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Collection Number: 20282

Collection Title: Becky Blackley Collection, 1871-1995

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 section for more information.


expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 3.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 2100 items)
Abstract Writer, collector, and performer Becky Blackley is an autoharp expert and enthusiast. From 1980 to 1993, she served as editor of The Autoharpoholic, an international journal that was dedicated to the autoharp. In 1981, she published Harp! the Herald Angels Sing!, a book of Christmas songs arranged for the autoharp, and in 1983, The Autoharp Book, a comprehensive history of the instrument. She has recorded and produced her own music, conducted autoharp workshops across the United States, and served as a consultant to instrument makers Oscar Schmidt-International. She currently works as a Russian-to-English translator. The collection consists primarily of materials compiled by Becky Blackley while researching the history and evolution of the autoharp for the writing of The Autoharp Book. Correspondence, photographs, copies of patents, catalogues, advertisements, newspaper clippings, notes, articles, songbooks, instruction manuals, journals, recorded interviews with famed autoharp players, and sound recordings comprise the bulk of the collection. Materials also include research conducted by Doyle Moore for an article he wrote about the autoharp. Collectively, these materials trace the history of the autoharp from its earliest incarnations in the late nineteenth century to modern models manufactured in the late twentieth century. Some materials relate to autoharp inventor C. F. Zimmerman, Kilby Snow, Mike Seeger, the Carter Family (including photographs), Maybelle Carter (including interview, 1962), Ernest Stoneman (including interviews, 1962-1963), Louise Scruggs, Glen Peterson, and Archie Green. There are also copies of old-time music recordings featuring Ernest Stoneman, Welby Toomey, the Carter Family, Uncle Dave Macon, and others, and photographs of autoharps players and instruments.
Creator Blackley, Becky.
Language English
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
Use of audio materials may require production of listening copies.
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 Becky Blackley Collection #20282, Southern Folklife Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Becky Blackley in March 1996 (97182).
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 Subject Headings

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.

These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online catalogs.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

As a writer, collector, and performer, Becky Blackley is a well-known autoharp expert and enthusiast. She attended the University of California at Santa Barbara and completed her graduate studies at the University of British Columbia in Canada. From 1980 to 1993, Blackley served as editor of The Autoharpoholic, an international quarterly journal that was dedicated to the autoharp. In addition, she has written extensively on the subject of the autoharp, and her articles have been featured in a number of publications, including Frets and Bluegrass Breakdown. In 1981, she published Harp! the Herald Angels Sing!, a book of Christmas songs arranged for the autoharp. In 1983, she published The Autoharp Book , a comprehensive history of the instrument, its origins and evolution. Becky Blackley performed professionally as a member of Woodshed, a Bay Area bluegrass band. Additionally, she has both recorded and produced her own music, conducted autoharp workshops across the United States, and served as a consultant to instrument maker Oscar Schmidt-International during the development of the diatonic autoharp. She currently works as a Russian-to-English translator.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection consists primarily of materials compiled by writer, collector, and performer Becky Blackley while researching the history and evolution of the autoharp for the writing of The Autoharp Book (1983). Correspondence, photographs, copies of patents, catalogues, advertisements, newspaper clippings, notes, articles, songbooks, instruction manuals, journals, recorded interviews with major autoharp musicians, and sound recordings comprise the bulk of the collection. Materials also include research conducted by Doyle Moore for an article he wrote on the autoharp. Collectively, these materials trace the history of the autoharp from its earliest incarnations in the late nineteenth century to modern models manufactured in the late twentieth century. Some materials relate to autoharp inventor C. F. Zimmerman, Kilby Snow, Mike Seeger, the Carter Family (including photographs), Maybelle Carter (including interview, 1962), Ernest Stoneman (including interviews, 1962-1963), Louise Scruggs, Glen Peterson, and Archie Green. There are also copies of old-time music recordings featuring Ernest Stoneman, Welby Toomey, the Carter Family, Uncle Dave Macon, and others, and photographs of autoharps players and instruments.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Research for Becky Blackley Book, 1871-1980.

About 900 items.

