Library of Congress, "Tending the Commons: Folklife and Landscape in Southern West Virginia"
This collection presents 718 excerpts of sound recordings, 1,256 photographs, and 10 manuscripts from the American Folklife Center's Coal River Folklife Project Collection. The project documented traditional uses of the mountains in the Big Coal River Valley of southern West Virginia, and explored the cultural dimensions of ecological crisis from 1992 to 1999. There are extensive interviews with local residents on the seasonal harvesting of natural resources--ginseng, ramps (wild leeks), berries, nuts, fish, and game--on occupations, including coal mining and lumbering; and on the impact of large scale industries such as logging and mountaintop removal mining on local communities. Cultural and religious community events were a focus of the project, including storytelling, community dinners and foodways, baptisms, and cemetery customs.