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Thomas G. Burton-Ambrose N. Manning Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AppMs-0025

Scope and Contents

The collection resulted from Dr. Burton’s and Mr. Manning’s interests in Appalachian folklore and related teaching, research, and service activities. A central component of the collection consists of reel-to-reel audio recordings, dub sheets, transcripts, and indices created as part of the professors' efforts to gather ballads, instrumental music, stories, superstitions and beliefs, folk remedies, and accounts of everyday life from individuals in Western North Carolina and East Tennessee. Interviews were conducted by the two professors and their students as part of class assignments.

The collection also includes correspondence concerning ballads, folk festivals, and taping of songs; lists and photographs of informants; newspaper clippings from the "Singing Out" column; plans for the folk festivals; and musical notations of traditional ballads, manuscripts, and publicity for the books which Professors Burton and Manning co-authored.


  • Creation: 1899 - 1989
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1967 - 1971


Conditions Governing Access

Digital access copies to audiovisual material are available for onsite use.

Conditions Governing Use

Recordings from the collection may not be used in commercial productions without the permission of Thomas Burton. With the permission of the archives, recordings may be duplicated or loaned for educational purposes. Recordings may be duplicated to provide copies for speakers and performers or their families. Photographs may not be duplicated without the permission of Dr. Burton. Two photos in Series IX taken by Kenneth Murray may not be duplicated without Murray's permission


37.50 linear feet (28 boxes, 2 oversized folders, 201 audiotapes, 12 video tapes)

Language of Materials



The collection is divided into ten series as follows: Series 1, Correspondence, 1965-74; Series 2, Dub Sheets and Transcripts, 1964-79; Series 3, Indices, 1932, 1965-71 and undated; Series 4, Project Publications and Project Publicity, 1966-71; Series 5, Research Materials, ca. 1969; Series 6, Community Contributions, ca. 1966-74; Series 7, Folk Festivals, 1966-74; Series 8, Tapes: Audiotapes 1-157 and Videotapes BMV 3-6, 9-10, 1964-70; Series 8, Photographic Materials, 1925, 1932, 1956, 1968-1974 and undated; and Series 10, General Subject Files, 1899-1989. Oversized items have been removed and placed in an oversized box and two oversized folders.

Source of Acquisition

Thomas Burton and Ambrose Manning

Method of Acquisition

This research formed the core of East Tennessee State University's Oral History Archives, founded by Thomas Burton and Ambrose Manning in 1968. Later, Burton and Manning were integral to the establishment of the Archives of Appalachia at ETSU in 1979. They donated these tapes and related materials to the archives in January 1979 and the papers were opened for research in May 1979. Burton donated additional materials to the collection in 1989, 1990, 1993, and 2002.

Processing Information

In 1979, Kay Anders processed the original collection. In 1993 and 2001, additional materials were processed and incorporated into the collection by Marie Tedesco and Thomas Sneed.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of Appalachia Repository

PO Box 70295
344 J.L. Seehorn Jr. Rd.
Johnson City TN 37614 USA