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Collection Number: 70035

Collection Title: Marina Bokelman Collection, 1966-1968

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


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Size 1.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1000 items)
Abstract Personal collection of white folklorist, healer, and herbalist Marina Bokelman, primarily consisting of fieldwork she and David Evans conducted from 1966 to 1968, when they were graduate students in the Folklore and Mythology Program at the University of California, Los Angeles. Materials include 35mm photographic negatives, annotated contact sheets and photographs, a cross-stitch sampler shown on the cover of the album The Blues in Memphis 1927-1939 (All the Uptown and Downhome Music of the Gateway to the Delta) , Bokelman's 1968 dissertation, 'The Coon Can Gang': A Blues Ballad Tradition, and an unfinished manuscript of Going Up the Country: Adventures in Blues Fieldwork. People documented in the collection include the musicians Rev. Rubin ("Rube") Lacy, Bubba Brown, Robert Pete Williams, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and Alan Wilson.
Creator Bokelman, Marina
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
This collection is not available for immediate or same day access. Please contact Research and Instructional Service staff at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu to discuss options for consulting this collection.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
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 Marina Bokelman Collection #70035, Southern Folklife Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Marina Bokelman in February 2020 (Acc. 20200214.3) and June 2021 (Acc. 20210604.1).
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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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Marina Bokelman is a white folklorist, healer, and herbalist based in Grass Valley, Calif.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Personal collection of Marina Bokelman, primarily consisting of photographs and fieldwork she and David Evans conducted from 1966 to 1968, when they were graduate students in the Folklore and Mythology Program at the University of California, Los Angeles.  Bokelman and Evans spent the summers of 1966 and 1967 in Mississippi, Louisiana, and California, interviewing Rev. Rubin ("Rube") Lacy, documenting a church service in Bakersfield, Calif., and interviewing and photographing Bubba Brown, an important musician around Jackson, Miss., in the 1940s.  The collection includes 35mm photographic negatives, annotated contact sheets and photographs, depicting blues musicians such as Robert Pete Williams, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and Alan Wilson, the founder/leader of the blues band Canned Heat. Many of the photographs were taken at Bokelman and Evans's home in Topanga Gulch, Calif. There are two prints, a 8.5” x 11” photo of Alan Wilson wearing a hat taken by an unknown photographer and a small print of Rev. Rube Lacy with John Fahey, Al Wilson and David Evans, also taken by an unknown photographer. There is an inventory and background information on the photographs written by Bokelman, as well as digitized files of the all the negatives.There is also a cross-stitch sampler made by Bokelman, commissioned by Bill Givens, the owner of the blues reissue label Origin Jazz Library, for LP record The Blues in Memphis 1927-1939 (All the Uptown and Downhome Music of the Gateway to the Delta).   Givens used a photograph of the sampler for the LP’s cover. 

The addition of June 2021 contains Bokelman's 1968 dissertation 'The Coon Can Gang': A Blues Ballad Tradition; original field notes from Bokelman's work in 1966 and 1967 with David Evans, in Mississippi, Louisiana and California; the unfinished manuscript Going Up the Country: Adventures in Blues Fieldwork, and digitized copies the field notes and manuscript. The manuscript is Bokelman's portion of an unfinished book about Bokelman and Evans's careers and personal lives.

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Processing Information

Encoded by: Dawne Howard Lucas, June 2021

Since August 2017, we have added ethnic and racial identities for individuals and families represented in collections. To determine identity, we rely on self-identification; other information supplied to the repository by collection creators or sources; public records, press accounts, and secondary sources; and contextual information in the collection materials. Omissions of ethnic and racial identities in finding aids created or updated after August 2017 are an indication of insufficient information to make an educated guess or an individual's preference for identity information to be excluded from description. When we have misidentified, please let us know at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu.

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