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 home >> about the center >> folklife in your state >> utah
Sketch by cowboy poet Duane Kerr.
Sketch by cowboy poet Duane Kerr. Part of the documentation of the "Trementon Cowboy Poetry Roundup," found among Utah's Local Legacies projects.


The collections of the American Folklife Center contain rich and varied materials from Utah that document the diversity of the state's folk traditions. Among them are unique recordings of Mormon narratives and folklore; and recordings of Ute Indian songs dating from 1914. The Center has conducted extensive fieldwork in Utah, including the 1983 Grouse Creek Cultural Survey, which documented ranching culture in Northwest Utah, and the Italian- Americans in the West Project, documenting the culture and traditions of the Italian-Americans, which culminated in a traveling exhibition and companion book of essays. The material created during the latter project includes hundreds of hours of interviews, thousands of photographs, and transcriptions, some of which were made in Carbon County.


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

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


"Cowboy Poetry: History, Origins, Influences, Forms." Lecture presented by David Stanley, professor of English at Westminster College. Recorded September 14, 2006. [catalog record] [event flyer and webcast]

Dineh Tah Navajo Dancers. Dances and songs of the Navajo Nation. Recorded November 16, 2005: [catalog record] [event flyer and webcast]

Field School

An ethnographic field school was conducted in Utah Valley, near Provo, in 2004, co-sponsored by the Center and Brigham Young University. The focus was the history and traditions related to orchards in the Utah Valley. For more information read Utah Field School Explores "The Fruits of Their Labors," by David Taylor, in Folklife Center News, Fall 2004 (pg. 13-14) [PDF 1.97MB / 16 pages] [text view], and "Recording Fish Tales: A Field School Participant's Experience," by field school participant Lisa Powell, in Folklife Center News, fall 2005 [PDF 2.73 MB / 16 pages]

Field Research Projects

The Grouse Creek Cultural Survey, 1983.

Italian-Americans in the West, 1989-90 [catalog record] [finding aid]

Additional Resources

Educational Resources: View a list of educational materials related to Utah 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.

Publications: Mormon Folklore and Folksong (bibliography from 1970). [full text]

The Grouse Creek Cultural Survey. [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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