn, a white independent writer, editor, and folklorist, conducted the fieldwork in Beaufort and Hyde counties in the summer of 1990. The majority of the field recordings consist of live recordings of church choirs in Beaufort and Hyde counties, including recordings made at African Methodist Episcopal, Mennonite, and Baptist churches. Other recordings include interviews with self-taught artists, storytellers, composers, and performers of folk, old-time, and blues music. Documentation consists mostly of grant project materials created and compiled by Kahn, including tape logs, time logs, reports, and release forms, as well as clippings, maps, flyers, programs, and ephemera related to North Carolina's coastal region and the grant project's interview subjects.
Creator Kahn, Alison Joanne, 1954-
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
Use of audio or moving image materials may require production of listening or viewing copies.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Alison Joanne Kahn Collection of North Carolina Coastal Fieldwork #20228, Southern Folklife Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Acquisitions information unknown (Acc. 103649).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Alison Joanne Kahn is a white independent writer, editor, and folklorist. In 1982 she received her master's degree in folklore from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, where she conducted her masters thesis on the Eastern European Jewish community in St. John's, Newfoundland. She later published Listen While I Tell You: A Story of the Jews of St. John's (1987), based on her master's thesis fieldwork. In 1989 the North Carolina Arts Council hired Kahn to conduct fieldwork for a National Endowment for the Arts grant funded project on the traditional arts and maritime trades of North Carolina's coastal region. Mary Anne McDonald and George Holt of the North Carolina Arts Council conceptualized and oversaw the project, while Mike Dunn of the North Carolina State parks helped coordinate the project within the state park system. From July to October of 1990, Kahn conducted fieldwork in Beaufort and Hyde counties, resulting in field recordings, photographs, and related documentation on church choirs, musicians, composers, self-taught artists, quilters, storytellers, and community members involved with the region's maritime and farming traditions. Kahn is now based out of Takoma Park, Md., where she continues to work as an independent writer, editor, and folklorist.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Field recordings and documentation related to a National Endowment for the Arts and North Carolina Arts Council-funded project on traditional arts and maritime trades of North Carolina's coastal region. Alison Joanne Kahn, a white independent writer, editor, and folklorist, conducted the fieldwork in Beaufort and Hyde counties in the summer of 1990. Mary Anne McDonald and George Holt of the North Carolina Arts Council conceptualized and oversaw the project, while Mike Dunn of the North Carolina State parks helped coordinate the project within the state park system. The collection includes Alison Kahn's field recordings and related documentation on church choirs, musicians, composers, self-taught artists, quilters, storytellers, and community members involved with the region's maritime and farming traditions.

The majority of the field recordings consist of live recordings of church choirs in Beaufort and Hyde counties, including recordings made at African Methodist Episcopal, Mennonite, and Baptist churches. Other recordings include interviews with self-taught artists, storytellers, composers, and performers of folk, old-time, and blues music, as well as two recordings of self-released gospel music (FS-20228/628, FS-20228/629) presumably collected by Alison Kahn while she was conducting her fieldwork for the project. Of particular note is a recording with Bill "Meter Man" Ebison (FS-20228/618), an African American composer, singer, and guitarist of Washington, N.C., who composes and sings songs about his job as a meter reader for the electric company, as well as recordings of Ann Bell (FS-20228/615-616), a self-taught painter who uses water colors with pen and ink to portray everyday scenes from her childhood as a sharecropper's daughter. All recordings are on audiocassette.

Documentation consists mostly of grant project materials created and compiled by Kahn, including tape logs, time logs, reports, and release forms, as well as clippings, maps, flyers, programs, and other ephemera related to North Carolina's coastal region and the grant project's interview subjects. The collection also contains materials related to the grant project proposal, including a letter of intent to the NEA from George Holt, who was Director of the Folklife Section of the North Carolina Arts Council at the time, a copy of the grant proposal, a fieldworker job posting for the grant project, and Kahn's application for the position.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990.

19 items.

Arrangement: In order as received.

