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Inauguration 2009 Sermons and Orations Project


A Selected List of Collections
in the Archive of Folk Culture
Containing Sermons and Orations

Compiled by Ann Hoog
January, 2009

This is a brief selection of the collections in the Archive of Folk Culture that relate to sermons and orations by a variety of ethnic and regional groups from around the world. For more information about these and other collections contact the reference staff at the American Folklife Center.

AFC 1935/001: Alan Lomax, Zora Neale Hurston, and Mary Elizabeth Barnicle Expedition Collection
Two hundred twenty-seven 12-inch discs of instrumentals, songs, stories, and church services recorded in The Bahamas, Florida, and Georgia by Mary Elizabeth Barnicle, Zora Neale Hurston, and Alan Lomax, summer, 1935. [view catalog record]

AFC 1935/002: John Lomax Southern States Collection, 1934-35
Two hundred eighty-six 12-inch discs of instrumentals, songs, stories, and church services recorded in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia by John A. and Alan Lomax, 1933-35. [view catalog record]

AFC 1939/001: John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip
One hundred forty-seven discs recorded by John A. and Ruby T. Lomax in various southern states between April and June, 1939. Genres include ballads, blues, children's songs, cowboy songs, dance music, fiddle tunes, field hollers, lullabies, Mexican corridos, play-party songs, prayers, religious dramas, spirituals, and work songs. [view catalog record] [view online presentation]

AFC 1939/005: Herbert Halpert 1939 Southern States Recording Expedition
Four hundred and nineteen 12-inch discs of instrumentals, monologs, prayers, sermons, songs, and stories recorded in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, by Herbert Halpert, March 15-June 23, 1939, for the Folk Arts Committee of the WPA and the Library of Congress. The collection includes one and one-fourth linear inches of articles, contact sheets, correspondence, descriptions, interviews, lists, photographs, reports, and song texts. [view catalog record]

AFC 1940/003: John and Ruby Lomax 1940 Southern States Recordings Collection
One hundred forty-six 12-inch discs of a sermon and songs recorded in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia by Bess Brown, John A., and Ruby T. Lomax, September-November, 1940. The collection includes one and one-half linear inches of correspondence and song transcriptions.

AFC 1941/002: The Library of Congress / Fisk University Mississippi Delta Collection
This collection consists of audio recordings, manuscript materials and moving images which are the products of a 2-year field study conducted by the Library of Congress and Fisk University during the summers of 1941-42. Field research was done in Coahoma County, Mississippi, and contains examples of secular and religious music, sermons, children's games, jokes, folktales, interviews, and dances.  Among the manuscript materials are song lists, correspondence, disc jackets, and research notes. Recordings include blues songs, field hollers, ballads, game songs, gospels and spirituals as well as spoken materials such as interviews, sermons, speeches, jokes, lying contests, and folktales.  The Mississippi records were made in connection with the socio-musical survey undertaken by the Library of Congress and Fisk University.  The Virginia records were made for the purpose of public pressings, and contain the songs of the Ward Family, Mrs. Gladden, and the Ball Family. [view catalog record] [view finding aid]

AFC 1941/004: "Man-on-the-Street" Interviews Collection
Five 16-inch and twelve12-inch discs of interviews from Washington, D.C.; Bloomington, Indiana; Nashville, Tennessee; Burlington, North Carolina; New York, New York; and Austin and Dallas, Texas, documenting the reactions of the "man-on-the-street" to the bombing of Pearl Harbor and declaration of war. Recorded by Robert E. Barton Allen, Philip Cohen, Fletcher Collins, John Henry Faulk, Charles T. Harrell, Charles Johnson, Alan Lomax, John A. Lomax, Robert Sonkin, and Charles Todd, December 8-10, 1941. Recorded as part of the Library of Congress Radio Research Project. The collection includes one linear inch of logs, and transcripts. [view online presentation] [view catalog record]

AFC 1941/014: John Henry Faulk Recordings of Negro Religious Services. Part 1
Forty-seven 12-inch discs of Negro religious services recorded in various part of Texas, by John Henry Faulk, July 1941. [view catalog record]

AFC 1941/015: John Henry Faulk Recordings of Negro Religious Services. Part 2
Forty-two 12-inch discs of Negro church services recorded in Texas by John Henry Faulk, August and September, 1941. [view catalog record]

