Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kentucky Historial Society Family Research Fellowship

Timi and I recently learned that we were awarded a Family Research Fellowship from the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS)  to continue research for our ongoing documentary project about Timi's grandparents and Kentucky Bluegrass musicians Frances and John Reedy!

The KHS Family Research Fellowship will comprise a full, continuous week of research at the KHS Martin F. Schmidt Research Library and Special CollectionsWe currently plan to complete our one-week Fellowship residency in Frankfort in Fall 2010, but we might get started earlier this summer if we're able to work it out.  Our research activities will include:

  • Conducting supplemental research on the Appalachian region, Northern migration, and/or Bluegrass/Country music at the Kentucky Historical Society Martin F. Schmidt Research Library and Special Collections; 
  • Donating supplemental digital media (video, field notes, photos, video, etc.) from the ongoing documentary project to the KHS Research Library and Special Collections as a secondary repository; and
  • Crediting the Kentucky Historical Society as a production supporter for the final documentary and related projects. 
Access to the KHS Research Library and Special Collections will serve as a unique opportunity for exploring additional potential recordings and other documentation of the Reedys’ musical career, including performances at Renfro Valley, WHLN in Harlan, and other Kentucky locales. It will also provide contextual and historical information about other musicians who were from Harlan and/or the Reedys’ contemporaries in the musical migration.

The preliminary resources we plan to explore include:
  • Bluegrass Music News: Official Publication of the Kentucky Music Educators Association. Bowling Green, KY: Association (Periodical Stacks: No call number available)
  • Harlan Mountain Roots. Harlan, Kentucky: Harlan Heritage Seekers, 1986-. (General Stacks Call Number: 976.902 H283r)
  • Philliber, William W. & Clyde B. McCoy, Editors, with Harry C. Dillingham. Invisible Minority, Urban Appalachians. 1981.
  • Renfro Valley Barn Dance Oral History Project. (Special Collections-Oral History Collection Call Number: 1987OH01)
  • Rosenberg, Neil V. Bluegrass: A History. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2005. (General Stacks Call Number: 781.642 R813)
  • Sarah Gertrude Knott/John Lair Oral History Project (Special Collections-Oral History Collection Call Number: 1996OH03)
  • Wolfe, Charles K. Kentucky Country: Folk and Country Music of Kentucky. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1982. (General Stacks Call Number: 781.7769 W855)
The oral histories and transcripts in the Sarah Gertrude Knott and Renfro Valley collections at KHS will ideally include direct references to the Reedys; however, we also anticipate that they will include other promising leads of musicians, collectors, and historians who have some memory of, connection to, or interest in the Reedy family's musical legacy. Also, any living oral history subjects might be willing to be interviewed again about the Reedys performances at Renfro Valley or elsewhere. The topical books and Kentucky-based periodicals will provide both a local/regional context for the Reedys’ musical career as well as broader thematic connections to national media and pop culture.

Because we plan to donate copies of all materials from the Reedy Collection, this project will contribute to and expand the archival collection at the Martin F. Schmidt Research Library and Special Collections as a secondary repository for access to the Reedy Collection by other scholars.

We are incredibly thankful to the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort for support to spend time researching in Frankfort this fall.  And we also appreciate learning about this and other opportunities through participating in the Community Scholars Program sponsored by KHS and the Kentucky Folklife Program.  We have greatly benefited from these learning communities and treasure our many new friends and colleagues.

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