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Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs. Florida Folklife Archive
Ralph Steele Boggs collection, 1935-1941, 1982, 1986.
0.25 cubic ft.
Terms Governing Use:
Legislation of 1979 (79-322, SB 1208) transferred to the Department of State the Florida Folk Arts component of the Stephen Foster Memorial and authorized appointment of a Folk Life Director to oversee the program. The Florida Folk Life Program was charged to "identify, research, and develop Florida folk artists, performers, folklore, traditions, customs, and cultural heritage and make folk art resources, festivals, and folk life projects available throughout the state." Known as the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs from ca. 1985 until a 1995 reorganization, the bureau operated under the Division of Historical Resources, coordinating the annual Florida Folk Festival and directing such programs as Folk Arts Apprenticeships, Folk Arts in Education, Folk Heritage awards, and numerous research and collecting projects and programs. Part of the bureau was the Florida Folklife Archive, originally established in 1976 and maintained by the bureau as a depository for field notes and research findings of the folklife program and for the folklife collections of other researchers.
Since 1995, the Florida Folklife Program has operated within the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources in Tallahassee and continues most of the same programs as the Bureau.
Ralph Steele Boggs was born in 1901 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was educated at the University of Chicago and taught Spanish and folklore for twenty years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at UNC, he established a curriculum which became the first graduate program in folklore in the United States. He joined the faculty of the University of Miami in 1950, teaching Spanish and folklore and serving as director of the University's International Center. He was an internationally renowned folklorist, wrote several books on Spanish and Latin American folklore and on the Spanish language, and amassed an extensive library of materials on Spanish-American folklore. Boggs retired from the University of Miami in 1967 but continued to be active in folklore scholarship, working as a visiting professor of folklore at several universities. He died in 1994 in Miami.
These papers donated to the Florida Folklife Archive by Ralph Steele Boggs primarily concern the folklife and history of the Hispanic American community of Ybor City in Tampa, Florida. The series includes folklife materials that appear to have been collected by employees of the Federal Writers' Project in the 1930s. These materials include folk songs, historical background, and descriptions of family life and culture. Also included in the series is a letter to Boggs, dated 1941, with an attached story in Spanish on the romance of "Ab-El-Hasid y Lindaraja." The collection also includes a copy of a speech given by Boggs in 1982 on the "youth of Ybor City," as well as a summary by Boggs of the development of Spanish speech sounds from classic Latin to modern Spanish. Finally, the series includes a scholarly article on folk music from the perspective of its social conditionings and functions.
Folder listing available.
Additional Physical Form:
Photocopies Some fragile items were photocopied by the Florida State Archives.
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
The Southern Historical Collection of the Manuscripts Department of the Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill includes the Ralph Steele Boggs Papers.
This series contains items in both Spanish and English.
These papers were donated to the Florida Folklife Archive in White Springs by Ralph Steele Boggs (date unknown).
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields:
Folklore Florida Hispanic Americans Folklore Florida Folk music Florida Hispanic Americans Social life and customs Florida Spanish language Pronunciation
Tampa (Fla.) Ybor City (Tampa, Fla.)
Boggs, Ralph Steele, 1901-
Federal Writers' Project (Fla.)