AFC 1941/018: Robert Sonkin Alabama and New Jersey Collection
Sixty-four 12-inch discs of conversations, interviews, prayer meetings, rhymes, and songs. Recorded at various locations in Bessemer, Camden, Gee's Bend, Greensboro, Palmerdale, Rehoboth, and Selma, Alabama and in Port Norris and Shell Pile, New Jersey, by Robert Sonkin, June 25-July 25, 1941. The collection includes one inch of content lists and textual transcriptions, including Farm Security Administration (FSA) reports about Gee's Bend, 1937-1939, and undated. Only one disc (with 3 songs) from New Jersey. [view catalog record] [view finding aid]

AFC 1942/003: "Dear Mr. President" Collection
Four 16-inch, forty-eight 12-inch, and three 8-inch discs of recorded reactions to war-time conditions in the United States. Recorded by Robert E. Barton Allen, Harry Behn, Fletcher Collins, Duncan Emrich, John Henry Faulk, Helen Hartness Flanders, Charles Johnson, Lewis Jones, Marguerite Olney, Vance Randolph, William N. Robson, Robert Sonkin, and Charles Todd in various locations throughout the United States, January-February 1942. Recorded for the Office of Emergency Management Radio Section program "Dear Mr. President." The collection includes one linear inch of correspondence, logs, and transcripts. Includes a prayer delivered by Rev. R.R. Reese and congregation and recorded in Texas by John Henry Faulk, 1942. [listen] ; and an address to President Roosevelt, made by Rev. Laws, recorded in Austin, Texas, by John Henry Faulk, 1942. [listen]

AFC 1943/007: Lewis Jones Recordings from Coahoma County, Mississippi
Seven 12-inch discs of folksongs, hollers, blues, gospel, poems, speeches about victory gardens, and religious music performed by Asa Ware, Tommie (Jaybird) Jones, Mississippi Gospel Singers, Maryland Davis Upchurch, Ollie Upchurch, Charlie Palms, and unidentified people at the Jonestown School. Recorded in Coahoma County, Clarksdale, and Jonestown, Mississippi, by Lewis Jones, spring 1941. [view catalog record]

AFC 1948/015: Hampton Institute Duplication Project
One hundred 12-inch discs of Negro religious songs, sermons, ex-slave narratives, Joe Louis fights, Eleanor Roosevelt speech, etc. from Hampton, Virginia, recorded by Prof. Roscoe Lewis of Hampton Institute, ca. 1937-1940. [view catalog record]

AFC 1948/057: Joseph Barth Collection of Puerto Rican Religious Ceremonies
Four 16-inch discs of religious ceremonies recorded in Puerto Rico by Joseph Barth, ca. 1948.

AFC 1957/006: Penn Community Services Collection of Religious Songs and Services
Two 10-inch tapes of Gullah dialect religious songs and services recorded by Penn Community Services in Frogmore, St. Helena Island, South Carolina, January 15, 1956. The collection includes a full transcript.

AFC 1959/013: "Música de los cultos Africanos en Cuba" compiled by Lydia Cabrera
Fourteen 12-inch discs entitled "Música de los cultos Africanos en Cuba" (Music of the African cults in Cuba), featuring instrumentals, prayers, salutes, and songs recorded in Agramonte, Jovellanos, Pedro Betancourt, and Perico, Matanzas Province, Cuba, by Josefina Tarafa, ca. 1955. Though the majority of these recordings are of the Lucumí cult, the collection also includes liturgical songs of the Arará and several Congo cults. The collection includes an article by Lydia Cabrera and one-half linear inch of descriptions and lists. Unless stated otherwise all songs are accompanied by a combination of drums, metallic idiophones, and shakers.

AFC 1959/014: Lee Hye-gu Collection of Korean Folk and Classical Music
Sixteen 7-inch tapes of classical music, ancient lyric songs, ancient ballads, sijo, popular songs, shaman songs, chants, prayers, procession songs, opera, rural folk songs, Confucian temple music, and music featuring a variety of instruments. Recorded in various parts of Korea on an unknown date. The collection includes 8 pages of logs with English translations. [view catalog record]

AFC 1965/014: David McAllester Recordings of a Navajo Ceremony
Eleven 7-inch tapes of songs and prayers of a Navajo ceremony, performed by Dine Tsusi. Recorded by Prof. David P. McAllester in Arizona, 1958. The collection includes 6 pages of logs.

