NAFOH: Tales and Stories
Here we have finding aids for collections of accessions focused on folk tales, legends, tall tales, and storytelling. As some of these collections were created around a theme (rather than based on a single donation or class), there is some overlap in the collections.
Number of accessions: 23
Description: Accessions related to grey jays also called the gray jay, Canada jay, whisky jack, or moosebird and the stories that surround them.
MF 20 George Carey Collection of Student Folklore Papers
Number of accessions: 1
Dates when interviews were conducted: 1972-1992
Principal interviewers: students of George Carey and Rayna Green, 1972-1992, from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Finding aides: a list of titles
Access restrictions: Very few of the papers have release forms from either the students or their informants. Research use only.
Description: NA2597 A collection of approximately 1200 student papers from folklore classes taught by Carey at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1972-1992. The papers cover an extremely wide range of folklore; folklife; ethnic heritage; local history topics; and locations: ME, NH, MA, CT, VT. The materials were received in 1998. Text: about 1388 papers, 20,000 pp. approximately.
MF 53 Ricker College Student Folklore Papers
Number of accessions: 28
Dates when interviews were conducted: 1971-1975
Time period covered: Early to mid 20th Century
Principal interviewer: various
Finding aides: none
Access restrictions: For roughly half of the accessions the copyright has been retained by the interviewees.
Description: Papers written by students enrolled in a folklore class at Ricker College (Houlton, Maine) taught by Gifford Stevens. Topics include jokes, home remedies, proverbs, ghost stories, games, folktales, superstitions, graffiti, and children’s folklore.
MF 076 Maine / Maritimes Folklore Collection/ CP 180
Number of Accessions: 629
Dates when interviews were conducted: 1957-1975
Time period covered: various
Principal collectors: various
Finding aides: outlines and abstracts
Access restrictions: some
Description: This is a series of approximately 655 accessions consisting of undergraduate projects, papers and recorded interviews conducted for folklore course CP 180 taught by Edward D. “Sandy” Ives at the University of Maine and various other locations in Maine from 1957 to 1975. The first 437 of these accessions are arranged in alphabetical order; subsequent additions are arranged chronologically. The early collections are largely miscellaneous gatherings of individual items: jokes, tall tales, ghost stories, traditional medicine, popular beliefs and superstitions, legends, local character yarns, etc. and only occasionally include tape recordings. Later accessions reflect the trend in the field of folklore to emphasize context over items gathered for their own sake. Thus they are more apt to consist of life histories with an emphasis on life styles and occupations and to include tape recordings.
MF 079 Molly Spotted Elk Collection
Number of accessions: 3
Dates when interviews were conducted: 1977 & 1999
Time period covered: 20th century
Access restrictions: yes
Description: Molly Spotted Elk (b. 1903) was the stage name of Mary Alice “Molliedellis” Nelson, a Penobscot Indian woman from Maine who entered the world of vaudeville and entertainment at a young age. In the late 1920s she starred in a motion picture, “The Silent Enemy” filmed in northern Canada. She became a dancer on the Paris stage and married a French journalist, but was forced to flee the country during the German occupation in World War II. This collection consists of three accessions. NA 1116, donated by Molly Spotted Elk’s daughter, Jean Moore of Old Town, Maine, in 1977 includes photocopies of some of Molly Spotted Elk’s writings, including a draft of a book entitled “Katahdin: Wigwam’s Tales of the Abnaki Tribes” (15 stories – 236 pp.); a story, “Plump-Plump” (45 pp.); a play, “The Captive”; an informant’s history about Santu; sheet music; Indian words for part of the body; short stories. The originals of these materials are part of NA2573.
MF 082 C. Richard K. Lunt Collection (Jones Tracy & Boat Builders)
Number of accessions: 25
Dates when interviews were conducted: primarily in 1970, but also 1963 & 1964
Time period covered: 19th and 20th centuries
Principal interviewers: C. Richard K. Lunt
Finding aides: indexes/transcripts
Access restrictions: none
Description: This collection consists of two series. The second series deals with boat builders and isn’t relevant to Tales and Stories. The first, Jones Tracy, is a series of interviews (NA2968- 2976) conducted by Richard Lunt in 1963 and 1964 which served as the basis for Lunt’s University of Maine M.A. thesis. Some material was also published as Jones Tracy: Tall Tale Hero from Mount Desert Island (Northeast Folklore, Vol. X). Interviewees recorded on tape include: Chauncey Somes, Ralph Tracy, Laurie Holmes, John Carroll, Robert Smallidge, George Tracy Reed, Lydia Storer, Clark Manring, Gus Phillips, and Phillip and Charles Carroll. The accession envelop contains brief listings of tape contents and topics discussed but interviews are not transcribed. Material appears to include many hunting and fishing stories, some genealogy of the Tracy family and other folklore and local history.
MF 085 Thomas “Archie” Stewart Collection
Number of accessions: 3
Dates when interviews were conducted: 1920s – 1980s, 1991
Time period covered: late 19th and 20th centuries
Principal interviewers: Thomas “Archie” Stewart
Finding aides: catalog/transcript
Access restrictions: NA2398
Description: The Stewart family of Newburgh, New York, had a long association with the eastern Maine, area where they had a camp. Rob Golding of Perry, Maine, acted as their guide for many years in the first half of the twentieth century. This collection consists of a series of interviews with Golding, a renowned story teller, conducted by Archie Stewart; a manuscript history of the Stewart family; and video copies of Stewart family home movies.
MF 089 Marshall Dodge Collection
Number of accession: 1
Dates when interviews were conducted: 1965
Principal interviewers: Marshall Dodge
Finding aides: partial transcript with brief catalog
Access restrictions: Copyright retained by interviewer and interviewees.
Description: NA0523 Rob Golding and Earl Bonness, interviewed by Marshall Dodge, 1965, Perry, Maine. Accession includes a rough typed transcript of the tapes prepared by Joyce Benson in 1969; also a rough handwritten contents listing. Golding and Bonness give humorous stories and anecdotes of Downeast about local people and events, and these anecdotes reflect the quintessential Downeast character and type of humor later made famous by Marshall Dodge in his stories of “Bert and I” and may suggest the origins of the types of characters and humor Dodge used in his “Bert and I” records. Text: 186 pp. partial transcript with brief catalog. Recordings: T 0275 – T 0277, C 2614 – 2619, PM 0443, CD 0814 – 0817 5 hours.
MF 169 FO 2/ AY 21/ ANT 221 Introduction to Folklore
Number of accessions: 194
Dates when interviews were conducted: 1986 – 2002
Time period covered: late 19th and 20th century
Finding aides: none
Access restrictions: none
Description: Papers written by students in Introduction to Folklore at the University of Maine (Fo 2, Ay 21, ANT 221- the IDs changed over time). Topics include children’s games, proverbs, folk tales, superstitions, ghost stories, character tales, tall tales, storytelling, home remedies, and weather signs.
MF 187 Children’s Lives and Children’s Folklore
Number of accessions: 58
Description: A collection created by the MFC archivist from accessions that deal at least in part with children and their folklore.