Wisconsin Swiss Traditional Music Project Collection, 1986-1991

Scope and Content Note

At Mills Music Library, Box 4 of the Wisconsin Folk Museum Collection contains a folder entitled “Swiss Music Project,” 1986-1989, which includes biographical sketches of the musicians, letters, musical scores, press releases, notes, and the final report to the NEA. Other related materials are interspersed throughout the Collection.

The “Wisconsin Folk Museum Records” (call number M98-044) at the Wisconsin Historical Society Library-Archives Division contain 12 artist files related to the Swiss project, formerly maintained by the Wisconsin Folk Museum. These files include tape indexes, field notes, flyers, copies of newspaper articles, letters, and some release forms.

There are three folders at the UW-Madison Folklore Program. The first, the official NEA grant file, contains original NEA grant proposals, a copy of the final report to NEA, official grant correspondence from and to NEA and UW-Madison, as well as handwritten budget accounting notes. A second contains invoices, correspondence, the audiocassette insert, and handwritten notes detailing the production of Swissconsin. A third file for Yodeling in Dairyland contains invoices, newspaper clippings, and a listing of Swiss photographs, a description of the photographs and an indication of who provided them, and a copy of the publication. Negatives and contact sheets in Folklore Program custody were made primarily in Monroe and New Glarus and are images of buildings, dancing, people in ethnic dress, and historical photographs.

In his personal collection, Jim Leary has six audiocassettes and four folders related to the project. The audiocassettes contain Swiss music and interviews with Swiss musicians by Leary. The “Swiss Project: Sources” folder contains Leary's background research materials--brochures, bibliographies, reference material, newspapers, letters, and handwritten notes--on the history of Swiss music in the United States and Wisconsin. The correspondence folder includes correspondence with other scholars on the topic of Swiss music. Chief correspondents are Brigitte Bachmann-Geiser of the Swiss Museum and Institute for Folkmusic and Musical Instruments, Bern, Switzerland and folklorist Regina Bendix, then of Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon. The “Various Artists” folder contains a range of items including newspaper clippings; biographical notes on artists, including Martha Bernet, Betty Vetterli, Trudy Brandli and the Monroe Swiss Singers; and sound recording logs by Leary on the interviews with Rudy Burkhalter, Roger Bright, Leo and Anna Gempler, and Albert Mueller. Typed versions of the sound recording logs, in paper and on a computer diskette, completed by student assistant Jocelyne Bodden, are in the fourth folder.