Overview

Title: Ola Belle Reed collection
Call Number: Coll122
Creator: Reed, Ola Belle, 1916-2002
Dates: 1888-1988; bulk 1933-1988
Size: 24 boxes (24 linear feet)
Language: English
Abstract: The collection consists of audio, visual, and printed materials documenting the Appalachian migration to Maryland (1930s-1960s) and the career and family of musician Ola Belle Reed. The collection includes Reed's autoharp, personal affects and clothing, as well as recorded sound, photographs, and material collected by Reed.
Citation: Ola Belle Reed collection, Maryland Traditions Archives, Collection 122, Special Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Baltimore, MD)

Administrative/Biographical Note

Ola Belle Reed (nee Campbell) (1916-2002) was a singer, songwriter and musician from Lansing, North Carolina. During the Great Depression, she moved with her family to Northeastern Maryland, where she lived until her death in 2002.

Reed’s grandfather Alexander Campbell was a Primitive Baptist preacher and fiddle player and her father played fiddle, banjo, guitar, and organ and formed a string band with his brother and sister Ellen. An uncle, Herb Osborne, sang mining songs from the coalfields of West Virginia. Her grandmother and mother sang ballads and topical songs in the Appalachian tradition. As a member of the North Carolina Ridge Runners with her brother Alex, Reed played oldtime banjo and sang for the Appalachian migrant audience in the Maryland-Delaware- Pennsylvania area.

From 1949-1960, local radio station WASA delivered a broadcast of “Campbell’s Corner,” a live broadcast from Campbell’s Corner – a general store located in Oxford, Pennsylvania, which was operated by Alex Campbell and Ola Belle (Campbell) Reed. The back of the store had a stage on which live music was played (typically bluegrass, including Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, and others) and a small number of seats for a live audience. Alex and Ola Belle and the New River Boys were the musical hosts and emcees of the program, which expanded from a 30 minute broadcast to a 3 hour broadcast between 1949-1960. Beginning in 1960, the “Campbell’s Corner” show was broadcast on WCOJ in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, before being picked up by WWVA in Wheeling, West Virginia. In addition to performing and broadcasting, the family opened a country music park called the New River Ranch near Rising Sun, MD.

Through the years, Reed wrote a number of songs about her Appalachian past and her commitment to family traditions, religious values, and social justice. In 1978, the University of Maryland awarded her an honorary doctorate of letters for her contributions to the arts and culture of Maryland and the United States.


Scope & Content

Arrangement

Organized into two series: Series I. Manuscript materials, files, and personal correspondence, 1888-1988. Series II. Ephemera, circa 1950-1980.

Series I. Manuscript materials, files, and personal correspondence

  1. Promotional Materials
  2. Personal documents and correspondence
  3. Media and Materials

Series II: Ephemera

  1. Textiles
  2. Musical instruments

Note

Materials from the Ostend Street office consist of digitized copies and related printed material from selected audio tapes at the National Council for the Traditional Arts. Materials from the NCTA consist of other audio tapes. Materials at the Maryland State Archives include personal ephemera (musical instruments, stage outfits, crafts, letters, photo albums, etc.) donated by Ola Belle Reed to MSAC for use in museum exhibitions related to Maryland folklife.


Provenance Information

Provenance and Acquisition Information

Collection donated to the Maryland Folklife Program by Jason David Pate in the 1980s. The collection was donated by the Maryland State Arts Council in 2014 in three accessions: the first on January 14, 2014 from the NCTA; the second on March 5, 2014 from the Arts Council's Ostend St. office; and the third in 2014 from the Maryland State Archives. Accessions: MSS 2013-06, MSS 2014-02, MSS 2014-08.

Related Collections

Ola Belle Reed duplication project, AFC 1970/020, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).Jason T. Pate Recording of Alex Campbell and Ola Belle Reed, AFC 1971/049, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).Henry Glassie collection of Ola Belle Reed and family recordings, AFC 1976/043, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).1977 Neptune Plaza Concert Series collection, AFC 1977/003, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).Henry Glassie duplication project, AFC 1979/085, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).1977 Inaugural folk dance and concert collection, AFC 1980/039, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).Mike Seeger collection, AFC 1995/004, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).