Materials collected by Becky Blackley during her research for the writing of The Autoharp Book. Materials include copies of autoharp patents, sheet music, price lists, instruction manuals, catalogues, advertisements, and photographs. In addition to Becky Blackley's research, this series also includes materials collected by Doyle Moore: a copy of Doyle Moore's paper, "The Autoharp and Its Utilization," his correspondence with autoharp players and makers, notes and notecards, newspaper clippings, personal photos, and several recorded interviews with autoharp players Maybelle Carter and Ernest Stoneman.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. Autoharp Patents, 1871-1971.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. Autoharp Promotional Material and Other Literature, 1894-1980.

239 items.

Price lists, sheet music, instruction manuals, catalogues and advertisements. The series contains autoharp advertisements that appeared in Music Educators Journal, The Youth's Companion, Scribner's, McClure's, and The Ladies Home Journal. Miscellaneous literature includes promotional material, such as The Autoharp and How It Captured the Family and The Story of Summit Electric Autoharps, as well as an article about autoharps featured in To Be Announced: The Monthly Newsletter of Traditional Music and Dance in Northeastern Ohio .

Folder 7

Autoharp Price Lists #20282, Subseries: "1.2. Autoharp Promotional Material and Other Literature, 1894-1980." Folder 7

Folder 8

Autoharp Sheet Music #20282, Subseries: "1.2. Autoharp Promotional Material and Other Literature, 1894-1980." Folder 8

Folder 9

Autoharp Instruction Manuals #20282, Subseries: "1.2. Autoharp Promotional Material and Other Literature, 1894-1980." Folder 9

Folder 10

Autoharp Catalogues #20282, Subseries: "1.2. Autoharp Promotional Material and Other Literature, 1894-1980." Folder 10

Folder 11

Sears Catalogue, 1894-1926 #20282, Subseries: "1.2. Autoharp Promotional Material and Other Literature, 1894-1980." Folder 11

Folder 12

Sears Catalogue, 1956-1980 #20282, Subseries: "1.2. Autoharp Promotional Material and Other Literature, 1894-1980." Folder 12

Folder 13

Music Educators Journal Advertisements, 1952-1973 #20282, Subseries: "1.2. Autoharp Promotional Material and Other Literature, 1894-1980." Folder 13

Folder 14

The Youth's Companion Advertisements, 1895-1898 #20282, Subseries: "1.2. Autoharp Promotional Material and Other Literature, 1894-1980." Folder 14

Folder 15

Popular Magazine Advertisements, 1895-1899 #20282, Subseries: "1.2. Autoharp Promotional Material and Other Literature, 1894-1980." Folder 15

Folder 16

Miscellaneous Advertisements and Literature #20282, Subseries: "1.2. Autoharp Promotional Material and Other Literature, 1894-1980." Folder 16

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.3. Doyle Moore Research, 1960s.

48 items.

A copy of Doyle Moore's paper, "The Autoharp and Its Utilization"; his correspondence with autoharp players and makers; notes and notecards; newspaper clippings featuring Doyle Moore; personal photos; and several recorded interviews with autoharp player Ernest V. Stoneman. Personal correspondence includes letters from Ernest V. Stoneman, Mike Seeger, Louise Scruggs, Glen Peterson, and Becky Blackley.

Folder 17

Doyle Moore Paper #20282, Subseries: "1.3. Doyle Moore Research, 1960s." Folder 17

Folder 18

Correspondence #20282, Subseries: "1.3. Doyle Moore Research, 1960s." Folder 18

Folder 19

Notecards and Notes #20282, Subseries: "1.3. Doyle Moore Research, 1960s." Folder 19

Folder 20

Newspaper Clippings #20282, Subseries: "1.3. Doyle Moore Research, 1960s." Folder 20

Folder 21

Personal Photographs #20282, Subseries: "1.3. Doyle Moore Research, 1960s." Folder 21

Reel FT-11830

Doyle Moore interview with Ernest V. Stoneman, January 1962, in Washington, D.C. #20282, Subseries: "1.3. Doyle Moore Research, 1960s." Reel FT-11830

