Special Collections and Archives receives grant from the GRAMMY Foundation

In 2008, a set of about a dozen recordings made around 1950 by Ione Love Thielke was found by the Idaho Songs Project in a private collection in Blackfoot, Idaho. 

The recordings were homemade using a portable acetate disk recorder of the type that became available after World War II. The Project arranged for the Blackfoot Collection to be donated to Special Collections at the Albertsons Library, Boise State University, where the materials could be archived professionally in a carefully controlled environment.

Research showed that Ione Love Thielke was a colorful, talented rural musician who took regional poetry and set it to music, singing and accompanying herself with a tiple. She was the wife of an Idaho/Oregon logger who performed her music throughout Idaho, Oregon and Washington and occasionally beyond. Thielke was well connected with the Idaho literary community of the time.

Subsequently, the Idaho Songs Project located the descendants of Ione Love Thielke and facilitated the donation of several more boxes of her recordings to the Albertsons Library. A preliminary physical inventory indicates the collection contains dozens more homemade acetate recordings that Thielke made of herself and other Idaho musicians and poets, as well as many reel to reel tapes made from about 1948 to 1951 in Boise, Cascade and Pocatello Idaho and Salem, Oregon. 

The titles also indicate the collection includes numerous radio broadcast of programs hosted by Thielke from 1947-1951 in Boise and Pocatello, with interviews of and performances by numerous Idaho musicians and poets.

Special Collections and Archives received an $11,747 grant from The GRAMMY Foundation to digitize the Thielke recordings and make them available online.

The project will be completed by December 2014.

Ione Thielke collection: http://nwda.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv47659/

GRAMMY Foundation: http://www.grammy.org/grammy-foundation

Cheryl Oestreicher, PhD
Head, Special Collections and Archives/Assistant Professor

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