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Finding Aids to Individual Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture


AFC 1972/001

Library of Congress
Washington DC
June 1996


The James Madison Carpenter Collection consists of manuscript materials, sound recordings, and graphic materials that document primarily British and American folk music, dance, and British ritual drama. The materials span the years 1928-55, with some dated 1972 and 1987. The bulk of the material was collected between 1928-35 by Carpenter during fieldwork in England and Scotland; other material was collected in the United States between 1937 and 1941 by Carpenter and his Duke University students. Through this effort, Carpenter amassed a collection of an estimated 1,000 ballad texts and 850 tunes of the Francis Child canon; 500 sea songs (including chanteys); 1,000 other ballads and songs (texts and many tunes) from Britain and America; 200 children's singing games, riddles, and nursery rhymes (texts and many tunes); 300 British folk plays (texts and some tunes); miscellaneous folktales, African- American spirituals, Cornish carols, and so forth; and approximately 500 related photographic images and 40 drawings. The collection was purchased from Carpenter by the Library of Congress in 1972. An oral history interview with the donor in 1972 and subsequent programs based on the materials complement the collection.

Access and Reproduction: Listening and viewing access to the collection is unrestricted. Duplication of the recorded materials may be governed by copyright.

Key Subjects: Afro-American spirituals, ballads, bothy ballads, castles, chanteys, Chedworth, Child ballads, children's games, children's songs, Christmas plays, Cornish carols, dreg songs, English Folk Dance Society, English folk plays, Hadrian's Wall, Helston Furry dance, mummers' plays, May Day festivals, morris dance, Pace Eggers, ritual drama, Roman baths, songs, Stonehenge, sword dance, wassailers

Primary Languages: English, Gaelic, Scottish


Physical Description Location Numbers
Manuscripts: 255 folders 10 reels microfilm Music 3109

Audio Recordings:


179 dictaphone cylinders AFS 4501-4679 (numbers subject to change)(Original field recordings)
220 12" discs at 78 rpm AFS 14,830-15,050 ("sides" 1-440) (Copies made by JMC of cylinders)
22 7" reels at 3.75 ips (Listening copies)
22 10" reels at 7.5 ips AFS 19,900-19,921. LWO 6961, r1-22 (Preservation copies of discs)

Graphic Materials
40 ink and pencil drawings
346 b&w negatives
598 b&w photoprints
112 b&w glass plate negatives
115 b&w glass transparencies (lantern slides)


Physical Description Location


3 Folders  
Sound Recordings  
4 7" reels FT at 7.5 ips AFS 14,762-14,765, LWO 6918
4 7" reels FT at 7.5 ips (Listening Copies
Graphic Images  
1 b&w contact sheet
4 color photoprints
1 b&w photoprint
17 color transparencies



The James Madison Carpenter Collection spans the years 1928- 1987, with the largest portion dated 1928-35. It is arranged into two groups or series. Series I, the bulk of the collection, consists of the materials purchased from Carpenter and includes manuscripts, sound recordings, and graphic materials. It contains the results of Carpenter's fieldwork, his subsequent work on the collection, and documentation of other professional activities. Series II consists of material about the collection, primarily generated by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. It includes manuscript material, sound recordings, and graphic materials. It is an open series.

Carpenter spent most of his life as an American university lecturer. However, he began his collecting activities while conducting research on sea chanteys in the northeast United States (1927-28) and England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland (1928) for his doctoral dissertation at Harvard University. This year of fieldwork extended into six more as Carpenter traveled throughout Scotland and Britain as a Harvard Fellow, covering (by his estimate) 40,000 miles and recording the texts and tunes of thousands of ballads and folksongs as well as hundreds of folk plays. During his tenure abroad, Carpenter focused, successively, on collecting chanteys (particularly in eastern coast ports of northern England and Scotland, 1929-30), ballads, and songs (chiefly in Scotland and the English counties of Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, and Yorkshire, 1929- 33), and folk plays (in England and Scotland, 1934-35). After his return to the United States, Carpenter continued collecting activities while a professor of English at Duke University, concentrating on children's songs and singing games (1938-41).