Reel FT-11831

Interview with Ernest V. Stoneman, December 1962, at his home in Carmody Hills, Md. With Hattie Stoneman, Archie Green, Doyle Moore, and Mike Seeger #20282, Subseries: "1.3. Doyle Moore Research, 1960s." Reel FT-11831

Reel FT-11832

Interview with Ernest V. Stoneman, May 1963 #20282, Subseries: "1.3. Doyle Moore Research, 1960s." Reel FT-11832

Reel FT-11833

Autoharp Newspaper Clippings from the Dolgeville Library #20282, Subseries: "1.3. Doyle Moore Research, 1960s." Reel FT-11833

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.4. C. F. Zimmermann Materials, 1880s-1980s.

31 items.

Materials relating to the life of C. F. Zimmermann and his invention of the autoharp. Copies of C. F. Zimmermann's application for citizenship, the transfer of the autoharp patent from C. F. Zimmermann to Alfred Dolge, and a photograph of the proclamation by the city of Philadelphia declaring 1982 the year of the autoharp. In addition to a written account of the early Zimmermann autoharp composed by C. F. Zimmermann's great-granddaughter Phyllis Zimmermann, the series also includes a biography of Zimmerman written in German, and its English translation on audiocassette.

Folder 22

Biography and Company History #20282, Subseries: "1.4. C. F. Zimmermann Materials, 1880s-1980s." Folder 22

Audiocassette FS-7070

English translation of the C. F. Zimmermann Biography #20282, Subseries: "1.4. C. F. Zimmermann Materials, 1880s-1980s." FS-7070

Folder 23

Zimmermann Photographs and Family Genealogy #20282, Subseries: "1.4. C. F. Zimmermann Materials, 1880s-1980s." Folder 23

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.5. Research Tools, 1968-1983.

57 items.

Notecards, survey instruments, and correspondence between Becky Blackley and various city agencies, historical associations, and autoharp owners. Miscellaneous correspondence includes correspondence between autoharp owners and manufacturers.

Folder 24

Survey Instruments #20282, Subseries: "1.5. Research Tools, 1968-1983." Folder 24

Folder 25

Notecards #20282, Subseries: "1.5. Research Tools, 1968-1983." Folder 25

Folder 26

Becky Blackley Correspondence #20282, Subseries: "1.5. Research Tools, 1968-1983." Folder 26

Folder 27

Miscellaneous Correspondence #20282, Subseries: "1.5. Research Tools, 1968-1983." Folder 27

Folder 28

Miscellaneous Research Materials #20282, Subseries: "1.5. Research Tools, 1968-1983." Folder 28

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.6. The Autoharp Book Photographs, 1982-1983.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.7. Old Time Music Recordings, 1970s-1980s.

3 items.

Audiocassettes containing a mix of old time songs recorded for personal use. Some selections recorded from old Edison Cylinders. Featured artists include Ernest V. Stoneman, Welby Toomey, the Carter Family, and Uncle Dave Macon. Handwritten song lists accompany the cassettes.

Audiocassette

FS-7071: Tape #1 and #2 #20282, Subseries: "1.7. Old Time Music Recordings, 1970s-1980s."

FS-7072: Tape #3, #4, #5 and #6 #20282, Subseries: "1.7. Old Time Music Recordings, 1970s-1980s."

FS-7073: Tape #7, #8 and #9 #20282, Subseries: "1.7. Old Time Music Recordings, 1970s-1980s."

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.8. Kilby Snow Materials, 1968.

About 10 items.

Autoharpist Kilby Snow materials including photocopies of a promotional article announcing a concert performance, print media descriptions of performances, program schedules featuring performances by Snow, and Snow's arrangement of the old ballad "Wind and Rain."

Folder 34

Kilby Snow Materials #20282, Subseries: "1.8. Kilby Snow Materials, 1968." Folder 34

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.9. Mike Seeger Materials, 1963-1982.

16 items.

Materials related to autoharpist Mike Seeger, including pictures of Mike Seeger with his autoharp, a Chicago Maroon article discussing the New Lost City Ramblers, and a promotional advertisement featuring the New Lost City Ramblers.

