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Marie Campbell papers, 1939-1962

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Author

Finding aid prepared by Heidi Taylor-Caudill

Title

Marie Campbell papers

Date

1939-1962

Repository

University of Kentucky Special Collections

Arrangement

Collection is arranged by format.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to researchers by appointment.

Preferred Citation Note

1997ms359: [identification of item], Marie Campbell papers, 1939-1962, University of Kentucky Special Collections.

Extent

1.35 Cubic Feet

3 boxes

Abstract

The Marie Campbell papers (dated 1939-1962; 1.35 cubic feet) primarily comprises correspondence and manuscripts that document the publication of four books by folklore scholar Marie Campbell.

Biography/History

Marie Campbell, author and prominent folklore scholar, was born in Tamms, Illinois on February 17, 1907. In the summer of 1926, nineteen-year-old Campbell left her home to take a teaching position with the Hindman Settlement School at Caney Creek in Knott County, Kentucky. The following fall she accepted a position with the school at Gander (now Carcassone) in Letcher County, Kentucky. It was at these locations that she was first introduced to the rich oral tradition of Kentucky mountain people. Between 1926 and 1940 Campbell collected stories, many of which were local variations on European folk tales, Irish mythology, and other stories with classical origins. She also participated in local events such as quilting bees, square dances, and church meetings, and even corn-shucking, bean-stringing, or apple-peeling gatherings. What she captured through her notes were stories passed down by family members who for more than a century were largely isolated from outside society.

In the 1930s Campbell started publishing articles on folklore while working as a high school English teacher. She received an A.B. in education from Southern Illinois Teachers College in 1932 and an M.A. in English from George Peabody College in 1937. In 1940, Campbell started teaching English, folklore, and creative writing at West Georgia College, Peabody College, Alabama Laboratory School, and Carollton High School in Georgia. During the summers she worked with the Kentucky Crippled Children's Commission making home visits.

Campbell published her first collection of southern Appalachian folk tales, Cloud-Walking, in 1942. Two years later in 1944, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts - Fiction to support further research. Over the next decade Campbell produced Folks Do Get Born (1946), an account of African American midwives in rural Georgia, and A House with Stairs (1950), a novel about an African-American family in Alabama during the Civil War. Additionally, she published many articles in magazines and journals such as Southern Literary Messenger, Journal of American Folklore, Southern Folklore Quarterly, American Cookery, Childhood Education, School Activities, and the Tennessee Folklore Bulletin.

In 1956 Campbell finished a Ph.D. in folklore and comparative literature from Indiana University. During this time she taught at Glassboro State College in New Jersey, Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Campbell published a second collection of southern Appalachian folk tales, Tales of the Cloud Walking Country, in 1958. At the time of her death, Dr. Campbell was an emeritus professor of Folklore and English at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

Marie Campbell. John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Accessed October 23, 2013. http://www.gf.org/fellows/2212-marie-campbell.

Yocom, Margaret R. Marie Campbell in American Folklore: An Encyclopedia, edited by Jan Harold Brunvand, 230. New York: Garland Publishing, 1996.

Scope and Content

The Marie Campbell papers (dated 1939-1962; 1.35 cubic feet) primarily comprises correspondence with publisher Farrar & Rinehart and manuscripts that document the publication of four books by folklore scholar Marie Campbell: Cloud Walking (1942), Folks Do Get Born (1946), House with Stairs (1950), and Tales from Cloud Walking Country (1958). Also includes two newspaper articles that relate to Marie Campbell's career as a folklorist and publication of Tales from Cloud Walking Country.

Subjects

  • Farrar & Rinehart.
  • Appalachian Region--Folklore
  • Campbell, Marie, 1907-
  • Authors, American--Kentucky.
  • Folklore.
  • Publishers and publishing--United States.
  • Women authors--20th century.

Related Material

59m6, Marie Campbell manuscript, University of Kentucky Special Collections.

Collection Inventory

Series I. Correspondence, 1939-1962
Scope and Content Note:

Primarily comprises publisher's correspondence between Marie Campbell and the staff of Farrar and Rinehart, New York that documents the publication of her books Cloud Walking (1942-1945), Folks Do Get Born (1946-1949), and House with Stairs (1950-1962). Also includes general correspondence between Marie Campbell and numerous persons. Correspondents include John Farrar, Frederick Rinehart, Stanley Rinehart, Jean Crawford, John Selby, Marguerite Reese, Theodore S. Amussen, Bill Jansen, Susan B. Riley, Walter C. Curry, Lucy Gage, A. L. Crabb, Willis A. Sutton, Mary Venable, and Louis C. Jones.

There is also a newspaper article dated February 19, 1956, that describes Marie Campbell's early career working as a teacher at the Hindman Settlement School on Caney Creek in Knott County, Kentucky and at Gander (now Carcassone), near Whitesburg in Letcher County, Kentucky as well as how she started collecting the stories that were later included in her book Cloud Walking.

Subseries A. Publisher's correspondence, 1942-1962
Farrar and Rinehart, New York, on Cloud Walking, 1942-1945
[Box: 1, Folder: 1]
Farrar and Rinehart, New York, on Folks Do Get Born, 1946-1949
[Box: 1, Folder: 2]
Farrar and Rinehart, New York, on House with Stairs, 1950-1962
[Box: 1, Folder: 3]
Miscellaneous, undated
[Box: 1, Folder: 4]
Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper article, 1956 February 19
[Box: 1, Folder: 5]
Subseries B. General correspondence, 1939-1955
1939
[Box: 1, Folder: 6]
1942, 1942
[Box: 1, Folder: 7]
1943
[Box: 1, Folder: 8]
1944-1945
[Box: 1, Folder: 9]
1946
[Box: 1, Folder: 10]
1947-1949
[Box: 1, Folder: 11]
1950
[Box: 1, Folder: 12]
1951
[Box: 1, Folder: 13]
1952-1955
[Box: 1, Folder: 14]
undated
[Box: 1, Folder: 15-16]
Series II. Manuscripts, 1958, undated
Scope and Content Note:

Primarily comprises handwritten and carbon copy manuscripts of Marie Campbell's books Folks Do Get Born (1946), House with Stairs (1950), Tales From the Cloud Walking Country (1958) and Cloud Walking (1942).

There is also a newspaper article dated December 14, 1958, that describes Marie Campbell's early career as a folklorist and documents the publication of her book Tales From the Cloud Walking Country.

Subseries A. Folks Do Get Born, undated
Handwritten copy, undated
[Box: 2, Folder: 1-4]
Carbon copy, undated
[Box: 2, Folder: 5]
Subseries B. House with Stairs, undated
Handwritten copy, undated
[Box: 2, Folder: 6-8]
Carbon copy, undated
[Box: 3, Folder: 1]
Subseries C. Tales from Cloud Walking Country and Cloud Walking, 1958, undated
Handwritten copies, undated
[Box: 3, Folder: 2-4]
Carbon copy of Cloud Walking, undated
[Box: 3, Folder: 5]
Herald-Leader newspaper article, 1958 December 14
[Box: 3, Folder: 6]