The Louisiana Folklife Program Project Files

The Louisiana Folklife Program Project Files (Mss. 4730) are comprised of correspondence, field recordings and oral histories, and project files of its various programming efforts, publications, and projects designed to document and promote the folk ways of Louisiana.

Included are the records of projects funded by the Program and for which the Program received funding, including the Louisiana Folklife Festival, folklife surveys of the state’s regions and parishes, participation in the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife, the New Populations Project, the Louisiana Voices educational program, and others. Early materials relate to the establishment of the Folklife Program and include correspondence and legislation.

Folk Regions

The records also include printed items, reports, grant applications, clippings, and articles about or from agencies within the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism; other state agencies; various cultural institutions, programs, and festivals in the state; and out of state, national, and federal folklife-related agencies and organizations.

A large component of the collection is comprised of over 1800 audio recordings made by project staff and contracted workers at festivals or as part of folklife documentation projects. The majority have associated documentation such as timed indexes or recording logs or summaries. Topics include Acadian and African American history and traditions, farming, hunting, fishing, oil industry, small town life, education, family life, music, ghost stories, politicians, military, religion, legendary characters, civil rights, crime, hurricanes, floods, transportation and riverways.

Making Pinatas

Interviews represent people from most regions of Louisiana, including Baton Rouge, Breaux Bridge, Bogalusa, Kinder, Livingston Parish, Morgan City, Lake Charles, Lacombe, LaRose, Lecompte, Many, Sabine Parish, Mansfield, Colfax, Clinton, Covington, Cameron Parish, Crowley, Church Point, Delcambre, Eunice, Des Allemands, Fisher, Gillian, Donaldsonville, Forest Hill, Gonzales, Franklinton, Hammond, Independence, Port Allen, St. Francisville, Ruston, New Orleans, Napoleonville, Morgan City, New Iberia, Lafayette, Lake Providence, Jeanerette, Jonesboro, Mansfield, Minden, Monroe, Natchitoches, Madisonville, Washington Parish, Winnfield, St. Martinville. The Piney Woods region of Louisiana and the parishes of Iberville, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge, Calcasieu, Beauregard, Allen, Jefferson Davis, Vernon, Acadia, St. Landry, St. Martin, and Evangeline are also documented.

Also present are recordings with individuals representing various immigrant groups about their cultural traditions. Included among these are interviewees who identify as Hungarian, Italian, Vietnamese, Cajun, Islenos, Filipino, German, Nicaraguans, Chinese, Cuban, Garifuna, Guatemala, Honduran, Mexican, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Muslim, and Hispanic.

Contact Tara Laver at for additional information.