Mary Celestia Parler Papers

MC 1501

Special Collections
University of Arkansas Libraries

365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701-4002
Phone: 479-575-8444
Email: specoll@uark.edu

Machine-readable finding aid encoded in EAD by Lori Birrell, 2019.

Finding aid is written in English.

Table of Contents

Descriptive Summary

Creator
Mary Celestia Parler
Title
Mary Celestia Parler Papers
Inclusive Dates
1914 - 1983
Identification
MC 1501
Extent
3 linear feet (10 boxes)
Language
Materials are in English.
Repository
Special Collections Department, University of Arkansas Libraries

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email specoll@uark.edu at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

No Use Restrictions Apply. No Interlibrary Loan. In some cases, performances and other material in the collection are protected by copyright and may not be used without permission.

Acquisition Information

These materials were donated to Special Collections by Dr. Leo Van Scyoc, of the University of Arkansas Department of English. He worked with Mary Celestia Parler and aided in the preparation of her notes for the University Folklore Collection.

Processing Information

The papers were processed by Rachel Reynolds, Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, Arkansas, in April 2003.

Preferred Form of Citation

Mary Celestia Parler Papers, Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville.

Biographical Note

Mary Celestia Parler was born in 1904, in Wedgefield, South Carolina. She came to University of Arkansas in 1948 as an associate professor of English, specializing in the works of Chaucer. In 1949, she participated in the formation of the Arkansas Folklore Society with John Gould Fletcher and Vance Randolph, whom she later married. Also that year she developed the university's curriculum for Arkansas folklore and became the director of the University of Arkansas Folklore Research Project. During the next fifteen years, she along with her students amassed a collection of over 3,000 audio recordings of folksong and tales. Aside from the audio collection, now known as the Mary Celestia Parler Ozark Folksong Collection, she also produced twelve volumes of adjectival comparisons, proverbs, riddles, beliefs and superstitions, and ballads taken from over sixty-thousand note cards which she collected from her students during her twenty-six year career at the university. She also published a compilation entitled Arkansas Ballet Book, taken from songs found in the folksong collection in 1963.

Scope and Content Note

Papers include teaching and research materials, class reports, and other documentation collected by Mary Celestia Parler-Randolph, of the Department of English, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville in the course of her work with Ozark folklore, especially Ozark folksong. These materials were originally housed in the Department of English, as part of the Folklore Research Project files. The material was used to compile the twelve volumes of Arkansas Folklore in Special Collections that cover proverbs, riddles, beliefs, superstitions, as well as ballads contained in what is now known as the Mary Celestia Parler Ozark Folksong Collection. This collection contains professional correspondence, style sheets, and drafts of the bound non-song materials in the University Folklore Collection, audio recordings, class notes, student reports, photographs, and index cards pertaining to organization of the collection and contact organizations and individuals.

Arrangement of the Papers

Material is arranged and described in fourteen series:

  1. Series 1. Professional Correspondence and Linguistic Reports and Correspondence (Boxes 1-2)
  2. Series 2. Manuscripts and Notes (Box 3)
  3. Series 3. "Arkansas Ballet Book" (Box 3)
  4. Series 4. Instructions and Contents to Non-Song Material (Box 3)
  5. Series 5. Student Reports (Box 4) )
  6. Series 6. Preliminary Materials for the Non-Song material in the University Folklore Collection (Box 5)
  7. Series 7. Reel-to-Reel tapes (Box 5)
  8. Series 8. Index Cards Boxes (6-8)
  9. Series 9. Lyrical Transcriptions (Box 9)
  10. Series 10. Folklore Journal Issues (Box 9)
  11. Series 11. Publications Concerning the University of Arkansas Folklore Research Project (Box 9)
  12. Series 12. Photographs (Box 9)
  13. Series 13. Drawings and Portraits (Box 9)
  14. Series 14. Artifacts (Box 10)

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following contains a detailed list of the materials in the collection.

series I: Professional Correspondence and Linguistic Reports and Correspondence (Boxes 1-2),

1958-1983

Series 1 contains professional correspondence of Mary Celestia Parler and Vance Randolph. Correspondents include Wayland Hand, Ethel Simpson, and Leo Van Scyoc regarding index cards of Ms. Parler's. The series also includes Linguistic Reports filled out by informants and distributed through home demonstration agents of the Cooperative Extension Service. Some correspondence is also contained within the Linguistic Reports.

series I Box 1 Folder 1

Miscellaneous Professional Correspondence, 1958, 1973,1983

series I Box 1 Folder 2

Linguistic Reports, Ashley County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 3

Linguistic Reports, Baxter County, Arkansas, 1959

series I Box 1 Folder 4

Linguistic Reports, Benton County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 5

Linguistic Reports, Boone County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 6

Linguistic Reports, Carroll County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 7

Linguistic Reports, Cleburne County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 8

Linguistic Reports, Columbia County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 9

Linguistic Reports, Decatur County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 10

Linguistic Reports, Garland Count, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 11

