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Rosalie Sorrels’ legacy to Idaho folklife

photo of Rosalie Sorrels holding a guitar
photo courtesy of Philip Barlow, Backbeat Photos
Collaboration offers unique opportunity

Albertsons Library’s Special Collections and Archives has partnered with The Folk and Traditional Arts program at the Idaho Commission on the Arts to present a new exhibit, Idaho Folklife: Rosalie Sorrels’ Legacy.

The exhibit features a collection of artifacts that span 50 years of Sorrels’ music, artistry, friendships, interests and advocacy. This is a unique opportunity to experience a collection of personal mementos that include concert posters, audio recordings, photographs, correspondence and more. These sources of inspiration represent Sorrels’ lifetime of experiences, friendships, hard work and her love for creating music and connections. The exhibit is free and open to the public through August, 2023.

Family donates a lifetime of memorabilia

The materials are part of the Idaho Folklife Collection, a partnership between the Folk and Traditional Arts Program at the Idaho Commission on the Arts and the Special Collections and Archives at Boise State University’s Albertsons Library. Sorrels’ daughters, Shelley Ross and Holly Marizu, generously donated items collected over the years by their mom. The collection was originally kept at their Grimes Creek family cabin, in the mountains outside Boise.

“I’m pleased to invite the community to this exhibit which introduces our new Idaho Folklife Collection. Sorrels’ legacy represents our state’s dynamic and complex diversity. She was Idaho’s matriarch of folk music. Few have done more to honor Idaho’s rich, deep, and sometimes troubled, historic and living traditions than Rosalie Sorrels,” shares Folk and Traditional Arts Director Steven Hatcher, Idaho Commission on the Arts.

Library’s special collection and archives to house Idaho Folklife Collection

Generated through over 40 years of folklore fieldwork and programs conducted by the Arts Commission, The Idaho Folklife Collection gathers audio recordings, transcriptions, photo and video documentation, ephemera, and related material objects that document the traditional culture, beliefs, occupational skills, and expressive traditions of people across Idaho, from long-settled to new immigrant communities. Albertsons Library’s Special Collections and Archives will serve as the ongoing repository for the collection.