Through multi-format documentation Carpenter captured approximately 1,000 ballad texts and 850 tunes of the Francis Child canon; 500 sea songs and chanteys; 1,000 other ballads and songs (including bothy ballads and dreg songs) from Britain and America; 200 children's singing games, riddles, and nursery rhymes; 300 British folk plays; miscellaneous folktales, African-American spirituals, Cornish carols, and so forth; and 500 related photographic images and 40 drawings.* Although Carpenter used his collections as the subject of numerous lectures in colleges and universities, he never was successful at publishing his findings.

The collection represents not only the results of Carpenter's fieldwork, but also documents his fieldwork process. Traveling throughout Britain and Scotland in a small roadster (an Austin Seven), he searched for singers and dancers. While Carpenter found many of his best informants through chance and circumstance, he purposely tracked down some of the singers and performers documented by Francis Child, Gavin Greig, and Cecil Sharp. One of his most prolific informants, Scottish singer Bell Duncan, gave him 300 songs and ballads, of which 62 balads were previously collected by Child. Using a dictaphone powered by a six-volt battery, Carpenter recorded his informants on wax cylinders. He also typed the text with a manual typewriter while the singer dictated. Later he transferred many of the recordings to 12-inch acetate discs, and also taught himself music notation to transcribe approximately 1,000 of the recorded tunes. To record the folk plays, Carpenter usually enlisted several informants to recite the entire ritual drama, thus obtaining multiple versions of each one.

While Carpenter's focus was on the spoken and sung word, his collection includes some documentation of dance and related dance activities (see Appendix A). Many of the mummers' play texts, particularly the sword dance plays, include references to and some description of dance. The sound recordings include fiddle tunes used in morris dance. In addition, photographs depict morris dance (with broom dancing), sword dance, the Helston Furry dance, and dancing at May Day and English Folk Dance Society festivals.

Series I

Series I contains Carpenter's fieldwork documentation as well as notes, drafts, and miscellanea accumulated during the ensuing years of work. The fieldwork materials are interrelated; however, these relationships are not always readily apparent. That is, many of the ballads and songs are documented by written texts, recorded tunes, and notated tunes (often with texts). The photographs often depict the subjects of the ballads and songs (castles, rivers), the informants (mummers, wassailers, fishwives), and their environment (cottages, ports, villages). The inventories and indexes are limited at this time; no concordance links all the works together. Many ballads and folk plays are represented by several versions recorded by different informants. In addition, Carpenter's documentation of the informant, place, and date of recording is not consistent or complete.

The manuscript material in Series I consists of approximately 6,500 type- and handwritten leaves, bound and unbound. It contains documentation of Carpenter's fieldwork, subsequent work on the materials, and documentation of Carpenter's other professional activities. After the materials arrived at the Library they were microfilmed in the order in which they were arranged at the time: by "box," "packet," and "mailsack" number (folders 13-184). Since the microfilm has been distributed world-wide and references and guides use this arrangement, that arrangement has been maintained. Therefore, the materials in general are not organized systematically by subject type. Related notes, correspondence, iterations of indexes, and drafts of lectures or publications may be filed separately.

The materials fall into several categories, each of which may have several iterations: texts of ballads, songs, and plays; transcriptions of tunes; lists and indexes; correspondence; lecture notes and drafts; plans and drafts of publications; curriculum and administrative material from Duke University; newspaper clippings; and miscellaneous notes. The music texts and transcriptions include sea songs and chanteys, Child ballads, bothy ballads, dreg songs, children's songs and games, and carols. The ritual drama texts include mummers plays, Christmas plays, sword dance plays, guyzards, pace-eggers, plough boys, and riding the stang.

The manuscripts represent several stages of work, from rough field notes and transcriptions to more complete, alphabetically arranged versions. Some of the manuscripts, particularly the correspondence, notes, and lecture/publication drafts, shed light on the relationship of the photographs to the rest of the materials, Carpenter's fieldwork experiences, and his scholarly analysis of the collection. They also inform the reader about Carpenter's concerns and work after his years as a collector.

