This collection, which dates from 1926-1986, documents the output of Moses Asch through the various record labels he founded and co-founded, and includes some of his personal papers. The Asch collection includes published recordings, master tapes, outtakes, business records, correspondence, photographs, and film.
Scope and Contents:
The Moses and Frances Asch Collection measures 841 cubic feet and dates from 1926-1987, with some contemporary, relevant correspondence, clippings, and ephemera added after 1987.
Most of the collection consists of audio recordings (commercial 78 rpm and long-playing records, open reel tapes, acetate discs, and test pressings), correspondence with recording artists and producers, artwork, photographs, ephemera, clippings, record production materials, writings, and business papers relating to Folkways Records. Materials relating to Folkways Records can be found primarily in the Correspondence, Folkways Production, Business Records, Photographs, Artwork, Sound Recordings, and Film series.
The collection also contains some biographical materials and personal correspondence, including materials related to Asch's first business, Radio Laboratories, located in the Biographical Materials series. Correspondence, ephemera, photographs, record production materials, business papers, and recordings relating to Asch's record labels before Folkways Records (Asch Recordings, Disc Company of America, Cub Records) are located in the Early Label Materials series as well as the Audio Recordings and Photographs series.
The collection is arranged in 10 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1942-1987
Series 2: Folkways Production, 1946-1987
Series 3: Business Records, 1940-1987
Series 4: Woody Guthrie papers, 1927-1985
Series 5: Early Label Materials, 1940-1949
Series 6: Biographical Materials, 1926-1987
Series 7: Photographs
Series 8: Artwork
Series 9: Audio Recordings
Series 10: Film
At this time, the collection is partially processed. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
The son of Yiddish writer Sholem Asch, Moses Asch was born in Poland in 1905. His childhood was spent in Poland, France, Germany, and New York. While young, Asch developed an interest in radio electronics, which ultimately lead him to his life's work, recording the music and sounds of the world. He established several record labels in succession, sometimes partnering with other record companies. Two of his fist record companies, Asch Recordings and DISC Co. of America, went bankrupt. They were followed by his best-known label, Folkways Records, which was founded in 1948 with Marian Distler (1919-1964). He was still working on Folkways recordings when he died in 1986.
Folkways Records sought to document the entire world of sound. The 2,168 titles Asch released on Folkways include traditional and contemporary music from around the world, spoken word in many languages, and documentary recordings of individuals, communities, and current events. Asch's business practices revolved around the commitment to keep every recording issued by Folkways in print, despite low sales. Asch stayed afloat by cutting costs where he could (such as color printing) and offering a high-quality product, meticulously recorded and accompanied by extensive liner notes. In doing this, he could charge a slightly higher price than other commercial outfits. Despite a tenuous relationship with financial solvency, Folkways grew to be not only one of the most important independent record companies in the United States in the 20th century, but also one of the largest and most influential record companies in the world.
Moses Asch's record labels featured famous and lesser known American writers, poets, documentarians, ethnographers, and grass roots musicians on commercial recordings. American folk icon Woody Guthrie recorded on the Asch, Disc, and Folkways labels, and the Asch Collection includes some of his correspondence, lyrics, drawings, and writings. The collection also includes correspondence with other notable musicians and artists such as John Cage, Langston Hughes, Margaret Walker, Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter, Pete Seeger, Peggy Seeger, Ewan MacColl, Alan Lomax, Henry Cowell, and Kenneth Patchen. Also in the collection are ethnographic field notes and photographs by as well as correspondence with Béla Barók, Sidney Robertson Cowell, Harold Courlander, Helen Creighton, Laura Boulton, and Samuel Charters. Asch hired various prominent artists and graphic designers including David Stone Martin, Ben Shahn, John Carlis, and Ronald Clyne to create album cover art for his recordings. Much of the original art and designs for these covers can be found in the Asch Collection.
Asch's output of recordings on various labels, including published recordings, open reel master tapes, outtakes, and acetate disks, in addition to his business papers, correspondence, photographs, and other files were acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in 1987. The collection came to the Smithsonian with the understanding that all 2168 titles under the Folkways label would be kept available in perpetuity.
Shared Stewardship of Collections:
The Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage acknowledges and respects the right of artists, performers, Folklife Festival participants, community-based scholars, and knowledge-keepers to collaboratively steward representations of themselves and their intangible cultural heritage in media produced, curated, and distributed by the Center. Making this collection accessible to the public is an ongoing process grounded in the Center's commitment to connecting living people and cultures to the materials this collection represents. To view the Center's full shared stewardship policy, which defines our protocols for addressing collections-related inquiries and concerns, please visit https://folklife.si.edu/archives#shared-stewardship.