Folder 35

Mike Seeger Materials #20282, Subseries: "1.9. Mike Seeger Materials, 1963-1982." Folder 35

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Becky Blackley Materials, 1981-1995.

11 items.

Becky Blackley's published works, recorded music, and personal photos.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1. Writings and Publications, 1981-1986.

6 items.

Published material by Becky Blackley includes songbooks featuring arrangements for the autoharp and a copy of the final issue of Autoharpoholic Journal.

Folder 36

The Autoharp Book #20282, Subseries: "2.1. Writings and Publications, 1981-1986." Folder 36

Folder 37

Songbooks #20282, Subseries: "2.1. Writings and Publications, 1981-1986." Folder 37

Folder 38

Autoharpoholic Journal #20282, Subseries: "2.1. Writings and Publications, 1981-1986." Folder 38

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.2. Photographs, 1980s.

3 items.

Photographs of Becky Blackley performing on the autoharp and posing with a sandcastle autoharp.

Folder 39

Photographs #20282, Subseries: "2.2. Photographs, 1980s." Folder 39

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.3. Recordings, 1986-1995 .

2 items.

Arrangement: chronologically by date of publication.

Professional recordings of Becky Blackley performing music on the autoharp.

Audiocassette FS-7069

The Flower of Loudoun County #20282, Subseries: "2.3. Recordings, 1986-1995 ." FS-7069

Music Compact Disc CD-4394

Gathering the Harvest #20282, Subseries: "2.3. Recordings, 1986-1995 ." CD-4394

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Carter Family Materials, 1940-1983.

About 35 items.

Carter Family materials including literature, photographs, and a recorded interview with autoharp player Maybelle Carter.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.1. Literature, 1962-1964.

4 items.

Schedule of events for a Chicago folk festival featuring Maybelle Carter in concert, a copy of a promotional advertisement for a performance with Maybelle Carter and the New Lost City Ramblers, and an article by Archie Green entitled "The Carter Family's "Coal Miner's Blues"".

Folder 40

Carter Family Literature #20282, Subseries: "3.1. Literature, 1962-1964." Folder 40

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.2. Photographs, 1948-1983.

About 30 items.

Photographs featuring members of the Carter Family.

Folder 41

Photographs #20282, Subseries: "3.2. Photographs, 1948-1983." Folder 41

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.3. Maybelle Carter Interview, 1962.

1 item.

One open reel tape containing an interview between autoharp player Maybelle Carter and interviewers Doyle Moore and Archie Green.

Reel FT-11829

Interview with Maybelle Carter. Recorded September, 1962 in Madison, Tenn. Doyle Moore and Archie Green interviewers. #20282, Subseries: "3.3. Maybelle Carter Interview, 1962." Reel FT-11829

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Photographs, 1948-1983.

About 1145 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Photographs of autoharps, autoharp advertisements, instruction manuals, autoharp players and manufacturers, and miscellaneous subjects related to the autoharp and its history. Photographs are organized chronologically according to historical period of subject matter.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 4.1. C. F. Zimmermann Era, 1885-1892.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 4.2. C. F. Zimmermann Company, 1893-1899.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 4.3. Phonoharp Company and the International Musical Corporation, 1910-1931.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 4.4. Oscar Schmidt-International, 1932-1983.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 4.5. Autoharp Relatives, 1970-1980.

About 30 items.

Photographs of instruments similar to the autoharp.

Folder 61

Autoharp Relatives #20282, Subseries: "4.5. Autoharp Relatives, 1970-1980." Folder 61

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 4.6. Autoharp Players, 1970-1980.

About 100 items.

Photographs of autoharp players and manufacturers.

Folder 62

Autoharp Players #20282, Subseries: "4.6. Autoharp Players, 1970-1980." Folder 62

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 4.7. Miscellaneous Photographs, 1970-1980.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 4.8. Negatives, 1970-1980.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 4.9. Color Slides, 1970-1980.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: Kyle Jordan and Melissa Johnson, November 2004

Encoded by: Melissa Johnson, November 2004

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