The sound recordings in Series I include the wax cylinders and the 12-inch discs used by Carpenter to record in England, Scotland, and the United States, 1928-41. Carpenter copied many of the cylinders onto the discs; he also used the discs for original recordings. According to Carpenter, he recorded approximately 3,000 tunes (many are repeated by the same or different singers), and was the first to make sound recordings of the ballads. The types of recordings include ballads, lyric songs, sea chanteys, fiddle tunes, folk tales, folk plays, children's songs, and African-American songs and tales. A contents list of the sound recordings prepared by Carpenter can be found in folders 9-10.

The graphic images in this series include film negatives, photoprints, glass negatives, glass positives (lantern slides), and drawings, totaling more than 1,000 items. The photographic materials were not indexed or inventoried by Carpenter, and no apparent order to the materials existed. Consequently, they are arranged by subject into the following general categories: performance/ritual, people, structures, ancient structures and artifacts, town and street scenes, landscapes and maritime scenes, and miscellaneous. For the most part, the photographs are not dated, but seem to span the years 1925-35; they depict subjects from England and Scotland. Carpenter or other annotators sometimes noted cryptic descriptions on the backs of photographs, on the front of the lantern slides, or on accompanying paper or enclosures (see folders 185-89, "Notes relating to photographs"). While Carpenter was the primary photographer, he also obtained many photographs from commerical photographers and others. At some point Carpenter made glass negatives of the photoprints, and then glass positives. Therefore, identical images often appear in different mediums.

Although his use of the photographs and their relationship to the other materials is not explicitly stated, it can be discerned that he used the lantern slides to illustrate lectures and planned to use the photographs to accompany publications of the materials. The images cover a range of people, places, and activities, from Carpenter himself (seated in his car), to Christmas wassailers, dancing children, Scottish castles, Roman baths, and market squares. They represent the content of the ballads and songs, the informants themselves, and subjects whose relationship to the collection is not yet known. Of particular note is the documentation of castles in Scotland and England that create a visual record of these structures as they existed before World War II. For a detailed inventory of the photographic materials, see the "Photograph Inventory" in folder 1.

The 40 ink and pencil drawings were drawn by George Baker, a British dry mason who was the son of a mummer. Undated, the drawings depict characters and scenes from mummers and Christmas plays. Often a caption identifies the characters, and multiple drawings of the same ones ("the doctor," "belsebub") exist. Carpenter planned to use these drawings as illustrations for publications on the folk plays.

Series II

Series II consists of materials generated by the Library of Congress concerning the collection. It contains manuscipt material, sound recordings, and photographs documenting the 1972 interview with Carpenter as well as a 1987 lecture that drew on collection materials. This is an open series.


James Madison Carpenter (1888-1984) was born in Booneville, Mississippi. He received both a bachelor of arts degree (1913) and a master of arts degree (1914) from the University of Mississippi. He furthered his graduate training at Harvard University, where he came under the tutelage of Professor G.L. Kittredge, a ballad scholar. At Harvard, Carpenter became interested in British and American folk songs; his dissertation, "Forecastle Songs and Chanties," was completed in 1929.

From 1929 to 1935 Carpenter traveled throughout England and Scotland primarily as a Harvard Fellow, collecting folk songs, folk plays, and other folklore materials. Upon his return to the United States, Carpenter taught himself to notate the tunes he had recorded, and transcribed approximately 1,000 tunes in the next few years. At the same time Carpenter became a college lecturer, giving presentations based on his research at institutions such as Harvard, Wellesley, Vassar, Smith, Radcliffe, Amherst, and the University of Vermont. In 1938 he taught English at Duke University, and continued his collecting of folk songs and children's games, often as part of his curriculum. After five years at Duke, Carpenter taught for one year at William and Mary and then became chairman of the English Department at Greensboro College. His tenure at Greensboro lasted ten years; he formally retired from the department in 1954. Carpenter returned to his hometown of Booneville in 1964, where he lived until his death in 1984.



