The Kevin Barry and Kelly Scott Perdue Archive of Traditional Culture

The Kevin Barry and Kelly Scott Perdue Archive of Traditional Culture at the University of Virginia was first established when Professor Charles L. Perdue began teaching here in September 1971. With the assistance of his wife, Nancy J. Martin-Perdue, numerous student papers, books, recordings, and other priceless items were acquisitioned into the Archive over the next 35 years. This exceptional archive is named in memory of the Perdue’s twin sons, Kevin Barry and Kelly Scott Perdue.

Most of the materials are focused on folklore in America but there are some notable exceptions. The various collections that together comprise the archive are listed below.

University of Virginia Student Papers

Since September 1971, student papers in Folklore, Folk Medicine, Ethnohistory, and Life History courses taught in the departments of English and Anthropology have been deposited in the Archive.

Clivis Harris Music Collection

Clivis Harris, born and raised in Albemarle County, has been playing music in this area, as well as such places as Nashville, and Washington, D.C., for more than fifty years. For most of that period Clivis documented himself and his band, “The Virginia Vagabonds,” by collecting advertisements, playbills, letters, newspaper articles, and other write-ups and by making recordings of the band and its various members.

Gerald E. Parsons Collection

Gerald E. Parsons Jr. was for many years reference librarian in the Archive of Folk Culture, Library of Congress. Upon his death in 1995, the Archive was the recipient of his personal papers.

Edward Winter African Collection

Dr. Edward Henry Winter, late faculty member of the Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia, did most of his field work in Uganda, Africa, producing the acclaimed Beyond the Mountains of the Moon: The Lives of Four Africans in 1959. His papers consist of about 15 linear feet.

Edwin E. Erickson Collection

Dr. Edwin E. Erickson, late member of the faculty of the Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia, worked on the cantometrics project with Alan Lomax at Columbia University and he did ethnomusicological research in South America.

Virginia Writers’ Project Collection

The Virginia Writers’ Project of the Work Projects’ Administration was one of several New Deal programs created in the 1930s to get professional and white collar workers off the relief rolls. Collecting folklore and folksongs in Virginia was one of the activities of the Writers’ Project. The approximately 2,250 original manuscript items of folklore are available under accession number MSS 1547.

Print material is shelved in remote storage facility; researchers should request 24 hours in advance of desired use.

Access to media materials is currently limited due to the fragility of originals and the general unavailability of use copies. Contact Special Collections for more information.