Linguistic Reports, Grant County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 12

Linguistic Reports, Hempstead County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 13

Linguistic Reports, Jackson County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 14

Linguistic Reports, Johnson County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 15

Linguistic Reports, Lafayette County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 16

Linguistic Reports, Little River County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 17

Linguistic Reports, Lonoke County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 18

Linguistic Reports, Madison County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 19

Linguistic Reports, Marion County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 20

Linguistic Reports, Miller County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 21

Linguistic Reports, Mississippi County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 22

Linguistic Reports, Newton County, Arkansas

series I Box 1 Folder 23

Linguistic Reports, Ouachita County, Arkansas

series I Box 2 Folder 1

Linguistic Reports, Perry County, Arkansas

series I Box 2 Folder 2

Linguistic Reports, Poinsett County, Arkansas

series I Box 2 Folder 3

Linguistic Reports, Pulaski County, Arkansas

series I Box 2 Folder 4

Linguistic Reports, Sebastian County, Arkansas

series I Box 2 Folder 5

Linguistic Reports, Sevier County, Arkansas

series I Box 2 Folder 6

Linguistic Reports, Union County, Arkansas

series I Box 2 Folder 7

Linguistic Reports, Washington County, Arkansas

series I Box 2 Folder 8

Linguistic Reports, Washington County, Arkansas

series I Box 2 Folder 9

Linguistic Reports, Washington County, Arkansas

series I Box 2 Folder 10

Linguistic Reports, Yell County, Arkansas

series I Box 2 Folder 11

Linguistic Reports, Woodbury County, Iowa

series I Box 2 Folder 12

Linguistic Reports, Webster Parish, Louisiana

series I Box 2 Folder 13

Linguistic Reports, Barry County, Missouri

series I Box 2 Folder 14

Linguistic Reports, Dunklin County, Missouri

series I Box 2 Folder 15

Linguistic Reports, Wilbarger County, Texas

series I Box 2 Folder 16

Unidentified Linguistic Reports

series II: Manuscripts and Notes (Box 3)

This series contains Mary Celestia Parler's research notes on Chaucer, notes on Victorian poetry, transcribed articles and lyrics on "Billy Barlow," its variations, and lyrical comparisons between versions and, one of Parler's Folklore Bibliographies.

series II Box 3 Folder 1

Notes on Chaucer

series II Box 3 Folder 2

Lyrical Comparisons and Transcriptions

series II Box 3 Folder 3

Notes and Bibliography

series III: Arkansas Ballet Book (Box 3)

This series contains Mary Celestia Parler's stylistic instructions for Arkansas Ballet Book, her only published work. This compilation of ballads was taken from songs that Mary Parler collected for the University of Arkansas Folklore Research Project 1949-1965. It also contains the original bibliography, preface, and two copies of the original manuscript.

series III Box 3 Folder 4

Bibliography, preface, and style instructions

series III Box 3 Folder 5

Manuscript, Arkansas Ballet Book

series III Box 3 Folder 6

Manuscript, Arkansas Ballet Book

series IV: Instructions and Contents to Non-Song Material (Box 3)

This series contains handwritten notes by Mary Celestia Parler on her style instruction for the layout of the non-song materials in the University Folklore Collection, her listing of contents, and the content addendum.

series IV Box 3 Folder 7

Notes, contents, addendum, style sheets and instructions

series IV Box 3 Folder 8

Carbons of Ch. XXII- Miscellaneous Puns

series V: Student Reports (Box 4)

This series contains reports collected from Mary Celestia Parler's students in her Arkansas Folklore Class at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, [1956-1972]. The reports are arranged by topic. These reports are included in the general finding aid for Folklore Class Reports, 1958-1999

series V Box 4 Folder 1

Book Reports

series V Box 4 Folder 2

Report on Games

series V Box 4 Folder 3

Report on Games

series V Box 4 Folder 4

Report on Games

series V Box 4 Folder 5

Report on Games

series V Box 4 Folder 6

Report on Games

series V Box 4 Folder 7

Report on Recipes

series V Box 4 Folder 8

Report on Recipes

series V Box 4 Folder 9

Report on Recipes

series V Box 4 Folder 10

Reports on Remedies

series V Box 4 Folder 11

Reports on Remedies

series V Box 4 Folder 12

Reports on Remedies

series V Box 4 Folder 13

Report on News

series V Box 4 Folder 14

Report on Auction

series V Box 4 Folder 15

Report on Folklore Convention

series V Box 4 Folder 16

Report on Jackson County

series V Box 4 Folder 17

Report on Mrs. Jim Campbell

series V Box 4 Folder 18

Report on Jessie McConnico

series V Box 4 Folder 19

Transcribed letters and diaries

series V Box 4 Folder 20

Miscellaneous Reports

series VI: Preliminary Material for University Folklore Collection (Box 5)

The contents of this series pertain to the non-song portions of the University Folklore Collection. There are examples of riddles and dialect or adjectival comparisons, as well as two sets of note cards, assigned and unassigned numbers, that are discussed in the correspondence in Series 1.

