Vermont Folklife Center - Digital Archive

Mad River Valley Project Collection (VFC1991-0004)

Dublin Core


Mad River Valley Project Collection (VFC1991-0004)


Agriculture -- Accidents
Air pilots -- Songs and music
Austrians -- United States
Barn Storming Jack
Barns -- Design and construction
Bed and breakfast accommodations -- Vermont
Buttons -- Collectors and collecting
Camel"s Hump View Farm
Camping trailers
Catholic church -- Vermont -- Mad River Glen (Ski Area)
Chase, Alfred (Crazy Chase)
Dairy farms
Dance parties
Delivery of goods
Depressions -- 1929 -- United States
Diseases -- Diphtheria
Distilling, Illicit
Dredging -- Vermont -- Mad River (Vt.)
Economic development -- Moral and ethical aspects
Education -- History -- Vermont
Electronic apparatus and appliances -- Maintenance and repair
Farm life -- Vermont
Farmhouses -- Vermont
Fire fighters
Floods -- Vermont -- 1927
Folk dance music -- Vermont
Folk music
Folk music -- United States -- Vermont
Folk singers -- Biography
Folk songs
Folklore -- Performance
Food habits -- Vermont
French Canadians -- Vermont
Funeral rites and ceremonies
Galway Bay
General stores
Germans -- United States
Gravel -- Vermont -- Mad River (Vt.)
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.
Herding dogs
Horse racing
Horse trading
Horses -- Training
Hotels -- Vermont
Ice Industry
Immigrants -- United States
Indians of North America -- Vermont
Irish -- United States
Kitchen junkets / Kitchen tunks
Land settlement
Land use -- Planning
Land use, Rural
Logging -- Accidents
Lumber camps
Mad River Canoe
Mad River Glen (Ski Area)
Maple sugar
Maple sugar industry -- Vermont
Maple syrup
Medicine shows
Medicine, Rural -- Vermont -- Anecdotes
Methodists -- Vermont
Milk -- Transportation
Mills and mill-work
Mineral waters -- Vermont
Mumming -- Austria
National Grange
Poliomyelitis -- history -- Vermont
Riot in Warren
Rivers -- Vermont -- Mad River (Vt.)
Rural development -- Vermont
Rural electrification
Rural electrification -- Vermont
Rural free delivery
Service stations
Ski resorts
Ski resorts -- Economic aspects
Ski resorts -- Economic aspects -- Vermont
Ski resorts -- Employees
Ski resorts -- Vermont
Ski troops -- 10th Mountain Division
Skis and skiing
Sugar maple -- Tapping
Sugarbush Resort (Ski Area)
Talc -- Vermont
Tales -- Vermont -- Mad River Valley
Telephone -- History
Tourist trade -- Vermont
Traditional medicine
Trapp Family Singers
Truck drivers
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
Vermont -- Politics and government -- 20th century
Vernacular architecture -- Vermont
Veterinary dentistry
Veterinary Medicine
Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom
Ward Lumber Company
Weather forecasting -- Folklore
Winter sports
World War, 1914-1918
World War, 1939-1945
World War, 1939-1945 -- United States -- Vermont
World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations
World War, 1939-1945 -- Refugees
World War, 1939-1945 -- War work -- Red Cross


Background of the Collection

In 1990 Jane Beck was approached by the regional environmental group, The Friends of the Mad River, about the possibility of conducting an interview-based research project in the Mad River Valley region of Vermont.  After a series of discussions the Friends of the Mad River contracted with the Vermont Folklife Center to undertake a series of 50 interviews with long-time Valley residents that explored the economic, natural and social history of the area, focusing on the towns of Fayston, Moretown, Waitsfield and Warren.  Upon completion of the 50 contracted interviews in 1992, Jane Beck compiled a project report outlining research conclusions and submitted it to the Mad River Planning District.

From the project's beginning the Vermont Folklife Center and the Friends of the Mad River intended to create some form of public program from the research materials.  Proposed ideas for public programming included publishing a book, staging a traveling exhibit and producing a radio program.   In the end both organizations decided to produce a multi-part radio series.  The resulting program, entitled The Mad River Valley: Crucible of Change first aired on regional National Public Radio affiliates in 1995 and again in 2004.

