CETA Survey of St. Lawrence County Folklife (NY)

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1977 - 1978 (Bulk dates)

This collection includes extensive and wide-ranging field notes (over 500 topics) compiled by a team of students and local residents surveying the area under the direction of folklorist Varick Chittenden at the Center for the Study of North Country Folklife, SUNY Canton, before he went on to found TAUNY (Traditional Arts in Upstate New York).

Chittenden created the Center for the Study of North Country Folklife in 1977, as a faculty member at SUNY Canton. That same year, he took advantage of the old federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) to hire and train about 15 people to do fieldwork. Like the famed WPA projects of the 1930s, they then undertook a year-long survey of traditions and tradition bearers, but in St. Lawrence County.  More than 6,000 local people were identified for their knowledge of things as common as making maple syrup and quilting and as unusual as making “bombagilia,” (balm of Gilead salve) and cockfighting. This collection, now held in the TAUNY archives, includes the field notes and other miscellaneous materials documenting these findings.

Creator and/or Contributor
TAUNY (Traditional Arts in Upstate New York) (creator), Varick Chittenden (creator)
English (Languages)
Geographic Coverage
Northern New York (-)