Archive of Folk Culture Administrative Material:

Location Contents
Folder 1 Collection register and photograph inventory. The collection guide (this document) and the item-level inventory of photograph materials.
Folders 2-3 Correspondence, 1970-91. Correspondence between the Library of Congress and James M. Carpenter, Kenneth Goldstein, and others concerning the acquisition of the collection and related matters.
Folder 4 Notes about the collection. Handwritten and typed notes by James M. Carpenter and Alan Jabbour concerning the contents of the collection (n.d.).
Folder 5 Early box/contents lists. Handwritten and typed lists by Alan Jabbour and other Library employees outlining the contents of the collections, primarily the manuscript materials and the microfilm (n.d.).
Folder 6 List: Informants. 4-page typewritten list of names of those from whom Carpenter colleced in northeast Scotland, ca. 1930. Compiled by E.B. Lyle, 1975, from the headings of texts.
Folder 7 "A Guide to the Carpenter Manuscripts." A copy of the work compiled by E.C. Cawte, 1980. A type-written inventory of tunes, songs, and folk drama texts based on the microfilm of the manuscripts. In reel order, lists informant (singer, fiddler, etc.) and title. Includes date and place when listed in the original, as well as brief descriptions of other material such as correspondence and notes.
Folder 8 "A Guide to English Ritual Drama in the Carpenter Manuscripts." A copy of the work compiled by E.C. Cawte, 1980. 58-page, type- written inventory of ritual drama and other folk customs based on the microfilm of the manuscripts. In reel order, each entry includes place, source, Carpenter's folio number, type of custom, summary of materials, and comments. The guide also contains an analysis of the places and numbers of texts collected, a list of customs mentioned by Carpenter, an alphabetical index, and references.
Folders 9-10 Recordings--content list. Original and copy. Typewritten list (with annotations) prepared by Carpenter of the contents of the sound recordings. In disc side order, lists the title of the tune and the name or description of the singer/informant. It includes ballads, fiddle tunes, recitations of mummers' plays, chanteys, forebitters, dreg songs, bothy songs, nursery songs, and spirituals.
Folder 11 Articles by/about JM Carpenter. Photocopies of newspaper and magazine articles by Carpenter (1931, 1938) and about Carpenter and the collection (1985, 1989, 1990).


"B" and "P" in parentheses refer to "box" and "packet" numbers corresponding to those referred to in the microfilm. It is not known if this is the original order of the materials or the arrangement imposed by the Library for microfilming. "MS" refers to "mail sack."

