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Collection Number: 04189

Collection Title: John A. Blakemore Papers, 1928-1980

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 FAQ section for more information.


This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; this finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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Size 2.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 2500 items)
Abstract John A. (John Augustus) Blakemore (1894-1986) of Washington County, Va., was co-founder and business manager of the White Top Folk Festival, held on White Top Mountain, Grayson County, Va., 1931-1936 and 1938-1939. The festival featured traditional singers, musicians, and dancers. The collection includes correspondence, lists of performers and visitors, clippings and printed material, legal and financial papers, writings, photographs, and other material relating to the White Top Folk Festival. Correspondents include performers Annabel Morris Buchanan (born 1888), John Powell (1882-1963), and Richard Chase (1904-1988). Also included is material relating to a visit to the festival by Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) in 1933.
Creator Blakemore, John A. (John Augustus), 1894-1986.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
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 John A. Blakemore Papers, #4189, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from John A. Blakemore of Emory, Va., 1979.
Additional Descriptive Resources
A copy of the original finding aid for this collection is filed in folder 1a.
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.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

John A. Blakemore (1894-1986) of Washington County, Va., was co-founder and business manager of the White Top Folk Festival, held on White Top Mountain, Grayson County, Va., 1931-1936 and 1938-1939. The festival featured traditional singers, musicians, and dancers.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes correspondence, lists of performers and visitors, clippings and printed material, legal and financial papers, writings, photographs, and other material relating to the White Top Folk Festival. Correspondents include performers Annabel Morris Buchanan (born 1888), John Powell (1882-1963), and Richard Chase (1904-1988). Also included is material relating to a visit to the festival in 1933 by Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962).

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1929-1980.

Arrangement: chronological.

The correspondence chiefly regards John A. Blakemore's efforts in the production and management of the White Top Folk Festival, and contains letters to and from event organizers, musicians, singers, dancers, and spectators. The most frequent correspondent is co-organizer and performer Annabel Morris Buchanan, and there are also letters from John Powell and Richard Chase. Subjects include information requests, registration of performers, obtaining judges and prizes, equipment rentals, hiring workers, concessions, lodging, requests for tax-exempt status, recording and broadcast of performances, funding, and the history of the festival.

Folder 1a

Original finding aid #04189, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1929-1980." Folder 1a

Folder 1

1929 #04189, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1929-1980." Folder 1

Folder 2-9

Folder 2

Folder 3

Folder 4

Folder 5

Folder 6

Folder 7

Folder 8

Folder 9

1931 #04189, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1929-1980." Folder 2-9

Folder 10-21

Folder 10

Folder 11

Folder 12

Folder 13

Folder 14

Folder 15

Folder 16

Folder 17

Folder 18

Folder 19

Folder 20

Folder 21

1932 #04189, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1929-1980." Folder 10-21

Folder 22-38

Folder 22

Folder 23

Folder 24

Folder 25

Folder 26

Folder 27

Folder 28

Folder 29

Folder 30

Folder 31

Folder 32

Folder 33

Folder 34

Folder 35

Folder 36

Folder 37

Folder 38

1933 #04189, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1929-1980." Folder 22-38

Folder 39-46

Folder 39

Folder 40

Folder 41

Folder 42

Folder 43

Folder 44

Folder 45

Folder 46

1934 #04189, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1929-1980." Folder 39-46

Folder 47-57

Folder 47

Folder 48

Folder 49

Folder 50

Folder 51

Folder 52

Folder 53

Folder 54

Folder 55

Folder 56

Folder 57

1935 #04189, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1929-1980." Folder 47-57

Folder 58-64

Folder 58

Folder 59

Folder 60

Folder 61

Folder 62

Folder 63

Folder 64

1936 #04189, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1929-1980." Folder 58-64

Folder 65-77

Folder 65

Folder 66

Folder 67

Folder 68

Folder 69

Folder 70

Folder 71

Folder 72

Folder 73

Folder 74

Folder 75

Folder 76

Folder 77

1938 #04189, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1929-1980." Folder 65-77

Folder 78-90

Folder 78

Folder 79

Folder 80

Folder 81

Folder 82

Folder 83

Folder 84

Folder 85

Folder 86

Folder 87

Folder 88

Folder 89

Folder 90

1939 #04189, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1929-1980." Folder 78-90

Folder 91-103

Folder 91

Folder 92

Folder 93

Folder 94

Folder 95

Folder 96

Folder 97

Folder 98

Folder 99

Folder 100

Folder 101

Folder 102

Folder 103

1940 #04189, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1929-1980." Folder 91-103

Folder 104

1964-1971; 1980 #04189, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1929-1980." Folder 104

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954.

Arrangement: alphabetical by type of material, and chronological within type.

This series consists of lists of performers and visitors to the White Top Folk Festival, press releases and other festival-related materials. The lists of performers include information such as instruments played and songs performed. The lists of visitors consist of names and addresses of those who drove automobiles to the festival grounds. There are also lists of newspapers and magazines contacted for publicity. The additional festival-related materials are chiefly memoranda concerning food supplies, menus, arrangements for Eleanor Roosevelt's visit in 1933, police officers, gatekeepers, concessions, and other aspects of festival production.

