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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2784

Song and ballad collection


Manuscript material relating to British and American folk songs, ballads, and poems.


  • Creation: 1777-1940

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English and German.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


.5 linear feet (1 box)

Primarily papers for ballad and folk song studies. Papers were mostly assembled by Harvard professor George Lyman Kittredge. Includes: manuscript texts and manuscript transcripts of ballads and songs; manuscript music of ballads and songs; poems and verses; letters to Kittredge concerning ballad manuscripts; and letters giving Kittredge permission to publish.

Biographical / Historical

George Lyman 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 alphabetically by author or title.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

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

Most of this material appears to have been assembled by George Lyman Kittredge. A few items have acquisition information with the entries.

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 on both Kittredge and Child as well as other ballad and song papers.

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Song and ballad collection, 1777-1940: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules
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.

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