The Library of Congress
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Tulare Migrant Camp
American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

This collection is no longer updated in American Memory. Please visit the up to date presentation: Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection


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Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection is an online presentation of a multi-format ethnographic field collection documenting the everyday life of residents of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant work camps in central California in 1940 and 1941. This collection consists of audio recordings, photographs, manuscript materials, publications, and ephemera generated during two separate documentation trips supported by the Archive of American Folk Song (now the Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center).

Todd and Sonkin, both of the City College of New York (currently the City College of the City University of New York), took disc recording equipment supplied by the Archive of American Folk Song to Arvin, Bakersfield, El Rio, Firebaugh, Porterville, Shafter, Thornton, Visalia, Westley, and Yuba City, California. In these locales, they documented dance tunes, cowboy songs, traditional ballads, square dance and play party calls, camp council meetings, camp court proceedings, conversations, storytelling sessions, and personal experience narratives of the Dust Bowl refugees who inhabited the camps.


The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its resources available and useful to Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. The goal of the Library's National Digital Library Program is to offer broad public access to a wide range of historical and cultural documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning.

The Library of Congress presents these documents as part of the record of the past. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these collections, which may contain materials offensive to some readers.


Understanding the Collection

About the Collection

Publications & Ephemera

Correspondence

Research Materials

The Migrant Experience

Collecting Expedition

Selected Bibliography

Related Resources

Collection Connections

Working with the Collection

Viewer Information:
Audio, Images, and Text

How to Order Audio and Photographic Reproductions

Copyright and Other Restrictions

Acknowledgments


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