Guide to the G. Malcolm Laws, Jr. papers,
1943-1978

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Laws, G. Malcolm (George Malcolm), 1919-
Title: G. Malcolm Laws, Jr. papers
Dates: 1943-1978 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 19 boxes (7 linear ft.)
Collection Number: USU_COLL MSS 232
Summary: The G. Malcolm Laws' collection consists of correspondence, catalogs, English class notes, maps and tourist guides, memoirs, royalties, Voice of America correspondence, John I. White correspondence, White House Library organization, articles and writings, Princeton fifty year class reunion book, diverse writings and articles from Laws, general information forms on Laws' personal and public life, writings and book reviews on Laws' three published books: Native American Balladry, American Balladry from British Broadsides and, The British Literary Ballad, book reviews from Laws on other works, manuscripts and typescripts of his three books, an encapsulated broadside, and a ballad bibliography.
Repository: Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives
Manuscript Collection

Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
3000 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-3000
Phone: 435 797-1663
Fax: 435 797-2880
Email: scweb@usu.edu

Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Biographical Note

George Malcolm Laws, Jr. was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on January 4, 1919. He married Beatrice Elfreth on June 10, 1950. They are the parents of four children: Susan E., Deborah A., George M. III, and Elizabeth A.

From Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania Laws received his A.B. in 1942, and from the University of Pennsylvania, he received his A.M. in 1946, and his Ph.D. in 1949. Laws' interest in ballads, which developed while in college, led to his dissertation on the balladry of Native American Indians. The English Department at the University of Pennsylvania appointed him Assistant Instructor in 1942 and Instructor in 1944. He was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1955, Associate Professor in 1959, and Professor in 1966. He taught courses in English and nineteenth-century American literature, as well as courses in British and American balladry.

Correlating to his profession and personal interests, Laws involved himself in associations and societies. He had membership in the American Folklore Society, the Modern Language Association of America, the Merion Cricket Club, and the Union Benevolent Association (vice-president).

Laws is highly regarded as one of America's leading scholars on ballads and folksongs. His committed career to the traditional ballad is deeply ingrained in American and British culture. English Scholars and those interested in folklore acknowledge Laws especially for his three books: Native American Balladry, American Balladry from British Broadsides, and The British Literary Ballad. In addition to his books, a number of his articles and book reviews were published. Articles included: "The Spirit of Native American Balladry," "Anglo-Irish Balladry in North America," "W. Roy Mackenzie: 1883-1957," "Stories Told in Song," and "Death and Browning's Dying Bishop." Reviews included: Review of The Ballads by M.J.C. Hodgart, Review of Shantymen and Shantyboys by W.M. Doerflinger, Review of The Burl Ives Song Book, Review of Negro Slave Songs in the United States by Miles M. Fisher, Review of Irish Songs of Resistance by Patrick Galvin, Review of A Folk Song Chapbook by Marion Kingston, and Review of American Song Sheets, Slip Ballads, and Poetical Broadsides, 1850-1870 by Edwin Wolf.

Content Description

The G. Malcolm Laws' collection consists of correspondence, catalogues, English class notes, maps and tourist guides, memoirs, royalties, Voice of America correspondence, John I. White correspondence, White House Library organization, articles and writings, Princeton fifty year class reunion book, diverse writings and articles from Laws, general information forms on Laws' personal and public life, writings and book reviews on Laws' three published books - Native American Balladry, American Balladry from British Broadsides,, and, The British Literary Ballad, book reviews from Laws on other works, manuscripts and typescripts of his three books, an encapsulated broadside, and a ballad bibliography.

This collection primarily revolves around Laws' devoted writing and teaching career in the field of American and British Folklore. The core of his folklore interest that focused on mid eighteenth-century British balladry and American balladry from the dawn of the nineteenth-century is evident in his collection.

Broken down, his collection consists of nineteen boxes. The first two boxes contain outgoing and incoming correspondence - the former is arranged chronologically and the latter, alphabetically. The incoming correspondence can simply be matched with the outgoing by referring to the date. Because of the extensive correspondence from John I. White, his material is located in the topics section in box 4.

A general rule of thumb with the boxes 3 through 7 is that they are arranged alphabetically by the topic name, author's last name, or title's name. If several dated documents are found in a given group, they are arranged chronologically. If several non-dated documents are found in a given group, they are arranged alphabetically.

Boxes 3 and 4 contain a diversified group of alphabetized topics: catalogues, English classes taught, maps/postcards/museum pamphlets, memoirs (alphabetical), programs, royalties, Voice of America (VOA) material, correspondence from John I. White, and White House library. Boxes S and 6 consist of articles and writings from Laws' folklore collection that are arranged alphabetically according to the author's name and alphabetically according to the title when no author is given. Box 7 contains the Princeton Fifty Year Class Reunion book and a letter from Tip.

Boxes 8 through 17 consist of Laws' vast collection of writings. Box 8 contains some of his miscellaneous writings ranging from essays to unpublished articles and is arranged chronologically. Box 9 consists of general information forms of Laws' personal life, writings/book reviews on his three published books with some related advertisements of the books, reviews from Laws' concerning other works, and finally articles by Laws. Folders on his three published books are arranged chronologically (the order the books were published), and the several articles pertaining to each book are alphabetized by the name of society/journal/quarterly. Folders on Laws' reviews are arranged alphabetically by the title of the book. Folders on Laws' articles are arranged alphabetically.

