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Thomas G. Burton and Thomas F. Headley Tapes

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AppMs-0227

Scope and Contents

This collection consists primarily of the materials generated during the production of Thomas Burton’s and Thomas Headley’s three documentaries: Carson Springs: A Decade Later (1983), Following the Signs: A Way of Conflict (1987), and Traditional Springs: Violence in the South (1985). The collection documents the religious practices of two Pentecostal-Holiness churches in Cocke County, Tennessee: the Holiness Church of God in Jesus Name in Carson Springs and the Jesus Christ Apostolic Church in Newport. Among the practices explored are serpent handling, casting out devils, speaking in tongues, and drinking poison. This collection also documents the history, causes, and incidence of violence in the South.

The video and sound recordings in this collection include three full-length documentaries, interviews, outtakes, and stock footage. Added materials are listed under "Related Recordings." Included is the video, A Stand-Up Con. Unless otherwise noted, Thomas Burton conducted the interviews found in this collection. Although a few of the serpent-handling tapes date from the early 1970s, most of the tapes date from the 1980s.


  • 1973, 1983-1987 and undated


Conditions Governing Access

Commercial use of Burton-Headley recordings requires permission of Thomas Burton. Commercial use of other recordings requires the permission of the copyright holder.


127.00 item(s) (125 video recordings, 2 sound recordings, 1 folder (tape logs))

Language of Materials



This collection is organized in five series: Series 1, Carson Springs: A Decade Later, 1983, 1985; Series 2, Following the Signs: A Way of Conflict, 1987; Series 3, Traditional Springs: Violence in the South, 1985; Series 4, Related recordings, 1973, 1983, 1985, 1987; and Series 5, Tape logs, 1973-1987.

Method of Acquisition

Collection donated by Thomas Burton and Thomas Headley, 1984-1988, 2002, 2006.

Processing Information

This collection was organized by Marie Tedesco in 1990. It was reorganized by Bradley Reeves in 2003, when access and preservation copies of the original audio and videocassettes were made.

Marie Tedesco and Bradley Reeves
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of Appalachia Repository

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