series VI Box 5 Folder 1

Riddles

series VI Box 5 Folder 2

Dialect

series VI Box 5 Folder 3

Unassigned note cards

series VI Box 5 Folder 4

Assigned note cards

series VII: Preliminary Material for University Folklore Collection (Box 5)

This series contains audio tape of Ozark folksong and Ozark versions of ancient balladry from the English and Scottish traditions. Performers include: Almeda Riddle, Jimmie Morris, Absie Morrison, Evelyn Skaggs, Max Hunter, Lula Davis, Fred Smith, Fred High, Mary Briscoe, and other Ozark performers [1949-1965]. Dimensions refer to the size of the tape reels. Also included is the operating manual for the tape recorder used to collect some of the material.

series VII Box 5 Folder 5

Untitled Reel- 7"

series VII Box 5 Folder 6

Child I- 7"

series VII Box 5 Folder 7

Child II- 7"

series VII Box 5 Folder 8

Ballad Seminar- 7"

series VII Box 5 Folder 9

Jimmie Morris, Mrs. Skaggs, Absie Morrison- 5"

series VII Box 5 Folder 10

Almeda Riddle- 5"

series VII Box 5 Folder 11

Untitled Reel- 5"

series VII Box 5 Folder 12

Wollansak T-1500 operating manual

series VIII: Index Cards (Boxes 6-8)

This series is a collection of index cards. One set is sorted by informant of a given folksong and includes the title of the song and the date on which it was recorded. Along with the informant cards is also a set of bibliography note cards listing the University of Arkansas' holdings on folklore [1949-1975]. The second group of cards is by song title. Where no local title was given, the first line of the song is used as the title. Along with the title cards are a section containing Child Ballads collected in the University Folklore Collection. The last grouping is contact information for members of the Arkansas Folklore Society [1949-1958].

series VIII Box 6 Folder 1

Informant and Bibliography Notes

series VIII Box 7 Folder 1

Title and Child Ballad Notes

series VIII Box 8 Folder 1

Arkansas Folklore Society Notes

series IX: Lyrical Transcriptions (Box 9)

This series contains lyrical transcriptions of songs collected in the University Folklore Collection. They were used as educational materials for Mary Celestia Parler's Arkansas folklore class.

series IX Box 9 Folder 1

Lyrical Transcriptions

series X: Folklore Journal Issues (Box 9)

This series contains various issues of Ozark Folklore and Arkansas Folklore. Mary Celestia Parler was a founding member of the Arkansas Folklore Society, which created these publications and served as secretary treasurer and archivist for the organization.

series X Box 9 Folder 2

Ozark Folklore and Arkansas Folklore, 1951-1958

series XI: Publications (Box 9)

This series contains published articles citing the University Folklore Research Project, under the direction of Mary Celestia Parler, including articles from The Antioch Alumni Bulletin, 1958, and a reprint from the Arkansas Alumnus, 1958. Mary Celestia Parler was a founding member of the Arkansas Folklore Society, which created these publications and served as secretary treasurer and archivist for the organization.

series XI Box 9 Folder 3

Publications

series XII: Photographs (Box 9)

This series contains photographs of Mary Celestia Parler, Vance Randolph, and various colleagues and friends, 1914-1973 annotated by Vance Randolph.

series XII Box 9 Folder 4

Photographs of Vance Randolph and Mary Celestia Parler-Randolph, 1950-1973

series XII Box 9 Folder 5

Photographs of Vance Randolph in Fayetteville, AR, 1957-1971

series XII Box 9 Folder 6

Photographs of Vance Randolph in Eureka Springs, AR, 1940-1950

series XII Box 9 Folder 7

Photographs of Vance Randolph and typist Madge Pyatt, Eureka Springs, AR, 1953

series XII Box 9 Folder 8

Photographs of Vance Randolph and various interviewers, Eureka Springs, AR, 1949-1958

series XII Box 9 Folder 9

Photographs, Early Vance Randolph and Family, Galena and Pineville, MO, and Pittsburg, KS, 1925-1935

series XII Box 9 Folder 10

Photographs of folklore conference in Bloomington, IN, 1958-1973

series XII Box 9 Folder 11

Miscellaneous Photographs,, 1914-1970

series XII Box 9 Folder 12

Photo Negatives

series XIII: Drawings and Portraits (Box 9)

Contained in this series are two portraits of Vance Randolph, one credited to Fred Lewis, 1940 and one credited to Jon Kennedy, 1950.

series XIII Box 9 Folder 12

Portraits and Drawings of Vance Randolph, Bonniebrook, MO, and Eureka Springs, AR, 1940, 1950

series XIV: Artifacts (Box 10)

This series contains representatives of material culture collected in Mary Celestia Parler's Arkansas Folklore class, materials used by Ms. Parler in the University Folklore Research Project, awards she received, and sheet music that was written in dedication of one of her informants, Milton Battles.

series XIV Box 10 Folder 1

Artifacts

END OF COLLECTION

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