Our Family History

The Maine Folklife Center has a “family history” that goes back more than 60 years, to the mid-1950s. At that time, Dr. Edward Ives, a young scholar with an MA from Columbia University, came to the University of Maine to teach English. He eventually earned his Ph.D. and became a Professor of Folklore in the Department of Anthropology. Dr. Ives, or Sandy to his friends, colleagues and students, was the founding director of the Maine Folklife Center and its predecessors at the university. He held these roles until his retirement in 1999.

The next Director was Dr. James Moreira, an anthropologist with MA and PhD degrees from Memorial University in Newfoundland, who studied folksongs, ballads and literature. His regional focus was the Maritimes of Canada, as well as Scandinavia. James also held a position as Assistant Professor of Anthropology and taught folklore and other classes at the university during his tenure. He is now an Associate Professor of Community Studies at the University of Maine at Machias.

The third Director of the Folklife Center was Dr. Pauleena MacDougall, a former student of Dr. Ives who conducted oral history and archival research involving the Penobscot Nation of Indian Island, just a few miles from the Orono campus of the University of Maine. She also served as Associate Director of the Center under both Dr. Ives and Dr. Moreira. She assumed the title of Director in 2008, and held the position until her retirement in 2016.

The following are biographies of Sandy Ives and Pauleena MacDougall, each of whom were associated with the Maine Folklife Center and its predecessor organizations for some forty years. This length of service and continuity of leadership is rare in any organization, and gives the Maine Folklife Center a unique genealogy to draw upon for institutional memory and inspiration.

Edward D. “Sandy” Ives, Ph.D.

(September 4, 1925 – August 1, 2009)
Founder and Former Director, Maine Folklife Center

Edward D. “Sandy” Ives taught in the English and Anthropology DeparSandy Ives at Desktments of the University of Maine for over forty years. In 1957 he co-founded the Northeast Folklore Society with his colleague Bacil Kirtley. The Society has published the journal Northeast Folklore continuously since 1958.

Sandy’s research on early English ballads led to an interest in songmakers of the Maine lumberwoods, as well as to many other topics related to Maine and Maritimes folklore and folkways. He also created a number of highly popular courses, many of which involved sending students out into the field to conduct their own research. In his long career he taught many thousands of students, including luminaries such as Stephen King, who counts Sandy among his most influential mentors at the University of Maine.

As students collected examples of various genres of folklore, Ives saved their papers, interviews and transcripts, and added them to his own growing collection. He eventually created the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History, a collection described by the Council of Library and Information Resources as “perhaps the finest regional archive of its kind.” In 2011, original materials from the Archives were sold to the Library of Congress for preservation, and in 2016, backup copies as well as materials accessioned since 2011 were transferred to the Fogler Library Special Collections at UMO, where they will remain as a publicly available resource.

Ives interviewing John Holland at the 1st Miramichi Folksong Festival in 1958.

Sandy Ives conducted pioneering work in oral history methodology, guiding students in community-engaged scholarship, creating many opportunities for publishing and scholarship, and bringing a popular, reflexive voice to his own scholarly writing.  His nearly 100 publications are among the finest studies of folklore in the last half of the 20th century. Joe Scott: The Woodsman-Songmaker, published by the University of Illinois Press in 1978, is particularly significant in making the case for popular poetry in a community context.

Among his many professional accolades, Dr. Ives was a Fellow of the American Folklore Society; received an honorary LL.D. from the University of Prince Edward Island and an honorary Ph.D. from Memorial University in Newfoundland; was given the Harvey A. Kantor Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Oral History in 1979; and was honored in 1991 with the Marius Barbeau Medal from the Canadian Folklore Studies Association for outstanding lifetime contributions to the field of folklore.

In 1992, recognizing the important trend in folklore for engaged scholarship with communities, Sandy Ives merged the Archives and the Northeast Folklore Society into the Maine Folklife Center. He was thEdward "Sandy" Ivese Center’s founding Director and continued in that role until his retirement from the University of Maine in 1998. The Center continues the work envisioned by its founder to this day.

As his many students, colleagues, friends, research partners, and fellow scholars would attest, Dr. Edward ‘Sandy’ Ives has had an indelible impact on the landscape of folklore and folklife research in Maine and beyond. The Maine Folklife Center is part of this lasting legacy.

Read a biography of Sandy Ives with links to some of his many interviews on the UMaine Digital Commons page.

Read an obituary for Sandy Ives in the Bangor Daily News, which details his professional and personal life.

Hear Sandy sing or order his CD “Folk Songs of Maine” on the Smithsonian Folkways website.

Selected Works

Among Dr. Ives’ many publications are several books that remain relevant and insightful examples of the art and craft of folklore research and scholarship, including:

Larry Gorman: The Man Who Made the Songs, Indiana University Press, 1964

Folksongs and Their Makers, University of Wisconsin Press, 1979

Folksongs of New Brunswick, Goose Lane Edition, 1989

The Bonny Earl of Murray: The Man, The Murder, The Ballad, University of Illinois Press, 1997

Drive Dull Care Away: Folksongs From Prince Edward Island, University of Illinois Press, 1999

Pauleena MacDougall, Ph.D.

Director Emerita, Maine Folklife Center;
Faculty Associate in Anthropology; Cooperating Research Associate, Lobster Institute

Pauleena MacDougall was Director of The Maine Folklife Center from 2008 to 2016. She has worked for MFC since 1989, including as Associate Director under Sandy Ives. She is also a faculty associate in the Department of Anthropology, where she teaches courses in folklore and research methods.

In edition to editing several books and multiple volumes of Northeast Folklore, Pauleena has published numerous papers on Penobscot Indian language, culture and history. She is author of The Penobscot Dance of Resistance: Tradition in the History of a People (University of New England Press, 2004) and Fannie Hardy Eckstorm and Her Quest for Local Knowledge 1865-1946 (Lexington Press, 2013).

A University of Maine alumna, Pauleena conducted research with the Penobscot Nation of Indian Island, Maine, and received her Ph.D. in American History from the university in 1995.

Contact Information:

Email: Pauleena@maine.edu

Phone: 207.249.1976

Read an interview of Pauleena conducted by current MFC Director Kreg Ettenger.