In 2006, the Alabama Folklife Association (AFA), Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) and the Alabama Center for Traditional Culture (ACTC), a division of the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA), collaborated to establish the AAFC. This special center has the necessary equipment and staff needed to preserve fieldwork documents, recordings, and artifacts of the state's folk traditions. 

From January, 2013 -May, 2015, the AAFC will be funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as a result of a recommendation by the Council on Library and Information Resources, Cataloging Hidden and Special Collections and Archives program.  During the previous three years, funding for the AAFC came from proceeds from the sale of the "Support the Arts" car tag, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and grants from ASCA. Recent funding allowed for the current staff, Kevin Nutt, Folklife Archivist and Weston Flippo, MLIS, Folklife Archivist, to make extensive progress in accessioning and cataloging the collections so that finding aids can be produced and resources can be added to ADAHCAT, the online catalogue.  
To browse through the sources that are digitized and online, GO HERE.

Access for Research:
Housed at ADAH in Montgomery, these collections can be accessed by visiting the Research Room. Hours of operation, parking, policies, and procedures of ADAH are available from this main web site page, Click Here.  

Making a Donation:  
Do you have oral histories, recordings, or any folklore related materials you have been wondering what to do with? Consider donating these materials to the AAFC. If you have material to offer, please contact the Registrar of the ADAH by phone 334-353-4726 or email.     

Special Archival Preservation Services 

  • Digital reproduction of audio cassette tapes or reel-to-reel.
  • Digital reproduction of 45 and 78 RPM phonograph.
  • Digital reproduction of LP phonograph.

All fees will be consistent with those of ADAH and all copyright laws and credits will follow the policies and procedures of the ADAH.​

Example:  Recovering transcription discs.
Click Here for a PDF on the project and treatment.

Other Images Related to 
AFA Collections and Research

Ephimera (above). 
Alabama Community Scholars in action (below)
Contact Us
Primitive Baptist Collection
by Joyce H. Cauthen

Contents:  photographs; 71.55 recorded audio; 5 linear ft. of documents.

Topics:  a cappella hymns sung in church services;  African American congregations of the Sipsey River Association; current recordings of traditions in praying, preaching, moaning, shouting, and singing that date to the 1800s.  

Festival Recordings

Content:  163 taped recordings

Alabama Folklife Festival, Montgomery 1989-1992 and the Sampler Stage, Birmingham City Stages, 1991-2002.

Topics: genres of music include bluegrass, blues, Sacred Harp, southern gospel quartets, African American quartets, and traditional Irish music ensembles.

AFA Joyce H. Cauthen Fellowship Fund

Content:  photographs, audio and video recordings, fieldwork documents, papers, and ephemera.

Topics​:  rural southern cemeteries;  Brookley Air Force Base;   wart healing and traditional medicine; Hispanic cultures of east Alabama; community quilt documentation.

AFA, Alabama Community Scholars Institutes 2004, 2006, and  2008.  

Content:  images, audio recordings of interviews, musical ephemera, and fieldwork documents.

Topics:  Mardi Gras in Mobile, quilting, blues music, fishing, making brooms, basketry, purple martin gourd houses, civil rights, old-time fiddle, W.C. Handy Festival, Trail of Tears, and much more.  

Alabama Folklife Association records, HERE
Alabama Center for Traditional Culture  (ACTC) 

Contents:  slides, reel-to-reel, audio recordings, video recordings, photographs,manuscripts, fieldwork documents.

Topics:  traditional music including shape-note singing and spirituals, old-time fiddle, bluegrass, gospel quartet, and blues; pottery, basketry, quilting, fishing, occupational folklore, memorials, and annual events including festivals. 
Smithsonian Research Project by the AFA

Content: audio recordings, images, notes, and fieldwork documents.

Topics: foodways (stews of North Alabama, gumbo, lacy cornbread, and barbecue clubs of Sumter County), instrument making, Muscle Shoals music heritage, and occupational folklore.

Current collections represent over 30 years of fieldwork conducted by folklorists working in the state of Alabama.   Collections include primary sources of information about traditional foodways, music, folklore, and materials such as quilts and pottery. Contents are photographs, audio recordings, slides, fieldwork documents, papers, and ephemera.  

Photograph above by Karen Jabbour
  • AFA and ACTC, ASCA digital audio tape (DAT) field recordings, 1995-2006.  ADAHCAT link HERE.
  • Dewey Williams sacred music television programs [video recordings], 1960s. ADAHCAT link HERE.
  • VHS recordings 1986-2003, featuring interviews, field recordings, musical performances, memorials, and religious ceremonies.  ADAHCAT link is HERE.
  • Festival Recording collection ADAHCAT link is HERE.
  • AFA and ACTC, cassette tape field recordings, 1987-2006 record and information HERE
  • AFA and ACTC fieldwork slides records and information HERE
  • Collection information and finding aid for 2004 ACSI on the ADAHCAT link HERE.  
  • Collection information and finding aid for 2006 ACSI on the ADAHCAT link HERE.  
  • 2008 ACSI as well as other AFA collections are coming soon to ADAHCAT.
  • Upcoming additions from ACSI 2013 will include gardening, old-time fiddle, Polka dancing, family farms, and stone masonry.