Ralph Rinzler arranged the Smithsonian's acquisition of the Moses and Frances Asch Collection in 1987, beginning with Asch before his death in 1986 and continuing with extensive discussions between Rinzler and the Asch family. Since its acquisition, archivist Jeff Place and others have added contemporary, relevant correspondence with Folkways artists and related individuals.
Access to the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections is by appointment only. Visit our website for more information on scheduling a visit or making a digitization request. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies.
The material of the collection relates to a large collection of archeological specimens which Harris began in 1924 and developed into a 100,000-piece amassment. The collection, ranging in time from the paleo-American to the historic, in part represents Harris's own field work but also incorporates material of other workers. It includes material from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, and Montana. It also includes pieces from Bolivia, Central America, Mexico, and Korea. The material is now among the holdings of the Department of Anthropology of Natural History and is managed by the department's processing lab. ; Correspondents include Robert Eugene Bell, Jay C. Blaine, Katy Caver, Claire C. Davison, Robert O. Fay, Dan L. Flores, Jon L. Gibson, Vance Haynes, Lawrence H. Head, Robert Fleming Heizer, Thomas R. Hester, Marsha F. Jackson, Jerome Jacobson, Dan Jank, William K. Jones, Morton B. King, Alex Dony Krieger, Truett Latimer, Robert K. Liu, John Ludwickson, William S. Marmaduke, Roger McVay, K. R. Morgan, Dan F. Morse, Hermes Nye, Dorris L. Olds, Gregory Perino, Stephen Schmidt, Dan Scurlock, S. Alan Skinner, Len Slesick, Robert Lloyd Stephenson, Byron Sudbury, Helen Hornbeck Tanner, Lonn W. Taylor, Ted Thygesen, Marvin E. Tong, Jr., Clarence H. Webb, Mildred Mott Wedel, Frank A. Weir, Fred Wendorf, James H. Word, and Don G. Wyckoff. The collection includes some material about the family of Inus Marie Harris and their early days in Texas.
Please note that the collection contains images of human remains.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
Collection is arranged into 13 series: (1) Biographical material, papers about the Harris collection, and personal material; (2) correspondence, ca. 1964 1979; (3) alphabetical subject file; (4) manuscripts (by Harris and other authors); (5) Texas archeological survey sheets in notebooks; (6) loose survey sheets; (7) miscellaneous notes; (8) sound recordings; (9) printed and processed material; (10) Clem family papers (concerning its early days in Texas); (11) railroad material; (12) cartographic material (archeological, historical, modern maps of Texas, maps of Texas counties (many annotated to show archeological sites), Texas geological maps, miscellaneous maps outside Texas, United States Geological Survey maps, United States Geological Survey and United States Army Corps of Engineer maps annotated to show archeological sites, maps of dams and reservoirs, aerial photographs of a section of Red River; (13) photographs and illustrations.
By vocation, Robert (R.) King Harris was a locomotive engineer who worked for the Texas Pacific Railroad Company. By avocation, he was an archeologist, an amateur, in the finest sense of the word, with a long-time scientific interest in the work. Harris first developed an interest in archeology as a young boy scout in his native Dallas, Texas. During the 1930s, he became a member of the Texas Archaeological and Paleontological Society and also began to meet informally with other amateur archeologists in Dallas. In 1940, he was one of the founders of the Dallas Archaeological Society and served that organization for many years as the editor of its publication The Record. In 1939-1941, he was a curator at the Hall of State Museum of the Dallas Historical Society; and in 1966, after his retirement, he assumed duties as the curator of collections of the Department of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University. For many years, he was also an active participant with the series of Caddoan Conferences. In these activities and his archeological work, Harris worked closely with his wife, Inus Marie Harris. ; As an archeologist, Harris carried out many archeological surveys in Texas and nearby Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. In 1941, under the sponsorship of the Dallas Archaeological Society, he was field foreman of an excavation of burial sites below White Rock Spillway in Dallas County and an excavation of another burial site at the Ragland site on the East Fork of the Trinity River. Again, in 1946, he was field foreman for the excavation of a house site at Bulter Hole site in Collin County, Texas. In 1948-1949, he assisted with the Smithsonian Institution River Basin Survey's work in Whitney, Lavon, and Garza-Little Elm reservoirs. In 1954, he joined Wilson W. Crook in test excavations at the Louis Obschner site near Seagoville and, in 1956, at the well-known Lewisville site in Denton County. He also participated in 1959 in excavations at the Branch site in Lavon Reservoir and, in 1960, directed excavations of a shelter at the Kyle site and the Pearson site in the Iron Bridge Reservoir. In 1962, he worked at the Gilbert site in Rains County, and in 1963, led a survey of Forney Reservoir. In 1965, he was involved in excavations at Glenn Hill site in the same reservoir. In the 1960s and 1970s, Harris also carried out studies of artifacts relating to French trade with Caddoan Indians. Harris was also interested in the travels of early explorers in northeastern Texas including Francisco de Soto and Benard de la Harpe.