AFC 1970/001: Eleanor Dickinson Collection
Twenty-five linear inches of manuscript materials (24 linear inches), sound recordings (86 items), video recordings (181 items), graphic materials, artifacts, and digital files related to Eleanor Dickinson’s fieldwork documenting the religious life surrounding revivalism, primarily as practiced in the Southern Appalachian Mountain region. Inclusive years: 1968-1982.

AFC 1977/023: Center for Southern Folklore Collection of Chapman Family Recordings
Fifteen 10-inch tapes of religious observances, songs, and beliefs of one black family, the Chapmans, of Centerville, Mississippi.  Recorded by Bill Ferris and Judy Peiser of the Center for Southern Folklore between 1972 and 1975.  Includes recordings of house meetings, church services, children's songs and rhymes, gospel and spiritual singing, bible reading, sermons, testifying, and healing.

AFC 1977/026: Alfred Pinkston Recordings of African American Religious Songs
Seven 7-inch tapes of interviews regarding African American religious observances in Florida, especially lined hymns, gospel songs, spirituals, sermons and theology. Recorded  by Alfred Adolphus Pinkston in connection with his 1975 dissertation at the University of Miami. [view catalog record]

AFC 1979/019: Baltimore of Mount Pleasant: A Case Study of the Tradition of the Chanted Sermon in Virginia by E. Henry Willett, III
Thesis (M.A.), 1975 — Western Kentucky University [view catalog record]

AFC 1980/005: Barry Lee Pearson Collection of Reverend O. C. Matthews Recordings
One hundred seventy-five discs of religious music, sermons, and some demo discs for commercial groups, primarily African American, apparently recorded by Rev. O. [Otis] C. Matthews.  Some recordings may have been intended for radio broadcast, some were recorded from radio broadcasts (e.g., the Joe Louis vs. Jersey Joe Walcott fight). Inclusive years: 1941-1955.

AFC 1982/009: Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project Collection
Field survey of various aspects of traditional life, work, and expression along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and Virginia.  Recorded by Thomas A. Adler, Lyntha Scott Eiler, Terry Eiler, Carl Fleischhauer, Alan Jabbour, Geraldine Johnson, Richard McCamant, Wallace Macnow, Howard W. Marshall, Patrick B. Mullen, Blanton Owen, Margaret Counts Owen, and George Price, Jr., under the coordination of Charles K. Wolfe, in August-September, 1978.  Sponsored by the American Folklife Center and the National Park Service.  Collection includes substantial photographic and manuscript documentation. Includes extensive documentation of various religious traditions in the Blue Ridge region. [view catalog record] [view finding aid]. Note: Some of  these recordings are available on a two CD set entitled Children of the Heav'nly King (Rounder Records 1506/1507), and available from the Library of Congress Sales Shop: [view ordering information].

AFC 1982/010: South-Central Georgia Folklife Project Collection
One hundred and seventy-nine 7-inch tapes, 1 5-inch tape, and one hundred ninety-six cassettes from the South-Central Georgia Folklife Project Collection, a field survey of regional folklife including bluegrass music, children's hand games, crafts, folk medicine, foodways, gravestones, narratives, occupational folklore, religious music and services, and songs. Recorded in Georgia by Thomas Adler, Carl Fleischhauer, Alan Jabbour, William Lightfoot, Howard Marshall, Beverly J. Robinson, and David Stanley, July-August, 1977. Cosponsored by the American Folklife Center and the Arts Experiment Station of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. The collection includes 9 linear feet of documentation and logs.

AFC 1986/018: Judy Woodward 63rd Annual Peniel Gymanfa Ganu Collection
Two 10-inch tapes of the 63rd Annual Peniel Gymanfa Ganu including hymns, prayers, and psalms sung in English and Welsh by the congregation of Peniel Church. Recorded in Pickett, Wisconsin, by Judy Woodward for Wisconsin Public Radio, August 24, 1986. Organized by the Welsh Gymanfa Ganu Association of Wisconsin. The collection includes a copy of a four-page program and five pages of correspondence and notes.

