Thomas G. Burton – Jack Schrader Collection

1973-1984, 2000-2002

East Tennessee State University
Archives of Appalachia
Box 70295
Johnson City, TN 37614

E-mail: archives@etsu.edu
Telephone: (423) 439-4338

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Introduction

Title: Thomas G. Burton – Jack Schrader Collection
Collection Number: Accession No. 441
Physical Description: 50 reels 16 mm film; 11 video recordings; 1 audio recording
Creator:
  Thomas G. Burton and Jack Schrader
Repository:  Archives of Appalachia, East Tennessee State University

Administrative Information

Provenance:  Dr. Thomas Burton donated the Burton-Schrader Collection to the Archives of Appalachia on May 5, 1992 and May 11, 1994. 

Access: The recordings and films from the collection may not be used in commercial productions without the permission of the donor, Thomas Burton.  The recordings may be duplicated and loaned for educational purposes.  Recordings may be duplicated to provide copies for speakers/performers or their families.

Processing information:  Norma Myers processed the collection in May 2003.  With support from the National Film Preservation Foundation, the original color film components were sent to professional film laboratories, WRS in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2000 and Colorlab in Rockville, Maryland in 2002, for cleaning, duplication of components, creation of a new preservation print, and conversion to video format.

Biographical Note

Thomas G. Burton was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 7, 1935.  He received his B.A. degree in 1956 from David Lipscomb College, Nashville, Tennessee, and his M.A. in 1958 and Ph.D. in 1966 in English literature from Vanderbilt University.  He joined the faculty at East Tennessee State University in 1958 and has served as a professor in the English department until his retirement in 1995.

During his academic career, Burton researched various aspects of Appalachian folk culture including folklore, balladry, and storytelling.  He also has extensively researched the practice of serpent handling in religious services. 

John E. “Jack” Schrader was born in 1935 and was a native of Berlin, Wisconsin.  He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Lawrence College in Wisconsin and his Masters of Fine Arts degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.  In 1962, Schrader joined the faculty at East Tennessee State University and served as professor and chairman in the art department.  Jack Schrader died on November 7, 1993 in Johnson City, Tennessee.

In the 1970s, Burton began working with Jack Schrader to produce a documentary film on serpent handling entitled “They Shall Take Up Serpents.”  They continued their alliance and produced six additional documentaries documenting storytellers, folk craftsmen, ballad singers, and gandy dancers.

With support from two grants from the National Film Preservation Foundation, the Archives of Appalachia sent the original film components to WRS Motion Picture and Video Laboratory (Pittsburgh, PA) in 2000 and Colorlab Laboratory and Telecine Services (Rockville, MD) in 2002 so that the original film components could be cleaned, new inter-positives and negatives created, and new preservation prints made.  In addition, the laboratory converted the films to video format making video preservation copies and public use copies.

Scope and Content Note

The Thomas Burton Jack Schrader Collection resulted from a partnership of the two professors to produce seven color film documentaries about the Appalachian region. The collection contains the 16 mm film components (A and B rolls, inter-positives, inter-negatives, and magnetic sound tracks), original and preservation film copies, and converted video copies of the seven edited documentaries.  New preservation film components and final prints produced by the film laboratories as part of two preservation grants are part of the 16 mm film collection.  In addition, BetaSp, DigiBeta, and VHS video copies of the edited documentary films were made as part of the preservation grant and are included in the collection.

The topics explored by Burton and Schrader in these documentaries fall into five subject categories: their initial work on serpent handling in religious services in “They Shall Take Up Serpents;” regional music in “Buna and Bertha,” a film about two women playing and singing traditional ballads; manual construction of railroads and related work chants featured in “Gandy Dancers;” Appalachian folk craftsmen in “Alex Stewart: Cooper,” Edd Presnell: Dulcimer Maker,” and Ott Blair: Sledmaker;” and Appalachian folk life and lore featured in the biographical work entitled “Buckwheat” or “ A Story about Ray Hicks.”  The films explore these topics often juxtaposing traditional practice against modern American life.

Important subjects covered in the collection are:

Appalachian crafts
Ballads
Coopering
Dulcimer making
Farm life
Farm sleds
Gandy dancer
Old-time music
Railroad construction
Serpent handling

Organization: 

The collection is maintained in a single series: Series I, Documentary Films, 1973-1974, 2000-2002, 62 moving image and sound recordings.  The materials are grouped first by film title with the film components arranged alphabetically by format within each title.  The preservation film and video copies are placed at the end of the film components within each film title.  The Archives of Appalachia has made VHS public use copies of each documentary for use in the reading room.

Series Descriptions

Series I, Documentary Films, 1973-1974, 2000-2002, 62 moving image and sound recordings (50 reels of 16 mm film, 11 video recordings, and 1 audio recording).

The film titles are as follows:

Container List

Series I, Documentary Films, 1973-1974, 2000-2002, 62 moving image and sound recordings (50 reels of 16 mm film, 11 video recordings, and 1 audio recording).

