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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1314

George Lyman Kittredge additional papers on American songs and ballads


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


  • Creation: 1905-1937


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this collection.


2 linear feet (4 boxes)

Group 1 includes: An eclectic group of ballad-related papers, collected by Kittredge for use in his ballad and folklore studies. Also includes: research notes on the books of John Winthrop; letters from others to Kittredge concerning Winthrop, ballad studies and collection in the United States and Scotland; and printed clippings concerning ballads. Includes compilations of American ballad and song texts by Olive Dame Campbell, James Madison Carpenter, John Harrington Cox, Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, Lydia I. Hinkel, John F. Smith, and Maude Minish Sutton. Includes ballads and folk songs from the areas of Maine, North Carolina, the southern mountains of Appalachia, Virginia, and West Virginia. Materials include both texts of songs and manuscript music.

Group 2 was found in the library at a later date from Group 1, and cataloged separately. Much, but not all, of this material appears to be related to the publication of and/or research for: British ballads from Maine ; the development of popular songs with texts and airs ; versions of ballads included in Professor F. J. Child's collection compiled by Phillips Barry, Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, and Mary Winslow Smyth. Published: 1929. Some of the material is marked as being part of the "Barry collection." Primarily this group is manuscript transcript texts of ballads sent in to Phillips Barry from collectors around the country. Also includes a few letters to him, clippings, and notes.

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 scholarship in the field pioneered by Child - the study of folklore and folk history.


Arranged into 2 series:

  1. I. Group 1
  2. II. Group 2

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Items (1) - (11): No accession number. Bequest of George Lyman Kittredge; received: 1941.

Item (12): No accession number. Found with: MS Storage 281. Collection materials assembled by Carolyn Jakeman.

Items (13) - (26): No accession number. Found with: Collection materials assembled by Carolyn Jakeman.

Related Materials

There is related material in the George Lyman Kittredge Papers at the Harvard University Archives, at the Child Memorial Library, Harvard, as well as additional papers at Houghton. See HOLLIS and OASIS for information.

General note

Collection materials are in English.

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Kittredge, George Lyman, 1860-1941, collector. George Lyman Kittredge additional papers on American songs and ballads, 1905-1937: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
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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.

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