Folk New England has joined forces with the University of Massachusetts Special Collections Department
About six decades ago, a movement began here in New England that has served to inspire our vision and enrich our lives throughout all the ensuing years. During a time of political oppression and social conformity, there was a real new frontier opening up in Boston, in Cambridge, and on campuses throughout the region as young people began to discover and take to heart the enduring strengths and beauty of traditional music.
Folk New England is the living archive of that music and those times. We are an all-volunteer organization whose members have taken on the work of collecting, preserving, and carrying on the legacy that we inherited in those days and carrying it on for future generations. Over the course of the past year, we have endeavored to keep the faith in the following ways:
*continued to collect and digitize scores of 78 rpm records, reel-to-reel tapes, and vinyl records of traditional folk music and the revivals of the 1960’s;
*collected and archived copies of publications from the folk revival era, including the Boston Broadside, Sing Out!, Caravan, and calendars from the Club 47 and other coffeehouses;
*worked with photographers of the period to catalog and digitize thousands of images from coffeehouses, concerts, and folk festivals;
*documented oral histories from key musicians and other participants in the folk revival.
As this work continues, we are pleased to announce that we have joined forces with the University of Massachusetts Special Collections Department and have begun transferring our collections to a permanent archival home at the W.E.B. DuBois Library in Amherst, where it will be available to students, scholars, and enthusiasts.
Now, more than ever, we all need to keep the lamp of traditional music trimmed and burning brightly by keeping this legacy alive. The music of those times engendered a deep commitment to freedom, justice, and equality that remains vital to our salvation today and will be just as important in the future as it was decades ago. We need your help to carry these ideals on, and we hope that you will join us in support of this work. Thank you for your consideration and best wishes from all of us here at Folk New England.