Location Contents
Folder 12 Correspondence/papers 1928-39. Correspondence between Carpenter and Harvard University and John Lomax (Library of Congress) concerning his fellowships, collecting experiences, and possible lecture opportunities. Includes original fellowship certificates.
Folders 13-22 Scottish and English songs (B1P1). Typewritten and annotated texts of songs from Scotland and England. Originally bound, now separate 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch sheets. Most sheets include name of tune, singer (informant), and date and place of recording. Sheets are numbered, but are not arranged in numerical order. Numbers may refer to various indexes.
Folders 23-28 Scottish ballads (B1P2). Typewritten and annotated texts of ballads from Scotland. Originally bound, now separate 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch sheets. Most sheets include name of tune, singer (informant), and date and place of recording. Sheets are numbered, but are not arranged in numerical order. Numbers may refer to various indexes.
Folders 29-35 Mummers plays (B1P3). Typewritten and annotated texts of mummers' plays, including Riding The Stang, Christmas plays, sword dance plays, pace egger plays, and others. Originally bound, now separate 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch sheets. Includes name of play/group, location, informant, and text of play, as well as some description of movement/action, costuming, and circumstances of performance. Some plays copied from cited published sources. Often contains several versions of the same play from different informants, as well as the way the informant learned the play. Pages are numbered, but not necessarily arranged in numerical order.
Folders 36-39 Songs and "chanties" (B1P4). Originally bound, now separate 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch sheets of typewritten and annotated song texts. Includes title of song and often name of informant, date, and location. Pages are numbered but not necessarily arranged in numerical order. Begins with six-page typewritten and annotated "Index to Songs and Chanties" that lists titles of songs in numerical order and its number (page?).
Folders 40-43 Miscellaneous notes and indices (B2P1). Miscellaneous handwritten notes and song titles, mostly on 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch sheets; "Sharp's English Folk Song From Southern Appalaciana;" partial index of song titles and singers; partial sound recordings contents list, #73-126 (see Folder 9); and partial lists of informants, song genres, and titles.
Folders 44-57 Miscellaneous field typescripts and manuscripts (B2P2). Type- and handwritten (annotated) notes and texts similar in format to those in Folders 13-39; "Index to English and Scottish Traditional Ballads" arranged alphabetically by song title.
Folder 58 Miscellaneous notes (B2P3). Type- and handwritten notes on 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch sheets. Covers topics such as music, emotions, animal sounds, culture, race, civilization, cultural relativity, faith, students, present trends, and the study of folklore.
Folder 59 Miscellaneous notes and lectures (B2P4). Typewritten and annotated notes on 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheets, mostly dated 1954-55. Includes lecture notes on topics such as education, civilization, and emotions as well as script ideas.
Folder 60 Miscellaneous words and music (B2P5). Handwritten lyrics and accompanying tune transcriptions to several songs.
Folders 61-62 Miscellaneous words and music (B2P6). Handwritten lyrics and accompanying tune transcriptions to songs.
Folder 63 Miscellaneous notes (B2P7). Type- and handwritten notes, including a description of the Shop Acts and a list of songs.
Folder 64 Miscellaneous notes (B2P8). Type- and handwritten notes and a "Plan For Work" concerning his collection.
Folders 65-66 Miscellaneous notes and correspondence (B2P9). Mostly handwritten notes on various size sheets. Includes some correspondence, play texts, and newspaper clippings.
Folders 67-80 Ballads--index and texts, volume 1 (B3). Typewritten 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheets of ballad texts with title, singer/informant, and location. Arranged alphabetically by song title. Begins with annotated drafts of indexes: "Index to Ballads," "Index to American Ballads," "Child Ballad Texts," and "British and American Popular Ballads."
Folders 81-99 Ballads--index and texts, volume 2 (B4). Continuation of the above texts in alphabetical order by song title.
Folders 100-21 Music manuscripts (B5P1). Handwritten transcriptions of tunes on 8 1/2 x 11 inch music sheets, arranged alphabetically by song title. Each tune lists the metronome setting, name of singer/musician/informant and lyrics. Includes some correspondence and notes.
Folders 122-23 Notes (1939 datebook) (B5P2). Miscellaneous correspondence and a bound 1939 "Day Book" with notes listing song titles.
Folder 124 Songs and notes (B5P3). "Lefax" music staff notebook, 6 3/4 x 4 inches, containing handwritten music transcription and notes.
Folder 125 English melodies (B5P4). Bound music notebook, 6 1/2 x 5 inches. Contains transcriptions of titled tunes collected in 1928.
Folder 126 American melodies (B5P4). Bound music notebook, 6 1/2 x 5 inches. Contains transcriptions of titled tunes collected in 1927-28.
Folder 127 Scottish national dictionary (B6P1). Typewritten copy of _The Scottish National Dictionary, Volumes I and II_ by William Grant, published by the Scottish National Dictionary Association, 1941.
Folder 128 Composition book (B6P2). "Southern Maid" composition book, 6 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches. Contains several pages of handwritten notes.
Folders 129-31 Notes, etc. (B6P2). Type- and handwritten notes, correspondence drafts, newspaper clippings, and curriculum materials on various size paper. Topics covered include "Music and Cosmic Orientation;" "British Folksong and British Peasants;" segregating methods; Hitler; different types of songs; education; intelligence; folk literature; and expressions of moods, screams, and emotions.
Folders 132-33 Notes (B6P3). Type- and handwritten song lyrics (particularly children's songs) and descriptions of square dances and accompanying tunes. Includes informants' names (possibly Carpenter's students).
Folder 134 Exercise book and notes (B6P4). Bound "Exercise Book," 6 1/4 x 8 inches. Contains handwritten song texts.
Folder 135 Games (B6P5). 4 x 6 inch notecards containing handwritten texts to children's games and songs.
Folder 136 Music (B6P5). Bound music book, 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches. Handwritten title on cover: "The Census of American Ballads--Louise Pound Ballad." Handwritten music transcription with lyrics and metronome settings.
Folders 137-48 Miscellaneous notes and papers (B6P6). Type- and handwritten sheets of various sizes. Includes manuscript and lecture drafts, notes, lists and indexes, song texts, glossary (Scottish? Gaelic?), English class administrative notes, and tune transcriptions.
Folders 149-52 Looseleaf notebook (notes and songs) (B6P7). Mostly 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheets, type- and handwritten. Begins with a list, "Summer School Students," and continues with texts of songs. Each text identified with a student's name. Includes some accompanying music transcription.
Folders 153-56 Miscellaneous papers and notes (B7P1). Type- and handwritten sheets of various sizes. Includes notes, song texts, lists of songs (chanteys, Child ballads), and drafts of lectures and/or articles. Bound, 6 1/4 x 8 inch "Exercise Book" with handwritten mummers' play text.
Folders 157-61 Mummers plays and miscellaneous notes (B7P2). Type- and handwritten sheets of various sizes. Includes lecture drafts describing mummers' plays, folk carols, ballads, chanteys, and Carpenter's collecting experiences; texts of plays; and tune transcriptions.
Folders 162-64 American songs (B7P3). Type- and handwritten sheets, mostly 8 1/2 x 11 inch. Texts of songs with name of informant (student?).
Folders 165-76 Music manuscripts books (MS/P1). Twelve music notebooks, 7 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches, 8 1/4 x 7 inches, and 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches. Contain hand- written transcriptions of tunes with lyrics, as well as notes.
Folders 177-84 Miscellaneous notes and article drafts (MS/P2). Mostly 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheets, type- and handwritten. Includes article (lecture?) drafts such as "Living Ballads From Britain's Long Dead Past," "Burns' Folksong Muse," "Scotland's Folk Singers," "Collecting Folklore in Britain," and "Folksongs of British Peasants," as well as correspondence drafts such as query letters concerning lecture and publishing opportunities.
Folders 185-89 Notes relating to photographs. Correspondence and other notes (on paper, envelopes, original photoprint enclosures) by Carpenter and others describing the contents of photographs and other miscellaneous information.
Folder 190 Ephemera. Miscellaneous historic postcards, drawings, and printed verses.
Folders 191-4 Oversize originals. Original manuscript material larger than 8 1/2 x 11 inches. Copies can be found in their original place within Folders 12- 184.
Music 3109 Microfilm. Microfilm copy of the original manuscript material in Folders 13-184. Arranged by "box" and "packet" number. 10 reels.
Location Contents
Cyl. 4501-4679 179 Dictaphone cylinders. Original field recordings by James M. Carpenter made in England and Scotland, ca. 1929 to 1935. See AFS 14,830-15,050.
AFS 14,830- 15,050 220 12" acetate discs. Copies made by Carpenter of the cylinders, as well as other disc recordings made in North Carolina and Mississippi. Ca. 1929 to early 1940s. Includes ballads, dance tunes, lyric songs, sea chanteys, fiddle tunes, dreg songs, bothie songs, Wassailer songs, children's songs, carols, mummers' plays, and spirituals. LWO 6961, R1-22. Listening copies are available in the Folklife Reading Room. A content list prepared by Carpenter of the recordings can be found in Folder 9.
AFS 19,900- 19,921 22 10" reels. Preservation copies of AFS 14,830- 15,050. Listening copies are 19,921 available in the Folklife Reading Room.
Location Contents
Box 14 Drawings. 40 ink and pencil drawings on loose sheets of various sizes (n.d.). Made by George Baker, a British dry mason whose father was a Mummer. Drawings depict characters and scenes from mummer and Christmas plays. Some drawings include a descriptive caption, such as "Sweet Moll" or "Little Dick Nip."
Box 15 Film negatives. 346 black-and-white film negatives, mostly 4 1/4 x 3 1/4 inches. Arranged numerically by subject category. Unless documented otherwise, the negatives are assumed to have been photographed by James M. Carpenter. Oversize negatives (copy?) can be found in Envelope 1, Box 16. For item-level description, see Folder 1 for the Photograph Inventory.
Boxes 16-22 (Folders 195-255) Photoprints. 598 black-and-white photoprints of various sizes. Arranged numerically by subject category. Unless otherwise indicated, photoprints corresponding to film negatives are assumed to have been taken by Carpenter. Includes many photoprints by other photographers who are often identified in captions on the photoprint or in other documentation. Multiple copies of the same image exist. For item-level description, see Folder 1 for the Photograph Inventory.
Boxes 23-26 Glass plate negatives. Approximately 112 black- and-white glass plate negatives, 4 x 3 1/4 inches. Hand-tinted with pink. Arranged numerically by subject category. Only two do not correspond to photoprints or film negatives of the same image. For item-level description, see Folder 1 for the Photograph Inventory.
Boxes 27-33 Glass transparencies (lantern slides). Approximately 115 black-and-white glass lantern slides, 4 x 3 1/4 inches. Arranged numerically by subject category. Almost all correspond to glass negatives of the same image; only four do not correspond to film negatives or photoprints of the same image. Most have a one- or two-word desciption printed on the label, presumably by Carpenter. Originally arranged by the collector in groups that may correspond to lecture topics. For item-level description and groupings, see Folder 1 for Photograph Inventory.


