May 19, 2022

University of Arkansas Launching the Digital Ozark Folksong Collection Online

From U. of Arkansas:

The Ozark Folksong Collection, collected between 1949 and 1965, is the largest and most complete collection of traditional music and associated materials from Arkansas and the Ozarks in the nation. Now available online, the collection contains recordings of songs, tales, instrumentals, and conversations from over 700 performers.

The recordings illustrate a rich diversity of cultures, economic classes, occupations along with topics including politics, regional conflicts, emotional bonds, and religious beliefs of the era. The opening celebration honors the legacy of Mary Celestia Parler, the primary collector of this collection.


Researchers can find items in the collection through a large number of access points, including keyword searches, alternative song titles, place of recording, performer’s name, collector’s name, and more. The songs are identified with important texts and linked to other important collections, connecting Parler’s work with her contemporaries.

Learn More About the Collection

Direct to Ozark Folksong Collection

The online collection contains approximately 4000 transcriptions and over 4500 audio recordings.

The recordings and accompanying materials cover topics such as politics, regional conflicts and discord, emotional bonds and relationships both within and outside the family, and the changing roles of family members. Hymns and other church songs document important religious beliefs of that era.

The items in this digital collection are a part of the University of Arkansas Folklore Research Project. Begun in 1949 and completed in 1965, the project was a joint activity of the University English Department, the Speech Department, and the University Libraries. The collections from this project were transferred to the University of Arkansas Libraries Special Collections Department in 1973. Ownership of the collection resides with the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.