See previous post about John Edwards.
Edited from “Long Journey Home,” by Bland Simpson and Cece Conway
Early one morning in late April, a truck from California rolled into Chapel Hill, bringing the John Edwards Memorial Collection–nearly a thousand boxes of old 78-rpm phonograph records, sheet music and faded letters–to its new and permanent home at the University of North Carolina. For this archive, assembled by a young Australian, shipped at his death in 1960 to a fellow collector in New Jersey, then back across America to a long residency at the University of California at Los Angeles, it was journey’s end.
“There’s almost no end to the variety of material in those boxes,” said UNC’s Dan Patterson, after the dust had settled in late May. Patterson, the energetic director of the Folklore Curriculum here, was trail boss in the University’s drive to acquire the archive. “We hope we can find a copy of John Edwards’ will in there.”
Edwards’ will directed that the original collection–country music from the early period of its commercial history–be maintained in the United States for research purposes. When recipient Eugene Earle arrived with the archive in southern California in 1962, he and several other scholars and collectors–Archie Green. D.K. Wilgus, Ed Kahn, and Fred Hoeptner–formed the John Edwards Memorial Foundation and found housing for the archive at UCLA’s Center for Comparative Folklore and Mythology. (more…)