The Interviews conducted for the Mad River Valley Project were completed in two distinct blocks of time.  The first series consists of interviews undertaken between June 10, 1991 and July 12, 1993. These 50 interviews form the core of the original research collection, and were intentionally broad-based and investigative in nature.  The interviews were recorded on analog audiocassette tape using Sony TC-D5M recorders and Sennheiser 421II microphones. The researchers themselves acted as both interviewer and recordist.

The second series of interviews were recorded between February 3, 1994 and October 10, 1995.  These interviews were largely follow up visits with previous informants and were undertaken primarily to create broadcast quality recordings of particular narratives.  As a result, in addition to improved sound quality, the interviews from the second series are generally shorter and more focused on particular topics and/or stories.   The second series of interviews were recorded on Digital Audio Tape (DAT) using Sony TCD-D10 PROII DAT recorders and Sennheiser 421II microphones.  The recording team consisted of audio engineer Miles Smith, producer Ev Grimes, and Jane Beck serving as interviewer.

Photographic documentation for the Mad River Valley Project falls into three areas.  The largest body of image material consists of photographic portraits of research informants taken by Jane Beck in the following formats: color photographic prints and negatives, color 35 mm Ektachrome slides and monochrome prints and negatives.   Additionally there is a set of monochrome prints and negatives of horse floater Floyd Fuller at work taken by Jim Blair; and a set of oversized color prints of Everett Palmer's maple sugaring operation taken by Jim Blair.

The radio series, The Mad River Valley: Crucible of Change was produced by Jane Beck and Ev Grimes, with all audio derived from the DAT recordings.  Beck used print transcripts as a guide to the material and worked with Grimes to shape the audio content of the documentary.  Narration for the series Gregory L. Sharrow narrarated the series.   Background music was performed by fiddler Harold Luce with piano accompaniment  by Greg Brown.  The program aired originally on Vermont Public Radio.

Incoming audio recordings were duplicated to analog audio cassette for use and transcription purposes.   When the original field recording was created on analog cassette, the original cassette was deemed the "master" and all derivatives of it termed "dub".  When the original field recording was created on DAT, an analog cassette copy was created and further dubs were made from this first generation analog copy.  However, this first generation analog audiocassette was also treated as a "master" copy and was not distinguished from the digital source in any collection documentation.  This practice resulted in a great deal of confusion and vexation when the Vermont Folklife Center archive instituted its digital preservation program in 2002.

Transcription was undertaken using standard cassette transcription equipment and a personal computer loaded with Word Perfect word processing software.  The transcriptionist returned the word processing files to the archivist on floppy diskette.  Following the system of archival organization at the time, the archivist created two sets of print transcripts.  The "use" copies were made on standard office copy paper and were integrated into the filing cabinets that contained the alphabetically organized, collection-wide body of "use" transcripts.  The second set of "preservation" transcripts were created on buffered, alkaline paper and stored in filing cabinets along side other ”preservation" transcripts in accession number order.  The Word Perfect transcript files were maintained on floppy diskette as well. All transcript files were eventually transferred to NAS.

Images were stored in various locations across the organization.  The majority remained in the files of Jane Beck, while others were stored in different locations as the organization moved from the Gamaliel Painter House at 2 Court Street, Middlebury, Vermont, to the Masonic Hall at 3 Court Street, Middlebury, Vermont.

In 2002 the Mad River Valley Project was selected for digitization under the terms of a National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Preservation and Access.  The archivist and assistant archivist undertook the work of reorganizing the materials into a system based on project provenance.  Use copies of transcripts were removed from the larger body of alphabetized transcripts.  They were transferred to new acid-free folders, relabled and collocated with other transcripts from the Mad River Valley Project. Original analog and digital field recordings were transferred to digital files by the Cutting Corporation Archival Sound Labs.  ¼" open reel analog preservation copies were created from the digital files as well.

Digital audio files exist in several formats.  Master preservation files were made at 24 bit/96 kHz stereo .WAV files when derived from analog source material and 16 bit/48 kHz .WAV files when derived from DAT source material.  Service High files were created as 16 bit/44.1 kHz stereo WAV files, and Service Low files were created as 128 kbps stereo .MP3 files.  Digital files arrived at the Vermont Folklife Center archive on external hard disc drives and were backed up to an additional set of hard disc drives. All files currently reside on NAS.

Images were scanned by  JJT Imaging and exist in several formats.  Master preservation files were created as .TIFF files.  Service High files were created as .JPG files with pixel height of . Service Low files were created as .JPG files with pixel height  Image files were returned to the Vermont Folklife Center archive on recordable Compact Disc.   Three back up discs were created of each source disc and files were also stored on external hard disc drive and, eventually, to NAS.