1.       "Alex Stewart: Cooper," 1973 Analog sound recording Roll #1, ¼” reel
2.       "Alex Stewart: Cooper," 1973 B Negative track Roll # 1.
3.       "Alex Stewart: Cooper," 1973 Color original Roll #1, 16 mm.
4.       "Alex Stewart: Cooper," 2000 Color composite A/P (16 mm).
5.       "Alex Stewart: Cooper," 2000 Video preservation copy (BetaSP) Note: A VHS public use copy is available for viewing.
6.       "A Film about Ray Hicks," 1974 B Negative track color original, reel 1 of 2.
7.       "A Film about Ray Hicks," 1974 Color original.
8.       "A Film about Ray Hicks," 1974 Color original, reel 2 of 2.
9.       "A Film about Ray Hicks," 1974 Color original with magnetic stripe, printing roll #2. 10.   "A Film about Ray Hicks," 1974 Final work print.
11.   "A Film about Ray Hicks," 1974 Magnetic track 2.
12.   "A Film about Ray Hicks," 1974 Outtakes (16 mm).
13.   "A Film about Ray Hicks," 1974 16 Magnetic Mix, P-25.
14.   "A Film about Ray Hicks," 2000 Color composite A/P (16 mm magnetic).
15.   "A Film about Ray Hicks," 2000 Color composite print.
16.   "A Film about Ray Hicks," 2000 Color Inter-negative and Optical track.
17. "A Film about Ray Hicks," 2000 Inter-positive.
18. "A Film about Ray Hicks," 2000 Video preservation copy (BetaSP) Note: A VHS public use copy is available for viewing.
19.  "Buna and Bertha," 1973 B Negative track.
20.  "Buna and Bertha," 1973 Color reversal original.
21.  "Buna and Bertha," 1973 16 Magnetic Mix.
22.   "Buna and Bertha," c1980 Video class=GramE>transfer (3/4" U-matic).
23. "Buna and Bertha," 2002 A wind inter-negative  and A optical negative.
24 .   Buna and Bertha," 2002 Color positive check print with optical sound.
25.   "Buna and Bertha," 2002 Video preservation copy A (BetacamSP) Note: A VHS public use copy is available for viewing.
26.   "Buna and Bertha," 2002 Video preservation copy B (DigiBetacam) Note: A VHS public use copy is available for viewing.
27.   "Edd Presnell: 1973 Dulcimer Maker," B Negative track with optical sound.
28.   "Edd Presnell: 1973 Dulcimer Maker," Color reversal original.
29.  
"Edd Presnell: Dulcimer Maker," 2002 A Inter-negative and A negative optical sound track.
30.   "Edd Presnell: Dulcimer Maker," 2002 A wind/Positive sound track.
31.   "Edd Presnell: Dulcimer Maker," 2002 Color positive check print with optical sound,
3
2.   "Edd Presnell: Dulcimer Maker," 2002.Video preservation copy A (BetacamSP). Note: A VHS public use copy is available for viewing.
33.   "Edd Presnell: Dulcimer Maker," 2002.Video preservation copy B (DigiBetacam). Note: A VHS public use copy is available for viewing. "Ott Blair: Sledmaker,"
34.   "Gandy Dancers," 1973 B Negative track.
35.   "Gandy Dancers," 1973 Color reversal original A/B/C rolls,
36.   "Gandy Dancers," 1973 Edited Magnetic track #1.
37.   "Gandy Dancers," 1973 Edited Magnetic track #2.
38.   "Gandy Dancers," 1973 16 Magnetic Mix, color reversal film,
39.   "Gandy Dancers," 1973Work print.
40.   "Gandy Dancers," 1973 Work print and fine outs.
41.   "Gandy Dancers," 1973 Work print, edited
42.   "Gandy Dancers," 2000 Color composite print, A wind/Positive.
43.   "Gandy Dancers," 2000 Color Inter-negative and optical sound track.
44.   "Gandy Dancers," 2000 Color Inter-positive.
45.   "Gandy Dancers," 2000 Video preservation copy (BetacamSP). Note: A VHS public use copy is available for viewing.
46.   "Ott Blair: Sledmaker," 1973 B Negative Track #2.
47.   "Ott Blair: Sledmaker," 1973 Color reversal original, Roll #2.
48.   "Ott Blair: Sledmaker," 2000 Color composite print, A wind/Positive.
49.   "Ott Blair: Sledmaker," 2000 Video preservation copy (BetacamSP).  Note: A VHS public use copy is available for viewing.
50.   "They Shall Take Up Serpents" 1973 A wind optical negative sound track.
51.   "They Shall Take Up Serpents" 1973 B wind negative track.
52.   "They Shall Take Up Serpents" 1973 Color Inter-negative (damaged).
53.   "They Shall Take Up Serpents" 1973 Color Reversal A Roll.
54.   "They Shall Take Up Serpents" 1973 Color Reversal B Roll.
55.   "They Shall Take Up Serpents" 1973 Edited Work Print.
56.   "They Shall Take Up Serpents" Outtakes
57.   "They Shall Take Up Serpents" 1973 Release Print.
58.   "They Shall Take Up Serpents" 1973 16 Magnetic Mix.
59.   "They Shall Take Up Serpents" 2002 A wind color inter-negative.
60.   "They Shall Take Up Serpents" 2002 Color positive check print with optical sound. 61.   "They Shall Take Up Serpents" 2002 Video preservation copy A (BetacamSP).          Note: A VHS public use copy is available for viewing.
62.   "They Shall Take Up Serpents" 2002 Video preservation copy B (DigiBetacam). Note: A VHS public use copy is available for viewing.

The following documents were found in the original film canisters and were discarded:

1.       "Alex Stewart: Cooper," Printing Records, August - September 1974.
2.       "Buckwheat," Packing Slip, February 1978.
3.       "Buna and Bertha," Printing Information, June 1974.
4.       "Edd Presnell: Dulcimer Maker," Printing Record, May 1973.
5.       "Gandy Dancers," Printing Information, May 1973 - January 1984.
6.       "They Shall Take Up Serpents," Mixing Cue Sheets and Printing Information, May 1973 - May 1982.