Processing Note

Processed primarily by Nichole Procopenko in 2015, with assistance from Yuri Zietz. Collection processing included reuniting a previously dispersed collection of materials that originated with the Reed family. Materials from the Maryland State Arts Council office consist of digitized copies and related printed material from selected audio tapes at the National Council for the Traditional Arts. Materials from the NCTA consist of other audio tapes. Materials at the Maryland State Archives include personal ephemera (musical instruments, stage outfits, crafts, letters, photo albums, etc.) donated by Ola Belle Reed to MSAC for use in museum exhibitions related to Maryland folklife.

Descriptive Rules Used

Describing Archives: a Content Standard (DACS)

Archives Processing Manual: Description (2015): The processing manual used in Special Collections for all descriptive platforms, including PastPerfect.


Access & Use

Finding Aids

Finding aid available.

Finding Aid: http://library.umbc.edu/speccoll/findingaids/coll122.php

Access Conditions

No restrictions.

Conditions Governing Reproductions and Use

Reproductions allowed for research purposes. Copyright maintained by the creator.


Subject Headings

Creators

Reed, Ola Belle, 1916-2002

Pate, Jason Thomas

Subjects

Bluegrass music

Bluegrass musicians

Folk music -- Appalachian Region, Southern

Folk musicians

Folk songs, English -- Appalachian Region, Southern

Reed, Ola Belle, 1916-2002 -- Archives


Series Description & Container List

  1. Series I. Manuscript materials, files, and personal correspondence

    Date: 1888-1988

    Extent: 16 boxes (15 linear ft.)

    Description: This series collects files, handwritten notes, promotional materials, correspondence, and miscellaneous paper holdings from Ola Belle Reed. Series arranged by type of material.

    1. Subseries I.A: Promotional Materials

      Date: 1906-1988

      Extent: 11 boxes (9 linear ft.)

      Description: This subseries collects posters and fliers, music programs, and other materials related to Ola Belle Reed's professional career.

      1. Folder Title/Description Date Box # Folder # Additional Info.
        Recognitions 1982-1984 1 1
        Correspondence from binder 1935-1976 1 2
        No Year (fliers + program materials) undated 1 3
        1970 - PA Civic Center programs 1970 1 4
        1971 - PA Civic Center program materials 1971 1 5
        1973 - Nat'l Folk Festival Assn. program 1973 1 6
        1974 - various program materials 1974 1 7
        1975 - ticket stub 1975 1 8
        1977 - program materials 1977 1 9
        1978 - fliers and program materials 1978 1 10
        1979 - Delaware Bluegrass program 1979 1 11
        1981 - fliers 1981 1 12
        1982 - program materials 1982 1 13
        1983 - fliers and program materials 1983 1 14
        1988 - fliers 1988 1 15
        SAVES undated 1 16
        newsletters/mailers/Ola Belle/J. Pate ca. 1969-1971 1 17
        newsletters/mailers/Ola Belle/J. Pate ca. 1968-1975 1 18
        Ola Belle photographs + ephemera 1969-1972 1 19
        MFPR C. Camp posters + ephemera ca. 1970-1974 1 20
        MFPR C. Camp posters + ephemera undated 1 21
        concert fliers - Ola Belle or Jason Pate ca. 1976-1978 1 22
        [fliers and program materials] ca. 1970-1974 1 23
        [fliers and correspondence] undated 1 24
        oversized fliers 1968-1972 2 1
        fliers and ephemera - Charley Camp ca. 1971-1974 3 1
        music publications, songbooks, and programs 1967-1975 4 1
        music publications, songbooks, and programs 1975-1977 4 2
        music publications, songbooks, and programs 1978-1980 4 3
        music publications, songbooks, and programs 1982-1983 4 4
        music publications, songbooks, and programs 1906-1962 5 1
        music publications, songbooks, and programs 1963-1967 5 2
        music publications, songbooks, and programs 1976-1978 5 3
        music publications, songbooks, and programs 1979-1982 5 4
        press clippings + music publications ca. 1965-1980 6 1
        personal ephemera + framed photographs ca. 1976-1977 7 1
        Personal correspondence - Candlewood Elementary 1977 8 1
        news clippings: Ola Belle ca. 1970-1983 9 1
        Havre de Grace scrap book 1951-1953 10
        concert fliers, Winter Folk Festival + Carousel Concerts ca. 1971 11 1
    2. Subseries I.B: personal documents and correspondence

      Date: 1966-1984

      Extent: 3 boxes (3 linear ft.)

