Ohio State nav bar

Pat B. Mullen (PM) Finding Aid

By Andrew Mehall and Adam Banks 

Collection Name/Title, Dates: Pat. B. Mullen, 1978-1981  


Collection ID: CFS. PM.

Language: English 

Physical Description:

The collection is one archival box, consisting of 22 folders of correspondence, handwritten fieldnotes, ephemera, audio logs, and interview documentation. There are also cartons of photo slides and a carton of seeds. 

Repository/Location: Hagerty 472 or Hagerty 468, Center for Folklore Studies, The Ohio State University   


The collection is made of various ephemera which constructs an intimate view into the experience of Pat Mullen while on location. The material consists of newspaper clippings, business cards, sketches (that appear to have been made in situ), official correspondence with the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, personal correspondence with Mullen’s family, mailers pertinent to the culture of the area, photographic slides, etc. 


Biographical and Historical Notes  

Pat Mullen is professor emeritus in English and Folklore studies at the Ohio State University where he taught and conducted research from 1969 until retiring in 2005. His areas of expertise include Folk belief, Bob Dylan, Legend, Folksong, Laborlore (cfs.osu.edu). Having led the department of Folklore Studies, he submitted his field material to his academic home. 


The collection is related to The Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project, a collaborative endeavor between the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the National Park Service, a team of Folklorists, and photographers. Alan Jabbour was the primary contact for the American Folklife Center; William J. Whalen was the primary contact for the National Park Service; the Folklorist Team consisted of the team lead Charles K. Wolfe (Middle Tennessee State University), Geraldine Johnson (Strayer College), Patrick B. Mullen (Ohio State University), Blanton and Margaret, Owen (Ferrum College), and Thomas A. Adler (Indiana University); the photography team consisted of Terry and Lynthia Eiler (Ohio University). The team approached the project in three phases: (1) the pre-fieldwork phase occurred between February and August 1978, giving the team time to organize and identify the specific regions to conduct research along the Blue Ridge Parkway; (2) the fieldwork phase took place primarily during August and September 1978, team members engaging in ethnographic work at churches and dances, and interviews at community members’ homes; and (3) post-fieldwork phase lasted through 1981, the team finalizing research reports and article submissions. The final report was entitled “The Process of Field Research” and is in the archive of the Library of Congress. Copies of material archived at the Library of Congress were also made available to Blue Ridge Parkway inhabitants. In addition, the book “Blue Ridge Harvest” (edited by Terry Eiler and Lyntha Eiler, and Carl Fleischhauer) and double LP “Children of the Heav'nly King” (edited by Charles Wolfe) were produced as a result of the project. The collection contains a handwritten manuscript for Mullen’s article “Ritual Aspects of Sacred Narratives in the Blue Ridge Mountains.” 

Research Strength/Suggestions

This collection would be very useful for Graduate Students in the humanities. More specifically, Mullen’s materials would be helpful for those exploring areas of  Black Studies, American Studies, and Religious Studies. The collection provides rich material for individuals and groups curious about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as the material compares Black and White narratives of “the sacred.” Potential questions for research include “How and why are narratives presented in a manner that communicates racial equality?” “How does the archive preserve narratives of equality?” 


Arrangement notes

There are 22 folders of primarily paper material and 21 cartons of photo slides included in the collection. The folders organize like material by folder; for instance, articles and newsletters are together in one folder while postage and mail material can be found in another. 


The collection was received and organized by a previous administrator who organized the material by arranging like contents in folders and cartons. Andrew and Adam maintained the same organization, adding folder labels to index content location. As of December 8th, 2023 the collection is fully accessioned to the Center for Folklore Studies at the Ohio State University.

Using the collection  

The collection can be used in the Center for Folklore Studies in Hagerty Hall at the Ohio State University. You can contact the office at cfs@osu.edu.

Preferred Citation  

Pat B. Mullen, (1978-1981), Center for Folklore Studies Archive, The Ohio State University

More Information  

Food and drink should be removed from the room when interacting with this collection.


folk, folklore, folk narrative, Appalachia, sacred, race, ritual


Box 1 – Folder 1 

Calendar, Flight Guide, Coal Field Defender (Union Newspaper), Union Petition 

Box 1 – Folder 2 

Summer Teacher Institute Correspondence, Handwritten Field Notes 

Box 1 – Folder 3 

Prayer Mailer (Rev. Ike (Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II), United Church, New York City), Correspondence with Spouse, “Tempo” (Roanoke Times & World-News) Article (copy) Correspondence with A. Jabbour 

Box 1 – Folder 4 

Field Notepad, Index Labels 

Box 1 – Folder 5 

American Folklife Center (AFC) Subject Descriptor (Blank) 

Box 1 – Folder 6 

Beaumont “Honorary Neches Belle” Certificates 

Box 1 – Folder 7 

Field Interview Notes 

Box 1 – Folder 8 

AFC Field Subject Photo Descriptions (Filled) from 8/7 through 9/10 

Box 1 – Folder 9 

Handwritten Field Notes, AFC Correspondence, Post Fieldwork Team Meeting Agendas, 9/12-9/17, Photocopies of Interview Reports 

Box 1 – Folder 10 

Recording Logs 8/25-9/7 

Box 1 – Folder 11 

Handwritten Manuscript for “Ritual and Sacred Narratives in the Blue Ridge Mountains” (25 Pages) 

Box 1 – Folder 12 

Field Notes, Memo Booklets 

Box 1 – Folder 13 

National Association for the Preservation and Perpetuation of Storytelling (NAPPS) membership renewal, Pre-Fieldwork Conference Agenda (8/3-8/4), Virginia Folklore Society (Vol. 5, No. 2), Kodak Correspondence, Library of Congress (LOC) General Pass, Travel Itinerary, National Park Concessions Receipt 

Box 1 – Folder 14 

Filled Interview Logs (8/7-9/5), Blank Photo Logs 

Box 1 – Folder 15 

NAPPS Membership Card, “Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project 1978” Business Cards, Photos, Blue Ridge Parkway Pamphlet, Flyers for various Shops along Parkway, Track listings, Postage Receipts 

Box 1 – Folder 16 

Handwritten Manuscript of “Ritual Aspects of Sacred Narratives in the Blue Ridge Mountains,” sources 

Box 1 – Folder 17 

Continued handwritten manuscript of “Ritual Aspects of Sacred Narratives in the Blue Ridge Mountains,” sources 

Box 1 – Folder 18 

“Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project 1978” Business Cards, handwritten field notes, Photos 

Box 1 – Folder 19 

Photo log template, empty envelopes, empty LOC mailer envelop 

Box 1 – Folder 20 

Blank LOC memos, empty LOC envelopes 

Box 1 – Folder 21 

Handwritten field notes, church schematic, “Folktracks – 60-501- Bonny Barbara Allen – Classic Ballads of Britain – 1 of 3,” festival of American folklife nametag, 

Box 1 – Folder 22 

LOC Memorandum about government vehicle use, Thomas Carter article copy, interview notes, handwritten field notes