AFC 1987/018: William Dargan North and South Carolina Church Revivals
Thirty-four 10-inch tapes of African American church services, songs, hymns, prayers, sermons, testimony, and interviews with individuals, relating to Baptist revivals in Piedmont North Carolina and South Carolina. The collection includes logs.

AFC 1995/005: Henrietta Yurchenco Collection of Puerto Rican Recordings
Thirty-four 7-inch and 5-inch reels. Field recordings from Puerto Rico collected between 1967 and 1979. Song and dance music including bomba performed by the Ayala and Parrilla families of Loiza Aldea. Songs performed by Luis Marcano of Certenijas, processional music of the Fiesta de Santiago in Loiza Aldea. Also pentecostal church sermons in Loiza Aldea and sermons by self-proclaimed prophet Mita in Hato Rey. Interviews with Anna Marcana of Certengas and Castor Ayala (mask maker) from Loiza Aldea. Limited play-list on tape boxes.

AFC 1995/010: Jeff Todd Titon "Powerhouse for God" Collection
Eight 7-inch tapes, 40 10-inch tapes, and seventy-one audiocassettes of white gospel music, sermons, hymn sings, radio broadcasts and interviews relating to Fellowship Independent Baptist Church of Stanley, Virginia, and its pastor, John Sherfey. Includes logs and correspondence.

AFC 1996/058: Erskine Peters / Reverend C. L. Franklin, "The Eagle Stirreth Her Nest" Sermon Collection
One audiocassette of "The Eagle Stirreth Her Nest" recorded at New Bethel Baptist Church, Detroit, Michigan, and duplicated from Jewel Records LP# LPS-0083 (1973). The audiocassette is accompanied by Peters's 78-page manuscript describing his system of transcribing African American prosody, of which the sermon serves as the main example. Examples also drawn from blues, poetry, and rap music.

AFC 2001/015: September 11, 2001, Documentary Project Collection
The collection documents reactions of ordinary citizens in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States through sound and video recordings of interviews and personal narratives; as well as photographs, children's drawings, two scrapbooks, letters and e-mail, poems, ephemera, and a few artifacts. Some items were submitted as group projects of schools, libraries, and museums from 30 states in the U.S., and from American military service personnel and their families in Naples, Italy. [view online presentation] [view catalog record] [view finding aid]

AFC 2004/004: Alan Lomax Collection
Eight hundred forty-five linear feet (appx. 150 linear feet manuscripts; 10,000 sound recordings; 5,500 graphic images; 5,000 moving images) of material created and collected by Alan Lomax and others in their work documenting song, music, dance, and body movement from many cultures. Includes field recordings and photographs Lomax made in the Bahamas, the Caribbean, England, France, Georgia, Haiti, Ireland, Italy, Morocco, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Spain, the United States, and Wales, from ca. 1930 to 2004. Includes interviews about religion, sermons, and religious observances.

AFS 1950B; 1954-2032: Mary Elizabeth Barnicle Kentucky Collection
Eighty 10-inch discs of banjo and guitar tunes, songs, religious music, and sermons recorded in Kentucky by Mary Elizabeth Barnicle, January, 1938. Includes performances by Bill Atkins of Pineville, Willie M. Bledsoe of Pineville, Tilman Cadle of Pineville, the Congregation of Ten Elders of Pineville, Findlay Donaldson of Pineville, Jim and Sarah Garland of Pineville, John Hensley of Pineville, the Mountain Assembly of Church of God in Colmans, and George Roark of Pineville.

AFS 5586-5592: John Vincent Recordings of a Baptist Church Service, Nashville, Tennessee
Five 16-inch and two 12-inch discs of a Baptist church service, including the choir and congregation singing "Have a Little Talk with Jesus," "When Day is Done," and "When the Gateway Opens Let Me In," and scripture and sermon readings led by preacher Zema Hill. Possibly recorded at Hill's Footwashing Baptist Colored Church in Nashville, Tennessee, by John Vincent, on an unknown date. Hill was founder and pastor of Hill's Tabernacle Primitive Baptist Church; died Feb. 5, 1970, at age 73.

