Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2498

George Lyman Kittredge papers on American songs and ballads


Papers collected by Harvard professor and ballad scholar, George Lyman Kittredge, concerning American ballads and songs.


  • Creation: 1925 and undated


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


.5 linear feet (1 box)

An eclectic group of ballad-related papers, collected by Kittredge for use in his ballad and folklore studies.

Includes compilations of American ballad and song texts by Arthur Palmer Hudson, George Pullen Jackson, and Franz Rickaby, and includes ballads from the areas of Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and others. Materials include both texts of songs, manuscript music, and some photographs relating to folklore.

Also includes an historical document by Frederick W. C. Lieder concerning the involvement of the Lieder family in the publishing of Henry De Marsan's new comic and sentimental singer's journal. New York, N.Y., and some unidentified papers, indexes, and lists concerning ballads and printed broadsides.

Biographical / Historical

Kittredge was born in Boston in 1860 and received his Harvard A.B. in 1882. He became Francis James Child's successor to the Harvard Boylston Professorship of Rhetoric and Oratory and later was appointed Harvard's first Gurney Professor of English (1917). Kittredge was a noted authority on the English language, Shakespeare, and Chaucer, and he also continued scholarhip in the field pioneered by Child — the study of folklore and folk history.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession number. Gift of George Lyman Kittredge; received: probably in 1926, date unknown. Recataloged from: 27256.29.2*

General note

In English.

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Kittredge, George Lyman, 1860-1941, collector. George Lyman Kittredge papers on American songs and ballads, 1925 and undated: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440