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The American Folklife Center
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 home >> about the center >> folklife in your state >> nevada
Prize winning quilt by Nevada quilter Patricia Encarnacion
Prize winning quilt by Nevada quilter Patricia Encarnacion from the online collection Quilts and Quiltmaking in America: 1978-1996.


The collections of the American Folklife Center contain rich and varied materials from Nevada that document the state's diverse folk traditions. Among its unique recordings are Ute, Northern Paiute, Washoe, and other Native American music recordings made by Omer Stewart in 1938 and Willard Rhodes in 1949; cowboy songs and stories by Jack H. "Powder River" Lee of Virginia City, 1942; oral histories and stories of traditional life made by Duncan Emrich, 1950; and Basque radio broadcasts from Station KELK in Elko, from the 1970s.

Between 1978 and 1982, the Center conducted the Paradise Valley Folklife Project to document and analyze the traditional life and work of a ranching community in Nevada (the project was developed in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution and the National Endowment for the Arts). Documentary materials from the project include fieldnotes; sound, motion picture, and video recordings; and 30,000 black-and-white negatives and color transparencies.


National Sampler Project : Selections from Nevada Collections: Listen to audio recordings and view photographs. Learn more about the National Sampler Project.

Finding Aid: View a complete list of our Nevada collections.

Local Legacies: This project provides a "snapshot" of local culture as it was expressed in the year 2000. View Nevada's Local Legacies projects.

Veterans History Project: Browse state collections from the Veterans History Project.

Songs of America: Browse an interactive state map for selected songs from the American Folklife Center’s collections, as well as songs from the Library’s Music Division and Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.

Online Presentation: Buckaroos in Paradise: Ranching Culture in Northern Nevada, 1945-1982: Documentation of a Nevada cattle-ranching community with a focus on the family-run Ninety-Six Ranch. The material was collected as part of the Paradise Valley Folklife Project conducted by American Folklife Center from 1978-1982.

Additional Resources

Educational Resources: View a list of educational materials related to Nevada from A Teacher's Guide to Folklife Resources.

Folklife Resources: Find state folklife-related agencies, societies, archives, higher education programs, and more, in Folklife Sourcebook: A Directory of Folklife Resources in the United States.

Public Programs: Buckaroos in Paradise (exhibit), Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1980

A meeting of state folklorists and folk arts coordinators at the Library of Congress provided the setting for discussions the led to what has become one of the most successful folk arts programs in the country, the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, sponsored by the Western Folklife Center, 1980

Old Ties, New Attachments: Italian-American in the West (exhibit), Reno, 1992-93

Publications: Buckaroos in Paradise: Cowboy Life in Northern Nevada. [catalog record]

Old Ties, New Attachments: Italian-American Folklife in the West. [catalog record]


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   May 15, 2015
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