Location Contents
Folder 256 Oral history interview transcript. Transcript provided by Dr. Kenneth Goldstein in 1981 of the interview with Carpenter recorded by Alan Jabbour in Carpenter's home in Booneville, Mississippi, May 27, 1972. See sound recordings AFS 14,762-14,765.
Folder 258 Lecture materials. "Raise A Fire and Strike A Light." Press release and flier promoting the lecture by Paul Smith on British folk drama in the Carpenter Collection presented at the Library on November 19, 1987.
Location Contents
AFS 14,762- 14,765 Oral history interview. Four 7" reels, LWO 6918. Interview with Carpenter recorded by Alan Jabbour in Carpenter's home in Booneville, Mississippi on May 27, 1972. A transcript of the interview can be found in folder 256. Listening copies are available in the Folklife Reading Room.
Location Contents
Folder 257 Photoprints. 4 color photoprints of Carpenter taken in May 1972, presumably outside his home in Booneville. Photographer probably Alan Jabbour.
Folder 259 Lecture materials: photographs. One black-and- white contact sheet and one 8 x 10 photoprint of the lecture by Paul Smith on November 19, 1987.
Envelope 2 Lecture materials: slides. 17 color transparencies of photoprints and drawings of Mummers housed in this collection used for the November 19, 1987, lecture by Paul Smith. Photographed by Carl Fleischhauer.

