About the Site

About the Project

The Fiddler's Grove exhibit project was completed in September 2005 by Craig Breaden, a research assistant at the Southern Folklife Collection and graduate student in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Steve Weiss and Kelly Kress helped out in the curatorial process, while Harper, Wansie, and Hank Van Hoy were supportive of the project and generous of their time.

The intention of the project at the outset was to pull together materials representative of the Fiddler's Grove Collection housed at UNC, and tie these together with a linear narrative. It soon became apparent that, because the materials span over 30 years, a narrative could easily overwhelm an exhibit that at its core is about an annual event, the individuals who participated, and the songs they played. It was decided, therefore, that the story would tell itself through a selection of documents (mostly magazine and newspaper articles), audio, and video. Instead of a narrative, a navigational timeline spanning 1970-2000 is provided. That way, visitors can interpret and enjoy the materials on their own within the basic timeline structure.

The exhibition uses only a fraction of the materials contained in the Fiddler's Grove Collection and does not undertake to display, for instance, the voluminous correspondence between the Van Hoys and the numerous musicians, fans, scholars, and businesses involved with the festival over the years. Additionally, there are many hours of recordings from the festival, contained mostly on open-reel tape, that were not used simply because including them would have significantly extended the scope of the project beyond available resources. Visitors to the site who wish to explore the richness of the Fiddler's Grove Collection are encouraged to contact the Southern Folklife Collection.


Digitization of materials

Audio was transferred from LPs and CDs and converted to MP3 using Sony Soundforge 7.0. The interview with Harper and Wansie Van Hoy was captured on a Sony MZ-R70 Digital Minidisc Recorder using a Sony ECM-737 stereo microphone. After CD-quality WAV files were made of all the sources, the files were converted to 64 kbps MP3. While 128 kbps is the current consumer standard used for converting music audio to MP3, using the lower rate offered two significant advantages: 1) The files can be effectively accessed by a broader range of internet users; and 2) More music could be made available on the site as a result of using the lower rate. We feel the listenability of the MP3 transfers, while not CD-quality, is not appreciably compromised given their purpose, web exhibition, where playback and bandwidth capabilities of users vary dramatically. Visitors interested in close study of the music, requiring CD-quality transfers, are encouraged to contact Fiddler's Grove or the Southern Folklife Collection for further information.

Video on the site was transferred from VHS using Sony Vegas video editing software. The files were then compressed for web delivery at a pixel size of 320x240, at two quality levels and in two formats. WMV (Windows Media) and MOV (Apple Quicktime) files were created to allow for playability among a broad spectrum of users. Because the clips are intended to give visitors an idea of the look of Fiddler's Grove without weighing down their systems with heavy video files, compression for web delivery took precedence over high detail. Visitors interested in close study of the video, or in seeing the complete video, Fiddler's Grove: A Celebration of Old Time Music (1994), are encouraged to contact Fiddler's Grove or the Southern Folklife Collection for further information.

Photographs and other images on the site were scanned at 150 dpi. The resulting TIFF files were then reduced to 72 dpi JPEG files using Adobe Photoshop.


About playing MP3 sound files

If you are having trouble playing the .MP3 sound clips, you must:

1. Ensure you have a media player capable of playing .mp3 files loaded on your computer, then

2.a. Configure your browser and player to play the files automatically when you click on the song link,
2.b. Right click on the link, choose "Save Target As" from the menu that drops down, and save the file to a directory. Start your .MP3 player, then open the saved file to play it.

.MP3 players, such as WinAmp, iTunes/Quicktime, Windows Media Player, and a host of others are easy to find online, and, typically, free downloadable versions are offered. Follow the instructions provided with the specific software.


About playing WMV video files

WMV video files can be viewed using players such as Windows Media Player (available for PC and Mac) or WinAmp (for PC). MOV files can be played using Quicktime Player (available for PC and Mac).


A word on copyright

Please note that the materials exhibited on this website are protected by copyright laws. For more on copyright policy at the Manuscripts Department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, please click here.


About the Southern Folklife Collection

The Southern Folklife Collection (SFC) ranks as one of the nation's foremost archival resources for the study of American folk music and popular culture. SFC holdings extensively document all forms of southern musical and oral traditions across the entire spectrum of individual and community expressive arts, as well as mainstream media production.

Centered around the John Edwards Memorial Collection, the SFC is especially rich in materials documenting the emergence of old-time, country-western, hillbilly, bluegrass, blues, gospel, Cajun and zydeco musics. There is also extensive documentation of the folk revival movement reflecting the tremendous interest in traditional music that has blossomed since the late 1950s. Photographs, recordings, ephemera, periodicals, and manuscript materials trace the rise of folk and bluegrass festivals in the United States; promote the study of folksong clubs, coffeehouses, fan clubs, and grassroots organizations; and chronicle the output of recording companies.

The SFC contains over 160,000 sound recordings, including cylinders, acetate discs, wire recordings, 78 rpm and 45 rpm discs, LPs, cassettes, CDs, and open reel tapes. Moving image materials include over 3,000 video recordings and 18 million feet of motion picture film. Other materials include thousands of photographs, song folios, posters, manuscript materials, ephemeral items, and research files, as well as an exceptionally strong collection of discographical materials for the 78 rpm era.

--From About the Southern Folklife Collection (http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/sfc1//sabout.html)


Contact the Southern Folklife Collection

If you have comments or questions regarding the Fiddler's Grove Exhibit, or the Southern Folklife Collection in general, please use the Online Inquiry Form.


Contact Fiddler's Grove
Fiddler's Grove is an annual pilgrimmage for musicians and fans alike, and continues to be one of the great fiddle festivals each season. To contact Fiddler's Grove for schedules and ticket information, click here to go to the Fiddler's Grove website.


Further Resources and Links
Fiddler's Grove official website.

Wikipedia article on Union Grove, with an excellent summary of Fiddler's Grove.

Library of Congress Local Legacy - Recognition of Fiddler's Grove.

Other collections at the Southern Folklife Collection, such as the Mike Seeger Collection and the Guthrie T. Meade Collection, contain materials that relate to Union Grove and Fiddler's Grove. We encourage you to visit us online or in person.

Pat J. Ahrens's book, Union Grove: the first fifty years (1975), details the history of music at Union Grove with an emphasis on Pierce's convention.

Fiddlers Grove Logo

Fiddler's Grove Finding Aid
The Southern Folklife Collection
About This Site