The National Anthropological Archives holds MS 1998-28 Catalog of artifact photographs and descriptions from the R.K. Harris collections.
The Human Studies Film Archives holds the Robert King Harris films (HSFA.1992.07).
Received from Mrs. Inus Marie Harris in 1983.
Access to the Robert King Harris papers requires an appointment.
Papers documenting Fred Karger's acting career, his activism for marriage equality, preservation of the Boom Boom Room (Laguna Beach, California) and other LGBT concerns, Karger's political consulting, and his candidacy for United States President, 2012, as the first openly gay candidate of a major political party.
The Fred Karger Papers consist mostly of secondary materials, film scripts, newspapers, periodicals, and clippings documenting activist and former presidential candidate Fred Karger's brief film and television acting career, his activism for preservation of the Boom Boom Room (originally the South Seas) at the Coast Inn, "Save the Boom", and material from his candidacy for president in 2012. The papers contain material related to Karger's activism for marriage equality and other LGBT concerns.
The collection includes material relating to his childhood education, such as school photographs; his acting career, scripts from television shows and motion pictures he appeared in; and brochures and flyers from his political activism, including boycotts of businesses supporting Proposition 8 (protecting "traditional marriage") in California. The bulk of material relates to Karger's efforts to save the Boom Boom Room (Laguna Beach, California) credited with being the oldest gay bar in West of the Mississippi. The collection includes protest posters, some hand made; columns, articles, clippings and magazines containing articles by and about Karger, some gay-oriented, others not. Material from his presidential campaign is also included such as yard signs, posters, and posters from the 2014 documentary, Fred. There is also a framed letter from Richard M. Nixon.
There are also vintage magazines and newspaper articles covering major events, such as President John F. Kennedy's assassination and the attack on 9/11.
These papers are arranged into four series.
Series 1: Activism and Presidential Campaign, 1988-2014, undated
Series 2: Theatrical Scripts, 1971-1976
Series 3: Newspapers and Magazines, 1963-2025
Series 4: Photographs and Ephemera, 1950-2010, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Portions of this biography were supplied by the donor, Fred Karger.
Fred S. Karger was born on Januray 31, 1950 in Glencoe, Illinois, the son of Richard (1911-1998) and Jean Foreman Karger (1918-2003). He attended primary and secondary schools in Glencoe. In the mid-1970s Karger pursued an acting career in Los Angeles, California. He later pursued a career in political consulting.
"Fred Karger is an American political consultant, LGBTQ rights activist, author, political pundit, writer, public speaker, former actor and 2012 presidential candidate for the Republican nomination for President. Karger has worked on ten presidential campaigns and served as a senior consultant during the campaigns of President's Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford.
Karger was a partner in the Dolphin Group, a California based political consulting firm for 27 years. He retired in 2004 and has since worked as an LGBTQ activist. He began in 2006 trying to save a Laguna Beach, California landmark gay bar, the Boom Boom Room.
In 2008 he founded Californians Against Hate, now Rights Equal Rights and led boycotts of four of the biggest donors to California's Proposition 8. He successfully settled three of those boycotts. Immediately after Prop 8 passed, Fred called for the State of California to investigate The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon Church) and later the states of Maine, Iowa, Hawaii and California to investigate the rabidly anti-gay National Organization for Marriage (NOM). In the summer of 2012, he launched the ongoing global Boycott of Amway after its owners, the DeVos family, contributed $750,000 to NOM.
Fred's running for the Republican nomination for president in 2012 made him the first openly gay presidential candidate from a major political party in American history, helping to pave the way for Mayor Pete Buttigieg's run in 2020." [Fred Karger Biography, AC/NMAH Control File, AC1439]
During his presidential campaign Karger appeared on six ballots; New Hampshire, Michigan, Puerto Rico, Maryland, California, and Utah. He campaigned in over 30 states and received, "widespread praise for paving the way for future LGBT candidates." Karger has been interviewed on many local, national, and international television, radio, and webcast programs. His autobiography, Fred Who? was published in 2011.
Donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution by Fred Karger in November 2017.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Duncan Schiedt (1921-2014) was a jazz scholar, writer, photographer, film maker, researcher and pianist. He authored four books relating to jazz history. Many of his photographs and articles were featured in magazines, periodicals and documentaries. Schiedt also collected the work of other photographers on the subject of jazz. The collection primarily consists of photographs created by or collected by Mr. Schiedt.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of Schiedt's own photographs of jazz performers, photographs of jazz performers taken by other photographers, research notes, films, and recordings of jazz.
Collection is arranged into five series.