Folder 105

List of contestants, 1931 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 105

Folder 106

Lists of contestants and judges, 1932 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 106

Folder 107

List of contestants, 1933 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 107

Folder 108

Lists of contestants and judges, 1934 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 108

Folder 109

Lists of contestants and judges, 1935 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 109

Folder 110

Lists of contestants and winners, 1936 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 110

Folder 111

Lists of contestants and winners, 1938 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 111

Folder 112

Lists of contestants and winners, 1939 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 112

Folder 113

List of contestants, 1940 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 113

Folder 114

List of visitors, 1929-4 July 1931 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 114

Folder 115

List of visitors, 4 July 1931-13 August 1932 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 115

Folder 116

List of visitors, 1 August 1932-21 October 1932 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 116

Folder 117

List of visitors, 14 January-11 October 1933 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 117

Folder 118

List of visitors, 1934 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 118

Folder 119

List of visitors, 1935 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 119

Folder 120

Press releases, 1931-1933 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 120

Folder 121

Press releases, 1938-1940; 1949-1954 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 121

Folder 122

Notes and memoranda, 1931-1934 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 122

Folder 123

Notes and memoranda, 1935 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 123

Folder 124

Notes and memoranda, 1936-1939 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 124

Folder 125

Notes and memoranda, 1940 #04189, Series: "2. Planning and Publicity Materials, 1929-1954." Folder 125

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964.

Arrangement: alphabetical by type of material, and chronological within type.

Materials in this series include clippings, handbills, brochures, and other printed items relating to White Top Folk Festival, White Top Mountain, and other Southern musical events. Many of these items are in the oversize paper folders.

Folder 126

Clippings, 1928-1929 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 126

Folder 127

Clippings, 1931 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 127

Folder 128

Clippings, 1932 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 128

Folder 129

Clippings, 1933 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 129

Folder 130

Clippings, 1934 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 130

Folder 131

Clippings, 1935 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 131

Folder 132

Clippings, 1936 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 132

Folder 133

Clippings, 1938 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 133

Folder 134

Clippings, 1939 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 134

Folder 135-138

Folder 135

Folder 136

Folder 137

Folder 138

Clippings, 1940 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 135-138

Folder 139

Clippings, 1947; 1964 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 139

Folder 140

Printed material, 1931 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 140

Folder 141

Printed material, 1932 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 141

Folder 142

Printed material, 1933 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 142

Folder 143

Printed material, 1934 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 143

Folder 144

Printed material, 1935 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 144

Folder 145

Printed material, 1936 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 145

Folder 146

Printed material, 1938 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 146

Folder 147

Printed material, 1939 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 147

Folder 148

Printed material, 1940 #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." Folder 148

Oversize Paper Folder OPF-4189/1b

Clippings and printed materials #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." OPF-4189/1b

Extra Oversize Paper Folder XOPF-4189/1a

Clippings and printed materials #04189, Series: "3. Clippings and Printed Materials, 1928-1964." XOPF-4189/1a

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Financial and Legal Papers, 1930-1964.

The papers are chiefly insurance policies, business agreements, income tax returns, and lists of receipts and expenditures of the White Top Folk Festival.

Folder 149

Financial papers, 1931-1940 #04189, Series: "4. Financial and Legal Papers, 1930-1964." Folder 149

Folder 150

Legal papers, 1930-1964 #04189, Series: "4. Financial and Legal Papers, 1930-1964." Folder 150

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Writings, 1892-1933 and undated.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 6. Pictures, 1926-1939 and undated.

60 items.

Pictures include black and white photographs chiefly of views of the White Top Mountain area, along with buildings, performers and spectators, and Eleanor Roosevelt's visit to the festival in 1933.

Image P-4189/1-10

P-4189/1

P-4189/2

P-4189/3

P-4189/4

P-4189/5

P-4189/6

P-4189/7

P-4189/8

P-4189/9

P-4189/10

Performers and spectators, White Top Folk Festival, 1939 and undated #04189, Series: "6. Pictures, 1926-1939 and undated." P-4189/1-10

Image P-4189/11-14

P-4189/11

P-4189/12

P-4189/13

P-4189/14

Elenear Roosevelt's visit to the White Top Folk Festival, 1933 #04189, Series: "6. Pictures, 1926-1939 and undated." P-4189/11-14

Image P-4189/15-22

P-4189/15

P-4189/16

P-4189/17

P-4189/18

P-4189/19

P-4189/20

P-4189/21

P-4189/22

White Top Mountain area buildings and other structures, 1926 and undated #04189, Series: "6. Pictures, 1926-1939 and undated." P-4189/15-22

Image P-4189/23-58

P-4189/23

P-4189/24

P-4189/25

P-4189/26

P-4189/27

P-4189/28

P-4189/29

P-4189/30

P-4189/31

P-4189/32

P-4189/33

P-4189/34

P-4189/35

P-4189/36

P-4189/37

P-4189/38

P-4189/39

P-4189/40

P-4189/41

P-4189/42

P-4189/43

P-4189/44

P-4189/45

P-4189/46

P-4189/47

P-4189/48

P-4189/49

P-4189/50

P-4189/51

P-4189/52

P-4189/53

P-4189/54

P-4189/55

P-4189/56

P-4189/57

P-4189/58

White Top Mountain area views, 1926-1927 and undated #04189, Series: "6. Pictures, 1926-1939 and undated." P-4189/23-58

Image P-4189/59-60

P-4189/59

P-4189/60

Other subjects #04189, Series: "6. Pictures, 1926-1939 and undated." P-4189/59-60

John Powell addressing the Hot Springs, Va., Chamber of Commerce, undated; "Tent School" pupils and teachers, Lansing, N.C., 1934

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Processing Information

Original processing and finding aid creation by Lyn Wolz, 1980.

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Adam Fielding, Kate Stratton, and Jodi Berkowitz, February 2011

This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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