* A "bothy" is a lean-to in the horse's stable where farm hands slept. "Dreg" refers to the men in small rowboats who would pull a dredge to harvest oysters.


Carpenter was primarily interested in collecting ballads and songs and folk plays; however, since dance is often an integral part of these folk expressions, the materials in the collection include some documentation of dance or dance-related activities, as described below.


The majority of the folk plays can be found in folders 29-35, "Mummers Plays." Carpenter's documentation of the plays focused on texts. Many of the plays include dance sections, whether or not this was noted by Carpenter. Some of the texts make references to dance within the speeches or lyrics of the characters; other times Carpenter makes a reference to action within the play ("they danced"). A few of the plays, most notably the sword dance plays, contain more description of the dance movements and formations. Based on review during processing, the following are plays (listed using Carpenter's title, informant, and sometimes location) in which Carpenter noted dancing occurs or that feature some description of dancing.

Folder 29 "Ploughboys, Tathwell, Robert Brader"
" Plough Jags or Morris Dancers, Middle Rasen, JF&S Sellars"
Folder 30 "Sword Dance, Kirby Mourside" (handwritten)
" Helmsby Sword Dancers" (handwritten)
" Thistlewate Belerby Sword Dance" (handwritten)
" Sword Dance at Kirkby Malzeard, John Craft (log book)"
" Ampleforth Sword Dance, Mr. William Garbutt"
" Greatham Sword Dance Play, Thomas Armstrong"
" Greatham Sword Dance, Rutherford MS P"
"Easdon Sword Dancers, Mr. Tom Vennar"
" Bellerby Sword Dance Play, William Thistlethwaite"
" Sword Dance Play, Jack Kendray, Bellerby"
Folder 31 "Hunton Verson, Robert Spence, Morton-on-Swale, Northallerton"
" Hunton Sword Dance, Thomas James and Fred Pounder"
" Sword Dance Play, Hunton, James Pounder, Chaytor Torrace, Fishburn, County Durham"
" Sword Dance Play, Hunton, John Carlin" "The Sword Dance, Startforth, Henry Scott"
Folder 132 "Notes," contains some descriptions of several square dances and a few diagrams. These were most likely collected in the United States.


