Davis Family Library: 9am - 5pm
Armstrong Science Library: 9am - 5pm

Special Collections

Pop Art image of Helen Hartness Flanders

Middlebury College Special Collections and the Vermont Folklife Center are teaming up to invite you to dive into our online collections of folk music.

In response to COVID-19, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress launched the #FolklifeArchiveChallenge, a call to use their digital archives to make something new: remix, remake, re-energize.

    Now it’s Vermont’s turn. The Vermont Folklife Center and Middlebury College Special Collections each hold extensive collections of Vermont traditional music and archives—many available online, for free. So we’re teaming up for the Vermont Folklife Archive Challenge, the #VtArchivesChallenge! Keep reading below or head over to The Vermont Folklife Archive Challenge to learn more.

      Find something old in our archives and re-write, re-record, and re-fresh it. Make it new again.

      So How Does This Work Exactly?

        Wait? What does this look like?

        Well, here’s what it sounds like.

        "Honest John" Eurodance Mix (2020) by numbstation (612+313 ; Pig's Eye Pandemonium Society)

        This remix drew on the dance tune “Honest John” sung by George Bedell of Vershire, Vermont. Helen Hartness Flanders recorded the original on July 7th, 1942.

        numbstation (612+313 ; Pig’s Eye Pandemonium Society) is an audio waveform engineer with an interest in alternate historical narratives of A/V tech in the age of digital, post-fidelity aesthetics. At other times, he is an academic librarian and digital archivist in Vermont.

        "Honest John" (1942) by George Bedell

        And here’s the original. Helen Hartness Flanders and George Bedell, 1942. Phonograph record, converted to tape cassette, converted to a digital mp3 file. Something old, is new again.

        Pop! Helen! Photo illustration by Rebekah Irwin, adapted from an undated portrait of a young Helen Hartness Flanders. The original archival photograph can be found in the Helen Hartness Flanders Collection, Middlebury College Special Collections