Digital word processing files of transcripts were reformatted and saved as ASCII text, Word Perfect 12 files and Microsoft Word 2000 files.


The Mad River Valley Project Collection contains interview transcripts, photographic slides, prints and negatives, audio recordings and fieldnotes generated by Dr. Jane C. Beck, Dr. Gregory L. Sharrow, photographer Jim Blair, recordist Miles Smith and radio producer Ev Grimes in the Mad River Valley region of Vermont. In addition it contains audio recordings and transcripts related to the nine part audio documentary, The Mad River Valley: Crucible of Change that was produced by Dr. Jane Beck and Ev Grimes from the research materials. The interviews and audio documentary were funded by the Friends of the Mad River who contracted with the Vermont Folklife Center to undertake a series of 50 interviews with long-time Valley residents that explored the economic, natural and social history of the area. The nine part audio documentary, The Mad River Valley: Crucible of Change first aired on regional National Public Radio affiliates Vermont, New Hampshire and New York in 1995 and again in 2004.


Austin, Theron (Interviewee)
Bettis, Alden (Interviewee)
Bissel, Gladys (Interviewee)
Blair, Rupert (Interviewee)
Bragg, Willis (Interviewee)
Brooks, Ruth (Interviewee)
Carpenter, Dorothy (Interviewee)
Carpenter, George (Interviewee)
Conrad, Lettie (Interviewee)
Cutler, Frena (Interviewee)
De Freest, Marlene (Interviewee)
De Long, Alice (Interviewee)
Dunbar, Gerald (Interviewee)
Elliott, Rudolph F. (Interviewee)
Eurich, Arlene (Interviewee)
Eurich, Clesson (Interviewee)
Eurich, Ed (Interviewee)
Eurich, Florence (Interviewee)
Ferris, Bernadette (Interviewee)
Fortna, Lixi (Interviewee)
Fuller, Floyd (Interviewee)
Gaylord, Hadley M. 'Hap' (Interviewee)
Gaylord, Hayden (Interviewee)
Goodyear, Ina (Interviewee)
Gould, Florence (Interviewee)
Gove, Bob (Interviewee)
Greenslit, Ruth (Interviewee)
Hartshorn, Katharine 'Kit' (Interviewee)
Haskin, Eleanor (Interviewee)
Henry, Kathryn (Kay) (Interviewee)
Herrick, Mary (Interviewee)
Houston, Virginia R. (Ginny) (Interviewee)
Kingsbury, Madaline (Interviewee)
Larrow, Jack (Interviewee)
Larrow, Jessamine (Interviewee)
Livingston, Guy (Interviewee)
Long, Earl (Interviewee)
Maynard, Wilma (Interviewee)
Neill, Elwin (Interviewee)
Neill, Thelma (Interviewee)
Palmer, Everett (Interviewee)
Palmer, Katherine (Interviewee)
Patch, Nelson (Interviewee)
Perkins, Henry (Interviewee)
Phillips, Kathleen (Interviewee)
Reagan, Mary (Interviewee)
Smith, Judy (Interviewee)
Stiller, Bob (Interviewee)
Thompson, Peggy (Interviewee)
Tucker, Bertha (Interviewee)
Vasseur, Arthur 'Spike' (Interviewee)
Von Trapp, Bernard (Interviewee)
Von Trapp, Maria (Interviewee)
Wallis, Clifford (Interviewee)
Wallis, W. Otis (Interviewee)
Ward, Aline (Interviewee)
Ward, Holly (Interviewee)
White, Dot (Interviewee)
Williams, Sewall (Interviewee)
Wimble, Ralph (Interviewee)
Wimble, Robert (Interviewee)




Beck, Jane (Interviewer)
Beck, Jane (Photographer)
Blair, James P. (Photographer)
Grimes, Ev (Producer)
Sharrow, Gregory L. (Interviewer)
Smith, Miles (Engineer)


sound cassette (analog)
sound cassette (DAT)
digital audio file (MP3)




Still Image





Spatial Coverage

United States (nation)
Vermont (state)
Duxbury (inhabited place)
Fayston (inhabited place)
Moretown (inhabited place)
Waitsfield (inhabited place)
Warren (inhabited place)

Rights Holder

Vermont Folklife Center