The sound recordings probably contain some tunes used for morris dance, sword dance, and dance interludes in mummers' plays. It is difficult to tell from the titles listed in the recordings content list. However, "fiddle tunes" (Carpenter recording numbers 232-249) probably include dance tunes. See "Recordings--content list" in folders 9-10.


The photographs listed below include images of dancing as well as of actitivies that include dance, such as mummers' plays, May Day celebrations, and the English Folk Dance Society (EDFS) festivals. For a more detailed list and explanation, see the Photograph Inventory in Folder 1.

Film Negatives/Photoprints

P1-5: P1-p1 to P5-p1 The Mummers Bampton
P6-9: P6-p1 to P9-p1 The Mummers Bampton
P24: P24-p1-2 Graphic of mummers
P10: Mummer group
P11: P11-p1-2 Mummer group
P12: Padstow Hobby 'oss,, Cornwall
P13-14: P13-p1 to P14-p1 Mari Lloyd (Hobby 'oss), Wales
P15: Midgley Pace Eggers, Yorkshire
P25-27: P25-p1 to P27-p1 Bampton Morris
P28-31: Bampton Morris, Oxfordshire (and broom dancing--at EFDS?)
P32-33: P32-p1 to P33-p1 Bampton Morris (Ilmington mummers)
P34-35: P34-p1-2; P35-p1-2; P35-n1 Bampton Morris (Ilmington mummers)
P36: P36-p1 Sam Bennett, Ilmington Morris Fiddler
P37: Sam Bennett....and broom dancer
P38: Broom dancer
P47-48: William Nathan "Jinky" Wells, BamptonMorris Fiddler, Oxfordshire, w/Bampton Morri
P49-50: Jinky Wells, Bampton
P51: Samual Bennett, Ilmington
P39-40: P39-p1 to P40-p1-2 Fool with conical hat
P43: P43-p1 EFDS demonstration team-Morris Morris Men, Oxfordshire
P44-46: "EFDS Festival Stanway 11-7-25"
P52: P52-p1-5 Goathland Plough Stotts, N. Yorkshire P52-n1 "
P53: Sword dancers
P55: Sword dancers
P56: Sword dancers (girls)
P57-58: Helston furry dance
P59: Cotswold village Mayday
P60: P60-p1 "Ettington 2. 24-5-33"
P61: "Ilmington 1."
P62: "Ilmington 24-5-33 2."
P63: "Empire Day 1933. Ilmington 1" Sam Bennett and girls
P64: P64-p1 "Empire Day 1933 Ilmington 2"
P65: Sam Bennett and fool and others (same day as above)
P66: P66-p1 Sam Bennett with fool and ladies (same day as above)
P67: Ragnee Hathaway (same day as above)
P68: Children dancing with ribbons
P69: Sam Bennett fiddling with dancers
P70: P70-p1 "May Day Shipston 1924"
P71: "May Day, Shipston-on-Stoor no. 1, 1926"
P72: "Shipston, May 1st, 1928 9"
P73: "Shipston, 1-5-30 16"
P74: P74-p1 "Upper Slaugher May 1st 1933"
P75: P75-n1 "Mr. Sam Bennett's Morris Dancers"
P76-77 Maypole
P83-87: P83-p1 to P87-p1 Saxon funeral--dancing w/Sam Bennett

Glass Lantern Slides

P561: The Mummers Bampton
P562: P562-t1 The Mummers Bampton
P563: P563-t1 The Mummers Bampton
P564: P564-t1 (Graphic--mummers)
P565: P565-t1; P565-n1Pace-Eggers, Yorkshire
P568: P568-t1 The Morris Men, Bampton
P569: (Fool with conical hat)
P570: P570-t1 Morris Men, Oxford (EFDS)
P571: P571-t1 Sword Dancers, Yorkshire
P572: P572-t1 Sword Dancers
P573: P573-t1 English Maypole Dances ("Upper Slaughter, 1933...")
P574: P574-t1 English Mayday Dances


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