Processing information: Titles and descriptions compiled from original containers and field notes by Alison Joanne Kahn.

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/611

Vincent Murray, Belhaven, N.C., 15 August 1990 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/611

Audiocassette

African American traditional gospel singer of Belhaven, N.C.

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/612

Metropolitan AME Zion Gospel Choir, Washington, N.C., 9 September 1990 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/612

Audiocassette

African American gospel choir of Washington, N.C.

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/613

Jones Chapel Mass Choir, Jones Chapel Free Will Baptist, Aurora, N.C., 8 September 1990 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/613

Audiocassette

White old-time gospel choir of Aurora, N.C.

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/614

Solid Rock Gospel Singers, Missionary Baptist Church, Belhaven, N.C., 5 September 1990 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/614

Audiocassette

White gospel group of Belhaven, N.C. accompanied by piano.

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/616

Ann Bell, tape 1, Ponzer, N.C., 5 September 1990 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/616

Audiocassette

Self-taught artist who uses water colors with pen and ink to portray everyday scenes from her life and childhood as a sharecropper's daughter. She explains her techniques and style.

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/615

Ann Bell, tape 2, Ponzer, N.C., 5 September 1990 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/615

Audiocassette

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/617

Hope Mennonite Church Song Service, Hyde County, N.C., 2 September 1990 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/617

Audiocassette

Mennonite gospel choir of Hyde County, N.C.

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/618

Bill "Meter Man" Ebison, Washington, N.C., 13 August 1990 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/618

Audiocassette

African American composer, singer, and guitarist of Washington, N.C., demonstrates blues, country, Cajun, gospel, and jazz styles, and discusses his work as a composer. He writes and performs songs about his job as a meter reader.

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/619

White Oak Chapel Church of Christ, Pastor's Anniversary Service, Bath, N.C., 12 August 1990 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/619

Audiocassette

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/620

Omega Nelson and the Spirit of Harmony Singers, Washington, N.C., 1 August 1990 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/620

Audiocassette

Mother and daughters (Shawntell Nelson and Chris Jones) who sing a cappella, contemporary gospel.

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/622

Ric Gibbs, tape 1, Pantego, N.C., 24 July 1990 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/622

Audiocassette

Local historian and storyteller of local legends and ghost stories.

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/621

Ric Gibbs, tape 2, Pantego, N.C., 24 July 1990 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/621

Audiocassette

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/623

Jake Zwaal, Terra Ceia, N.C., 1 October 1990 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/623

Audiocassette

White harmonica player of Terra Ceia, N.C., tells of his immigration from Holland, his musical repertoire and style, and the history of the predominantly Dutch Terra Ceia community.

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/624

Leon Randolph and Lena Perry, Metropolitan AME Church, Washington, N.C., 12 September 1990 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/624

Audiocassette

African American gospel musicians of Washington, N.C., in which they sing gospel songs and discuss their musical backgrounds, the meaning and different styles of gospel music and its role in the church, contemporary and an a cappella gospel and local gospel groups.

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/625

Willis Pippin, Washington, N.C., 11 September 1990 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/625

Audiocassette

White old-time string band musician of Washington, N.C., recounts his musical background and his interest in buying and repairing violins.

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/626

Mt Hebron All Male Chorus at White Oak Chapel, Bath, N.C., 9 September 1990 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/626

Audiocassette

Old-time gospel choir who sings "with music."

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/627

Jones Chapel Senior Choir, Aurora, N.C., 16 September 1990 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/627

Audiocassette

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/628

Solid Rock Gospel Singers, 1988 #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/628

Audiocassette

White contemporary gospel group accompanied by piano.

SFC Audio Cassette FS-20228/629

Grassy Ridge Gospel Quartet, Going Home #20228, Series: "1. Field Recordings, 1988-1990." FS-20228/629

Audiocassette

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Documentation, 1986-1990.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Anne Wells, July 2019

Encoded by: Anne Wells, July 2019

Archival processing of the Alison Joanne Kahn Collection of North Carolina Coastal Fieldwork was made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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