Series 1: Background Information and Research Materials, 1915-2012, undated
Series 2: Photographic Materials, 1900-2012, undated
Subseries 2.1: Historical Photographs and Negatives, 1915-2012
Subseries 2.2: Artist Files Photographs, 1900-2000, undated
Subseries 2.4: Roscoe Allen Photographic Prints, undated
Subseries 2.5: Individual Instrumentalists Photographic Prints and Negatives, 1938-1990, undated
Subseries 2.6: John Minor Negatives, undated
Subseries 2.7: Indianapolis Theater Photographic Prints and Negatives, 1935-1956, undated
Subseries 2.8: Theater and Vaudeville Negatives, 1910-1948, undated
Subseries 2.9: Glass Plate Negatives and Copy Prints, undated
Subseries 2.10: Publicity and Festival Negatives, 1930-1962, undated
Series 3: Charles T (Ted) Grubb Papers, 1919-1999, undated
Series 4: Scrapbooks, 1901-1950, undated
Series 5: Audiovisual Materials, undated
Biographical / Historical:
For over sixty-five years, professional photographer Duncan Preston Schiedt combined his love of jazz with his love of photography. Born in 1921 in Atlantic City, New Jersey to Jacob and Kitty Schiedt, he later moved with his family to New York City. In the mid-1930s, he discovered the two loves of his life. Ironically, he first heard jazz or "swing music" as it was then known in a radio broadcast while attending a boys' school in England in 1936. Back in the States by 1938, he was enthralled when a friend showed him his basement darkroom and taught him how to develop film. He soon bought his own camera and began taking pictures in the Times Square movie palaces, nightclubs, and big band shows of New York. In World War II, he served as a cameraman in the Army Air Force, where he recorded atomic bomb tests in the western Pacific area, including Bikini Atoll.
In 1950, Schiedt married Betty Benjamin and moved to Hollywood where he worked at the Atomic Energy Commission's film laboratory for eight months. After returning to civilian life, he worked as a photographer in advertising in New York before moving in 1951 to Pittsboro, Indiana, where his parents had relocated. He had two children, Cameron and Leslie.
Thereafter, his interests in jazz and photography merged and became more than a hobby, as he transformed himself into one of the country's leading jazz historians and photographers. He traveled the country to photograph performers in movie houses, night clubs, big-band shows, jazz festivals, and other venues. Schiedt always shot in black and white, since to him that was the essence of jazz. As he wrote in the introduction to his book, Jazz in Black and White: The Photographs of Duncan Schiedt, "Jazz is a black and white music. Its range, from blinding brilliance to deepest shadings, seems to demand the drama that black and white can so easily provide. Consequently, when I take a photograph of a jazz subject, I see it in those terms."
He processed all his own film in his own darkroom so that any picture bearing his name was totally his own work. His photographs have been exhibited in numerous galleries, including the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum, the Chicago Public Library, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the Pensacola Art Museum. While shooting, Schiedt also interviewed his subjects, and those interviews added to his ever-growing scholarship in the field. He was the author of three books, The Jazz State of Indiana, Twelve Lives in Jazz,and Jazz in Black and White: The Photographs of Duncan Schiedt, and co-author of Ain't Misbehavin': The Story of Fats Waller. His photographs and articles have been published in the leading jazz periodicals and magazines. Over the years, he also amassed a first-rate collection of historical photographs of jazz musicians. Both his historical photographs and his original work were featured extensively in Ken Burns' Public Broadcasting Station series "Jazz." Duncan Schiedt died on March 12, 2014.
Materials in the Archives Center
Leonard Gaskin Papers, NMAH.AC.0900
Donated to the Archives Center in 2014 by Duncan Schiedt's daughter and son, Leslie Michel and Cameron Schiedt.
Collection is open for research.
Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
The papers of Japanes American artists Hisako Hibi and Matsusaburo "George" Hibi measure 3.3 linear feet and date from circa 1906-2000. These papers are mainly focused on Hisako Hibi's life and career, with some small elements related to Matsusaburo "George" Hibi. Included are biographical material consisting of immigration documents and interview transcripts; scrapbooks; photographs of family members; printed material including catalogs and newspaper clippings; personal and professional correspondence; records of works sold, loaned and donated; and few sketches. Also found is Matsusaburo's handwritten account of founding the art school at Topaz camp.
Biographical / Historical:
Hisako Hibi née Shimizu (1907-1991) was Japanese American an artist in Hayward and San Francisco, California. She was married to artist Matsusaburo "George" Hibi (1886-1947). Both artists were incarcerated at the Topaz relocation center in Utah during World War II.
Donated in 2022 by Ibuki Hibi Lee, Hisako and Matsusaburo "George" Hibi's daughter.
This collection is temporarily closed to researchers due to archival processing. For more information, please contact Reference Services.
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; partial gift of Lynda Lanker and a museum purchase made possible with generous support from Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker, Agnes Gund, Kate Kelly and George Schweitzer, Lyndon J. Barrois Sr. and Janine Sherman Barrois, and Mark and Cindy Aron