Skip to Main Content

Special Collections: Pinelands Folklife Photograph Collection

Pinelands Folklife Photograph Collection, approximately 1980-1985

About the Collection

In 1978, after the construction of a large jet port in the heart of the Pinelands area was threatened, Congress created the Pine Barrens National Reserve, in order to protect what is an ecologically and culturally unique area. The Pine Barrens National Reserve is the first national reserve created by the United States government.

The photographs that are contained in this collection take place less than a decade after the creation of the National Reserve and help to preserve the culture and identity of the Pine Barrens as it existed in the early- to mid-1980s. Some of the photographers listed are Joseph Czarnecki, Mary Hufford, Jens Lund, Dennis McDonald, Sue Samuelson, and Elaine Thatcher. Some of the photographs depict recording sessions with an interviewee sitting near a large microphone.

Based on the names of the known photographers, the time period, and the images of the oral history recording sessions, it is likely that these photographs are from the Pinelands Folklife Project. This effort was co-sponsored from 1981-1983 by the American Folklife Center, National Park Service, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Department of Human Resources, New Jersey Historical Commission, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and Pinelands Commission. The project documented the culture and heritage of the people in the Pine Barrens National Reserve. The full collection – including the oral history interviews and many more photographs – is archived at the Library of Congress in the American Folklife Center. Mary Hufford authored the project report, One Space, Many Places, and a copy is available in the Stockton University Richard E. Bjork Library.

This collection contains contact sheets of black and white photographs and several pages of notes that describe some of the contact sheets. The images are an extensive look into the culture of the Pine Barrens as it was during the early and mid-1980s. Many subjects are covered by the photographers, including the different agricultural products of the Pine Barrens, local businesses and restaurants, and annual festivals. The photographers also highlighted the homes, crafts, and hobbies of several different Pinelands residents, as well as the residents themselves.

Geographically, the subjects range from all throughout the Pine Barrens, as well as several locations near the Delaware Bay.

If indeed these images are from the Pinelands Folklife Project referenced above, then they represent only a small portion of the 80,000 photographic images in the Library of Congress’ collection. The collection was transferred to Stockton University by Burlington County College in 2016 with no information about the original provenance. It is unclear if the images are unique or are copies of images from the larger collection. There is no indication as to how the images were selected from the larger collection, or if they were placed at Burlington County College separately by one of the Project members. However, some of the images’ subjects are published in One Space, Many Places, indicating that these are probably copies from the larger collection.

Collection processed by Lauren Knob, Special Collections Intern, Spring 2018.

Pinelands Folklife Photograph Collection

3 photograph contact sheets from the collection are shown in overlapping fashion. Subjects are not easily distinguishable.

Photograph contact sheets from Folder 1 of the collection, including cranberry farming, a young man in a "Piney Power" hat, other portraits of people, floral arranging, and the Emilio Carranza Memorial.

Stockton University Archives and Special Collections, Richard E. Bjork Library, Stockton University.

Related Resources

Copyright Notice

While Stockton University’s Bjork Library’s Special Collection and Archives owns the collection, Stockton may not own the copyright for all of the items. Researchers wishing to reproduce materials are responsible for obtaining the proper permissions.