The West Virginia and Regional History Center possesses the finest collection of early field recordings of folk music in existence. The earliest recordings date back to the 1930s and 1940s when field sound recording was in its infancy. Since many of the artists were then advanced in age, these recordings document traditions of performance technique and repertoire that date back to the nineteenth century. Included in the collection are examples of both accompanied and unaccompanied vocal music, as well as instrumental music for various combinations of fiddle, guitar, banjo, dulcimer, and other instruments. Musical genres include ballads, songs, dance music, and hymns, among others.