Over 2,000 Audio Recordings from the Florida Folklife Collection including interviews, field recordings and performances at the Florida Folk Festival dating back to 1954. The State Archives of Florida houses thousands of unique sound recordings currently undergoing digitization; highlights from these efforts are available on this page as sampler CDs, podcasts, and MP3s.
The first recordings were created in 1954 by curator of the Stephen Foster Memorial, Foster Barnes, after the success of the first festival in 1953. Barnes continued to record the festival for the next decade. Following his retirement in 1965, other memorial staff maintained the practice. As control of the festival shifted to the Florida Folklife Program in 1979 and the Florida Park Service in 2003, both agencies continued to record the performances.
The largest part of the Florida Folklife Collection consists of records, notes, images, and recordings generated by professional folklorists working in the Florida Folklife Program during its first 20 years (1976-1995).
The Florida Folklife Program documents and presents the folklife, folklore, and folk arts of the state. Its full-time staff of professional folklorists, based in the Florida Bureau of Historic Preservation, coordinates a wide range of activities and projects designed to increase awareness about Florida's traditional culture.