John Meredith Collection

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John Meredith spent half a lifetime traveling the bush with his tape recorder, collecting folk songs and folklore in all parts of Australia, writing books on colonial history and folklore, and managing a small farm in the central Highlands. He collected in two major efforts. Initially, at the instigation of the Communist Party of Australia, he collected from 1953 => 1960. During this time he collaborated with a number of like minded individuals who formed and then coalesced around the Bush Music Club. Meredith sold his recordings to the NLA and finished this period of collecting with the publication of the first volume of "Folk Songs of Australia", 1967, NSWUPress. This part of the John Meredith Collection comprised about 5000 items and was known as the "John Meredith and Wattle Collection". Meredith's collecting activities took off again in 1981 = > 1994. During this period he collaborated with a number of younger people, including Chris Sullivan, Rob Willis, Peter Ellis and others. Artefacts from this second period of collection were placed in the NLA separately and formed the basis of volume two of "Folk Songs of Australia", 1987, NSWUPress. During this period Meredith also collected extensively in South Australia, largely from the descendants of German immigrants living in the Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley. He wrote a draft of a book covering this part of his collection but did not complete it.

His vast collection of tapes and field notes, containing some 8000 items, now comprise the John Meredith Collection, which is housed in the National Library in Canberra, Australia. This collection is also variously referred to as the "Meredith Collection" or the "John Meredith Folklore Collection”.

This collection was the source of details for a number of the tunes in this archive.

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