Known as The Traipsin' Woman, Jean Thomas (1881-1982) 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 digital collection are 1,076 photographs of and by Jean Thomas during her travels throughout the eastern Kentucky mountains and the staging of the annual American Folk Song Festival. The images document musical instruments, quilts, baskets, and other crafts, and scenes with community and family groups, and date from Jean's childhood (ca. 1880s) through the University of Louisville's accession of the collection in 1968 and former Curator of Photography Donald R. Anderson's attendance at the American Folk Song Festival the following year.
The Jean Thomas, The Traipsin' Woman, Collection, accession number 1979_033 in the University of Louisville Photographic Archives, includes 40 linear feet of negatives, prints, and ephemera. The digital collection includes only those non-duplicate images bearing item-level accession numbers: 995 black-and-white nitrate negatives; 3 color Kodachrome safety negatives; 60 black-and-white safety negatives; 12 contact sheets; 2 cabinet photographs; 2 tintypes; and 2 photographic prints.
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