AFS 9033-9036: Joseph Hocking Quechua Recordings
Four 12-inch discs of religious hymns, sermons, and songs, in the Huancayo dialect of the Quechua language, accompanied by organ and violin. Recorded in Huancayo, Peru, by Joseph Hocking, August 4, 1947. The collection includes two pages of a content list and correspondence.

AFS 9988-9997: Cyrus B. Koonce Collection of Negro Holiness Church Recordings
Nine 7-inch tapes of a Holiness church service, instrumentals, monologues, poetry, and songs, recorded in Asheville, Comfort, and Seven Springs, songs sung by Vernon R. Lyons, a North Carolina native, recorded in Clintwood, Virginia, and songs sung by Mr. and Mrs. E. D. Edmond, Mrs. L.V. Phillips, and Miss Tessy, of North Carolina, recorded in Washington, D.C., by Cyrus B. Koonce, 1949.  The collection includes fifteen pages of collection lists. 

AFS 10,085: Aaron Greenberg / Hebrew Chants and Prayers
One 10-inch tape of Hebrew chants and prayers performed by Cantor Aaron M. Greenberg of Jersey City, New Jersey. Recorded at the Library of Congress by Hermond Norwood, December 28, 1950. The collection includes two pages of content lists.

AFS 14,234-14,240: Charles Perdue Duplication Project
Seven 10-inch tapes of Negro folktales and church services recorded in Culpeper and Rappahannock County, Virginia, by Charles Perdue, 1969-1970. Includes religious songs and sermons. The collection includes logs.

AFS 14,557-14,568: Bruce Rosenberg Duplication Project
Twelve 10-inch tapes of American folk sermons, white and Negro, including live recordings and air checks. Recorded by Bruce A. Rosenberg, at unknown locations, 1967-68. The collection includes a brief list of contents.

AFS 14,586-145,87: Bruce Rosenberg Duplication Project, Part II
Two 10-inch tapes of Negro sermons recorded by Bruce A. Rosenberg, ca. 1968. Sermons by Rev. Hays, Lockett, Manner, Marcia Proctor [?], Grooms [?]  Broadcasts on WELK-Charlottesville, Virginia. The collection includes a brief list of contents.

AFS 18,877-18,878: Jeff Todd Titon / A.M.E. Church Service, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Two 7-inch tapes of two services [Easter and Memorial Day] recorded at St. Paul's AME Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Jeff Titon, April 22 and May 27, 1973. The collection includes three pages of correspondence.

AFS 19,260-19,267: Jeff Todd Titon and Ken George Recordings of Interviews Concerning Religious Experiences, Stanley, Virginia
Eight 7-inch tapes of interviews concerning white religious experiences with Rev. John Sherfey and members of the Fellowship Independent Baptist Church of Stanley, Virginia. Recorded in Stanley, Phleburg, Luray, Etlan, and Pine Grove, Virginia, by Jeff Titon and Ken George, 1977. The collection includes transcripts of the interviews. Types of materials collected include personal narratives, jokes, conversation, hymns, church services (structure and practices), doctrine and individual experiences, witnessing, conversion narratives, call-to-preach narratives, shouting, testimony, sermons, prayers, and teaching.

AFS 19,369: Ed Morris Collection of Flora Molton Recordings
One 7-inch tape of Flora Molton singing and delivering sermon "The Rejected Stone" at Hagar’s Universal Spiritual Church. Recorded in Washington, D.C. by Dave Deutch, ca. 1972; and an interview with Molton recorded by Josh Brooks broadcast live on WHFS-FM, 1972. The collection includes two pages of descriptions and logs.

AFS 23,212-23,251: Jeff Todd Titon / Stanley, Virginia, Collection, Part 2
Forty 10-inch tapes of church services, prayer meetings, and hymn sings (with piano and guitar accompaniment) recorded at the Fellowship Independent Baptist Church in Stanley, Virginia; interviews with the pastor, John Sherfey, and members of the congregation, recorded in Stanley and Lucas Hollow, Virginia; Rev. Belvin Hurt's "Sunlight of Love" broadcasts and Rev. John Sherfey's "Bible Way Gospel Time" broadcasts, recorded at WRAA Studios, Luray, Virginia.  Recorded by Jeff Todd Titon with Ken George, July, 1976-December, 1979.

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