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Edward D. Ives

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Abstract/ Summary

Up to now, the Society has concerned itself mainly with the publication of its journal, Northeast Folklore. Recently we have committed ourselves to working on a dictionary of popular beliefs on superstitions. Since the journal is in business to publish "fresh collections of regional material," and since the work on superstitions can only proceed from an orderly arrangement of collected materials, we should work toward the establishment of an archive where all such materials can be deposited and indexed. I can report that a modest beginning has been made. For several years, ever since 1958 in fact, students in American Folklore (Cp 80) here at the University have been turning in collections of folklore as part of their course work, until now we have something better than 150 collections. If we estimate that each collection is twenty pages long, that means we have better than 3,000 pages of manuscript material and about twenty 7-inch reels of tape-recorded songs and tales. The problem, of course, is that all this material has to be catalogued and indexed before any of it is of any use. A student assistant, Georgeann Rollins, has recently put the entire collection in order and has made a rough working catalogue, enough so that we can tell at a glance where collections have been made and what sort of material each one contains. Pete Cornell, home on vacation from Goddard College, worked for several days making a beginning at a more detailed index of proper names so that we can discover not only who the storytellers and singers are but also whom the stories are about. Ultimately a similar index will be made of place-names. Always, of course, the indexing of items by theme and motif will go on, but since this is a more specialized sort of work it will have to go more slowly.


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