August 22, 2014

Folklife documentation

412983_10151729244495386_1567522362_oSarah Bryan, a UNC-trained folklorist (MA, 2003), has worked in the field of folklife documentation for more than a decade. Specializing in the cultural heritage of the American South, she has conducted documentary work for and with a variety of organizations including the North Carolina Folklife Institute, North Carolina Arts Council, South Carolina Arts Commission, and Levine Museum of the New South.

Current projects:

For the South Carolina Arts Commission, the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, and the South Carolina Arts Alliance, conducting documentary fieldwork to identify traditional artists in Horry, Berkeley, Sumter, Dillon, Florence, and Kershaw Counties, South Carolina. The project is the current phase of the Survey of South Carolina Tradition Bearers.

For the North Carolina Folklife Institute, conducting documentary fieldwork and historical research on the traditions of Cumberland, Hoke, Scotland, and Robeson Counties, North Carolina.

For the Brunswick Arts Council, researching the musical heritage of menhaden fishermen in the area of Southport, North Carolina.

August 22, 2014



Recent publications:

Lead Kindly Light: Pre-War Music and Photographs From the American South, co-authored with Peter Honig, and co-produced with Peter Honig and Lance Ledbetter; a book-CD set of early Southern photography from Sarah Bryan’s collection and pre-War 78 rpm Southern recordings from the collection of Peter Honig. November 2014, Dust-to-Digital.



aamt-coverAfrican American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina, a visitor’s guide to exploring the African American musical heritage of eastern North Carolina. Co-authored with folklorists Beverly Patterson and Michelle Lanier, and produced in collaboration with more than 90 musicians from Eastern North Carolina. 2013, North Carolina Arts Council and University of North Carolina Press.



“Coke Is It: A Love Story,” for the NCFOOD blog of the North Carolina Folklife Institute. December 13, 2013.

An untitled essay about Depression- and Prohibition-era country music, introducing Disc 2 of the three-disc set Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard: Hard Time, Good Time, and End Time Music, 1923 – 1936. The set, produced by Nathan Salsburg and released in November 2012 by Tompkins Square, also includes antique photographs and paper ephemera from Sarah Bryan’s collection. (Update: Producer Nathan Salsburg has received a 2014 GRAMMY nomination for his notes to Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard.)

“Bless Her Heart,” an essay in Never a Pal Like Mother: Vintage Songs and Photographs of the One Who’s Always True, a 2011 book-and-two-CD set on the Dust-to-Digital label.

Moon North Carolina,  a 2010 travel guide to the state of North Carolina, in Avalon Travel’s international Moon Handbooks series.

Moon North Carolina Coast, a 2010 travel guide to Eastern North Carolina, in the Moon Spotlight series from Avalon Travel.

Click here for more publications.

August 21, 2014

Old-Time Herald

Editor, Old-Time Herald

Executive Director, Old-Time Music Group

The Old-Time Herald is a quarterly magazine about old-time string band music, from or in the traditions of the American South. Published by the nonprofit Old-Time Music Group, the OTH was founded in 1987 in Galax, Virginia, by Alice Gerrard. Now based in Durham, North Carolina, we are celebrating our 27th year of publication.

August 20, 2014

Antique photos

Collector of vintage snapshots and vernacular portraits, blogging at Everyday Ago.

Photographs from the collection appear in:

Lead Kindly Light: Pre-War Music and Photographs from the American South , by Peter Honig and Sarah Bryan.

Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard: Hard Time, Good Time, and End Time Music, 1923 – 1936, 2012 Tompkins Square three-disc set produced by Nathan Salsburg, and featuring essays by Salsburg, Bryan, Amanda Petrusich, and John Jeremiah Sullivan. (2014 GRAMMY nomination: Nathan Salsburg, Best Album Notes)

Talking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued from the Past, by Ransom Riggs, (2012), Harper Collins imprint It Books.

Never a Pal Like Mother: Vintage Songs and Photographs of the One Who’s Always True, a 2011 Dust-to-Digital release with text by Rosanne Cash and Sarah Bryan.

“Artist Unknown/The Free World,” a 2010/2011 exhibition organized by Oliver Wasow and John D. Monteith at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood (Florida).


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