Skip to main content

Jean Thomas archive

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 1979_033-PA

Content Description

Original negatives shot by Jean Thomas on her travels as a court senographer and as part of her directorship of an annual folk music festival at Ashland, Kentucy. Known as The Traipsin' Woman, Jean Thomas traveled the mountains of eastern Kentucky taking snapshot photographs of the mountain way of life, writing, and promoting mountain folkways. She was particularly interested in the music, crafts, and language patterns of the area. Included in the Photographic Archives' collection are negatives taken by Jean Thomas during her travels throughout the eastern Kentucky mountains. The images document musical instruments, quilts, baskets, and other crafts, and scenes with community and family groups. The University of Louisville's Dwight Anderson Music Library holds the records of the American Folk Song Festival, established by Thomas, and her personal correspondence as well as clippings, additional photographs, lyric transcriptions, audio recordings, and artifacts. Her books are integrated into the libraries' collections, but the manuscripts of all her writings, including her autobiography The Traipsin' Woman (1933) are held at the Dwight Anderson Music Library.

Acquisition Type


Language of Description


Script of Description


Restrictions Apply



  • circa 1920-1969



1000 negatives (13 boxes)