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William L. and Gowan Merson Smith Recordings

Identifier: AppMs-0639

Scope and Contents

The William L. and Gowan Merson Smith Recordings consist of 78 open reel audiotapes and 5 audiocassettes. They include tapes of William and Gowan Smith, live and home performances of fiddle playing, compilations of recorded fiddle playing, and tapes of mass-produced television, radio, and commercial fiddle recordings.


  • 1957-1976 and undated


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.


83.00 sound recordings (78 open reel audiotapes; 5 audiocassettes)

0.25 linear feet

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged into five series. Series 1, William Gowan Smith, 1957-1976 and undated, tapes 1-9; Series 2, Performances, 1962-1976 and undated, tapes 10-58; Series 3 Compliations, 1960-1975 and undated, tapes 59-76; Series 4, Commercial, 1965-1975, tapes 77-83 and Series 5, Printed Documentation.

Some individual tapes included material appropriate for inclusion in multiple series. In these cases, live performances were given precedence over commercial recordings, and the tape was placed in the appropriate live performance series with a reference to the additional commercially recorded material.

Method of Acquisition

Thomas J. Merson of Los Alamos, New Mexico, nephew of William L. Smith, donated the collection to the Archives on April 24, 2003.

Processing Information

John Fleenor, Kathy Meade, and Dusty Hibbs completed processing and the collection was opened for research in April 2004.

John Fleenor, Kathy Meade, and Dusty Hibbs
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