Author: Lotta Leiwo
T-Bone Slim Database – Next Steps
Since the last time we posted about the T-Bone Slim corpus and database, a lot has happened. The team has presented in conferences, planned a joint publication, and most importantly organized the “T-Bone Slim – New Interpretations” seminar to be held in August at Kälviä. The seminar is a hybrid event. The presentations can be followed both via Zoom and on-site at the premises of the Central Ostrobothnian Folk High School (Keski-Pohjanmaan kansanopisto) in Kälviä. See full program and register here.
One of the many things we have been doing recently is a blog text about T-Bone Slim in the Finnish Literary Society’s “Vähäisiä lisiä” blog. The text is written in Finnish by our PI Kirsti Salmi-Niklander. This text lead to an inquiry about the data and sources of information on T-Bone Slim in our research. This blog post is an extensive answer to that inquiry.
T-Bone Slim has written hundreds of columns (at least 1042 to be exact) for various IWW newspapers, mainly in English. In addition, we have managed to discover some texts written and/or published in Finnish. And then there is also manuscripts. All of these materials are collected into T-Bone Slim database and corpus that will be published in the Language Bank of Finland. Most of the database building work has been collecting, organizing, writing meta-data, summarizing, abstracting, and transcribing the materials. This all is happening in the background and there is not much to show publicly yet.
The database and corpus will be as open as possible to all researchers, family historians and anyone interested in T-Bone Slim’s writings. The openness of the materials depends on the copyright and permissions among other things. Currently the materials are from 14 different archives in four countries and two continents. Thus, the puzzle has a lot of pieces. Slowly and surely it is all coming together. The corpus and database already have an URN. The corpus and database will be available after it is published (approx. late 2023) here: http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi:lb-2022111621.
While we all wait for the database to be completed and published, we have compiled a list of T-Bone Slim resources and information sources already available online for those who are interested. We will update the list if and when new materials come to our attention. The list is not exhaustive and for example all the numerous contemporary articles about T-Bone Slim have been excluded.
T-Bone Slim’s Texts Available Online and in Books
Currently, some texts written by T-Bone Slim are available online. Franklin Rosemont’s anthology Juice is Stranger than Friction is available online as a pdf. Some of T-Bone Slim’s manuscripts are available digitised at the Newberry Library collections.
In addition, at least two of Slim’s Finnish texts are available in the National Library of Finland’s digital collections: Tie Vapauteen journal on 1 May 1923 p. 23 and 1 September 1923 p. 13. He is also quoted in Punainen soihtu on 1 January1923 p. 17 and Eteenpäin on 8 March 1938 p. 19. Younger than 100 years old publications might have access restrictions.
Some of T-Bone Slim’s texts is translated in Finnish by Ville-Juhani Sutinen in a book titled Mielipuolipiteitä ja muita kirjoituksia (T-Bone Slim & Sutinen, Savukeidas kustannus, 2013).
- T-Bone Slim in geni.com. Compiled and managed by Marko Leppänen.
- T-Bone Slim in Wikipedia in Finnish
- T-Bone Slim in Wikipedia in English.
- Brief biography of T-Bone Slim in iww.org
- Working Class History Podcast featuring John Westmoreland, musician, T-Bone Slim’s relative and a team member in our project.
- Migration Institute of Finland’s podcast featuring T-Bone Slim and our researchers. In Finnish.
- Database of re-recordings of T-Bone Slim’s songs in the Internet Archive.
- Owen Clayton’s academic article “Puns, Politics, and Pork Chops: The ‘insignificant magnitude’ of T-Bone Slim” (Journal of Working Class Studies 2019, 4(1): 6–23). Clayton is a collaborating researcher in the project and a senior lecturer in English Literature at the University of Lincoln. His new book “Vagabonds, Tramps, and Hobos” is coming out in July 2023.
- Audio recording of Owen Clayton’s presentation “’Laureate of the logging camps’: the representation of labor and labourers in the writing of T-Bone Slim” in Michigan State University Libraries in 11 February 2021,
- Recording of T-Bone Slim seminar held at the Finnish Literature Society on 30 August 2021