ELKINS, W.Va. -- Davis & Elkins College's Augusta Heritage Center is working to digitally preserve rare audio recordings of performances at the West Virginia State Folk Festival.The festival's first president, the late Fern Rollyson of Glenville, made the 19 recordings on quarter-inch reel-to-reel tape in the mid-1950s through the 1970s.
The West Virginia Humanities Council awarded a $1,500 matching grant for the project.Augusta Folk Art coordinator Gerry Milnes says in a news release that the recordings captured some of the only existing performances of traditional musicians from central West Virginia.
The recordings are stored in a climate-controlled room at the Booth Library. Milnes says reel-to-reel tape isn't a permanent archival medium. Digitizing the recordings will ensure their archival quality and value.