      Description: This subseries collects files and correspondence from Ola Belle Reed's personal collection.

      1. Folder Title/Description Date Box # Folder # Additional Info.
        Correspondence, Agnes Thomas poetry undated 12 1
        Travel Ephemera, brochures undated 12 2
        Personal Correspondence - Glassie, Henry, 1 of 2 1966-1969 12 3
        Personal Correspondence - Glassie, Henry 1966-1969 12 4
        Correspondence , accounts 1977-1984 12 5
        Business Correspondence 1971-1982 12 6
        Personal correspondence 1975-1983 12 7
        Personal Correspondence - N. Carolina Folklife Programs 1980 12 8
        Personal Correspondence - Wake Forest Elementary 1980 12 9
        Personal Correspondence - Phelps Luck Elemnetary School 1980 12 10
        Miscellaneous undated 12 11
        Correspondence 1971-1984 12 12
        Ralph Reed - High School Reunion undated 12 13
        Reed Family Songbook 1974 12 14
        Jerry Campbell 1975 12 15
        Misc. - Financial/ Business 1975-1979 12 16
        Stamp Saver Booklet undated 12 17
        Correspondence, photocopies, To Lie down in Peace 1980-1982 12 18
        concert fliers, receipts, personal ephemera ca. 1974-1983 13 1
        personal calendars (with notes) 1966-1984 14 1
        vintage catalogs 1904-1908 14 2
    3. Subseries I.C: Media and Materials

      Date: ca. 1888-1980

      Extent: 2 boxes (3 linear ft.)

      Description: Collected in this subseries are audiovisual materials from Ola Belle Reed's personal collection, including family photographs and memoribilia from her career in music.

      1. Folder Title/Description Date Box # Folder # Additional Info.
        Osborne family photo undated 15 1
        Photographs - Reed family 1939-1975 15 2
        Photographs and postcards, Ola Belle and family ca. 1938-1975 15 3
        Photographs, postcards, slides 1933-1975 15 4
        Photographs ABC undated 15 5
        Photographs D-Q undated 15 6
        Photographs RST undated 15 7
        Photographs XYZ undated 15 8
        From Packet of loose images - photographs, pencil drawings, and postcards ca. 1920-1980 15 9
        Green Binder photos ca. 1936-1970 15 10
        The Campbell family undated 15 11
        James Dennis Wallace, Carter family undated 15 12
        Ola Belle Reed and unidentified undated 15 13
        Ola Belle Reed photographs, album undated 15 14
        Ola Belle Reed photographs, album (scanned undated 15 15
        Umatic vidocassette undated
        vinyl LP and 78 RPM disc, Alex Campbell/New River Boys + Ola Belle undated 13 2
        collection of hymnals and songbooks 1888-1929 16 1
  2. Series II: Ephemera

    Date: ca. 1950-1980

    Extent: 8 boxes (9 linear ft.)

    Description: This series collects musical instruments from Ola Belle Reed's personal collection as well as textiles made by Ola Belle herself. Dates are rough estimates as nearly all of the items in this series are undated.

    1. Subseries II.A: textiles

      Date: ca. 1950-1980

      Extent: 5 boxes (3 linear ft.)

      Description: Textiles made by Ola Belle Reed. These items are undated, and inclusive dates are a best estimate.

      1. Folder Title/Description Date Box # Folder # Additional Info.
        Needlepoint undated 17
        Various textiles undated 18
        Hat and clothing undated 19
        Cushion/textile undated 20
        textiles undated 21
    2. Subseries II.B: musical instruments

      Date: undated

      Extent: 3 boxes (6 linear ft.)

      Description: Musical instruments from Ola Belle's personal collection. Exact dates are unavailable for either instruments' manufacture or when Ms. Reed came to possess them.

      1. Folder Title/Description Date Box # Folder # Additional Info.
        Toy banjo undated 22
        Five harmonicas belonging to Ola Belle undated 23
        Autoharp with note undated 24

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