Over the past fifteen years, the Folklife Resource Center has been actively involved in documenting folk culture through video. Footage is generated by students, contract fieldworkers, and professional videographers. An ongoing program, topics of research include traditional foodways, the environmental landscape of the Lowcountry, traditional music, and general folklife. Material associated with this program is not selected for artistic merit alone, but for the documentary value of the subject matter.
McKissick Museum enjoyed a productive collaborative relationship with veteran documentary filmmaker Stan Woodward. A South Carolina native, his work concentrated on Southern culture and folklife, with a special emphasis on folk heritage foodways. In the late 1990s, Woodward began documenting the variety of stews cooked in large black iron pots throughout the South. This led to a partnership with the Folklife Resource Center that produced the major exhibition “Southern Stews.” Three documentaries grew out of that fieldwork – Southern Stews: A Taste of the South, Carolina Hash: A Taste of South Carolina, and The Sheep Stew of Dundas: A Gastronomical Delight.
The Folklife Resource Center continued to explore the merits of video documentation through projects focusing on South Carolina camp meetings, the Kentucky stew known as burgoo, and a variety of student-driven projects.