Sarah Bryan

Folklife documentation

Sarah Bryan, a writer and UNC-trained folklorist (MA, 2003), has worked in the field of folklife documentation for two decades. She serves as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Folklife Institute, and Editor of the Old-Time Herald. 

Specializing in the cultural heritage of the American South, Sarah has conducted documentary work for a variety of organizations including the North Carolina Folklife Institute, the North Carolina Arts Council, South Carolina Arts Commission, and Levine Museum of the New South.

Sarah is the coauthor of the books Lead Kindly Light (with Peter Honig, Dust-to-Digital, 2014) and African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina (with Beverly Patterson and Michelle Lanier, UNC Press, 2014). She is currently collaborating with potter and historian Hal Pugh on a history of Southern folk pottery, slated for publication by UNC Press in the fall of 2024.

Please click here for résumé and project history, and here for photo portfolio.

(Top photo: Quilts by Stella Mae Morgan of Ether, North Carolina.)





Please click here for more publications

Selected recent publications:

“The Singing Man,” an essay for Southern Cultures. Fall 2021.

“Beyond the Sea,” an essay about music in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in the 1950s, in the Oxford American’s 2019 Southern Music Issue Number 20.

“Really is Hard to Beat,” an article about Kinston, North Carolina’s heritage of funk music, in the Oxford American’s 2018 20th Southern Music Issue

“Thelytoky,” an essay in the Fall 2018 Potomac Review.

“Life and Death of the Father of Modern Miniature Golf,” an essay published in the Winter 2016/2017 Southern Review, received a Special Mention in the 2017 Pushcart Prizes.

“The Booger,” a short story, in Boulevard, Spring 2017.

Old-Time Herald

The Old-Time Herald is a quarterly magazine about old-time string band music from Southern Appalachia and the wider South, along with related traditions. 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 35th year of publication.

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