The Thomas G. Burton Collection includes manuscripts, photographic prints and negatives, audio and video tapes. The manuscripts include dub sheets and tape transcripts, one copy of a songbook, documentation related to the Tennessee Traditions in Perspective Colloquium, and one booklet on Tennessee snake-handlers. The photographic prints and negatives focus on serpent-handling church services in West Virginia and Tennessee. The audio and video tapes cover serpent-handling church services in Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana and Tennessee; folk song and storytelling performances; and interviews by East Tennessee State University folklore students of individuals who have knowledge of different folk practices and traditions in East Tennessee.
The collection is divided into series and subseries as follows: Series 1, Field Research in Folklore Class Materials, 1986-91; Series 2, Serpent-Handling Materials, 1983-89; and Series 3, Other Materials, 1978-90 and undated.
Method of Acquisition
The Thomas G. Burton Collection consists of materials donated by Burton to the archives. Originally the archives placed these materials, donated at different times, in four separate collections. In April 1989 the archives combined these materials into one collection.
A copy of All I Have to Do is Dream: The Boudleaux and Felice Bryant Story has been added to the Archives of Appalachia Media Collection.
Processing of this collection was completed in June 1991 by Norma Myers, Scott Schwartz, Marie Tedesco, and Georgia Greer.