Berkeley Folk Music Project Receives NEH Funding

A $30,000 National Endowment for the Humanities “Digital Projects for the Public” Grant will support the development of a website with interactive essays, an audio podcast, and the curation of an archive about the Berkeley Folk Music Festival, which took place at the University of California, Berkeley from 1958 to 1970.

Dr. Michael Kramer, assistant professor in the Department of History at SUNY Brockport, received a $30,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Projects for the Public Grant to continue work on the Berkeley Folk Music Festival Project. The grant will support the development of a website with interactive essays, an audio podcast, and a curated archive about the Berkeley Folk Music Festival, which took place at the University of California, Berkeley from 1958 to 1970. The Festival offers a window into the vibrant and understudied West Coast folk music and cultural milieu of the 1960s.

The archival repository for the Festival resides at Northwestern University Libraries’ Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections and University Archives. Kramer’s project builds on a previous NEH grant received by the Northwestern University Library system to digitize the collection, with Kramer consulting on that project.

Kramer has taught a course connected to the project, Digitizing Folk Music History, at Northwestern, Middlebury College, and now SUNY Brockport. With the new NEH DPP grant, graduate and undergraduate students in SUNY Brockport’s Department of History will participate as research assistants on the project, which includes a partnership with a web design firm, Extra Small Design, based in Phoenix, Arizona.

The award will be administered by The Research Foundation for SUNY Brockport. More about the Berkeley Folk Music Festival Project can be found at bfmf.net.

Pete Seeger performing in the Hearst Greek Amphitheater at the University of California, Berkeley as part of the 1963 Berkeley Folk Music Festival. Photographer unknown.

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