Boxes 10 through 17 contain the manuscripts and typescripts of Laws' three published books. They are arranged chronologically (the order they were published). The manuscripts and typescripts of each book are also arranged chronologically.

Box 18 contains an encapsulated broadside. Box 19 consists of Laws' bibliography on American ballad collections and humor.

It is noteworthy to mention that a considerable part of Laws' collection, consisting of a library of folklore books, has been separated from this collection and catalogued as Folk Collection 19: The G. Malcolm Laws Ballad Collection. After spending over fifty years in one of his favorite avocational pastimes - book collecting, Laws' amassed a remarkably valuable collection of rare and out-of-print material. In addition, for further information on one of Laws' prominent correspondents, John I. White, who was an authority on western cowboy songs, refer to USU Collection Mss 201: The John I. White Papers.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  Restrictions

Open to public research.

Restrictions on Use :  Copyright

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Utah State University Libraries, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Permission to publish material from the G. Malcolm Laws, Jr. papers must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation :  

G. Malcolm Laws, Jr. papers, 1943-1978. (COLL MSS 232). Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives Department.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

The collection is arranged alphabetically and chronologically .

Acquisition Information :  

The materials that comprise this collection were purchased by USU Special Collections & Archives in 1995 from a dealer of rare books and manuscripts.

Processing Note :  

Guide prepared by: Special Collections and Archives staff.

Related Materials :  

G. Malcolm Laws Ballad Collection (Folk Coll 19).

John I. White papers (Coll Mss 201).


Detailed Description of the Collection

Correspondence (Outgoing)

Chronological

Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
1 1 Correspondence (Outgoing) 1948-1953
1 2 Correspondence (Outgoing) 1954-1960
1 3 Correspondence (Outgoing) 1961-1970
1 4 Correspondence (Outgoing) 1971-1978

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Correspondence (Incoming)

Alphabetical by Last Name of Writer or First Title Name of University/Association/Organization

Container(s)
Description
Box
Folder
2 l A
2 2 B
2 3 C
2 4 D
2 5 E
2 6 F
2 7 G
2 8 H
2 9 1
2 l0 J
2 ll K
2 12 L
2 l3 M
2 14 N
2 l5 O
2 l6 P
2 17 Q
2 18 R
2 l9 S
2 20 T
2 21 U
2 22 V
2 23 W
2 24 X
2 25 Y
2 26 Z

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Catalogues, English Classes Taught, Maps/Postcards/Museum Pamphlets

Alphabetized by Topics and Then Arranged Chronologically Within Each Topic Unless Otherwise Noted

Container(s)
Description
Box
Folder
3 1 Catalogues (Chronological)
3 2 Catalogues (Alphabetical)
3 3 English Class Ballad Lectures
3 4 English Class Notes - 54c, 300, 531, 628
(Including a Student's Essay)
3 5 English Class Notes - 126
3 6 Maps, Museum Pamphlets, Postcards

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Memoirs, Programs, Royalties, Voice of America, Correspondence from John I. White, White House Library
Container(s)
Description
Box
Folder
4 1 Memoirs of Frederick L. Jones, MacEdward Leach, Roy Mackenzie, and William H. Marshall (Alphabetized)
4 2 Programs for Folklore Conferences/Festivals/Meetings
4 3 Royalties/Invoices/Receipts
4 4 Voice of America (VOA) - Laws' Participation in the VOA Forum
4 5 Correspondence from John I. White
(Separate from Box 2 Because of the Significant Amount of Interaction Between Laws and White)
4 6 Correspondence with John I. White Continued
4 7 News Concerning the James T. Babb's Project of Organizing a Definitive List of Books for the White House, in Which is Found Writings From Malcolm Laws
(Boxes 5 and 6 are Arranged Alphabetically by the Author's Last Name. More Than One Article/Writing of an Author is Arranged Chronologically. If No Author is Given, it is Arranged Alphabetically by the Title.)

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Articles and Writings
Container(s)
Description
Box
Folder
5 1 A-C
"Traipsin' Woman Sets Date For Singin' Gatherin' At June 11" by Bill Belanger
"The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads" by Bertrand Harris Bronson
Folkways edited by John Burrison
"The Folk Ballad and the Literary Ballad: An Essay in Classification" by Tristram P. Coffin
Traditional Ballads Mainly From West Virginia by John Harrington Cox
"The Songs of Nathan Hatt" by Helen Creighton
5 2 D-G
"Walt Whitman's `Passage to India': A Spiritual Odyssey" by R.A. Dave
"A New Traditional Ballad From Virginia: `The Whummil Bore' (Child No. 27) by Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr., and Paul Clayton Worthington
"Folklore in Virginia: Its Collection and Study" by Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr.
"More Kentucky Superstitions" by David C. and Mary Gene Fowler
"The Late Mediaeval Ballade and the Origin of Broadside Balladry" by Albert B. Friedman
"So-Called 'Creation-Science' and Mainstream Christian Rejections" by Roland Mushat Frye
Desert Caballeros by Gail Gardner
"A Restructuring of Thermodynamic Theory" by John A. Goff
5 3 H-J
"Some Ballads and Folk Songs from New Jersey" by Herbert Halpert
"Vitality of Tradition and Local Songs" by Herbert Halpert
"Songs of the Butte Miners" by Wayland D. Hand, Charles Cutts, Robert C. Wylder, and Betty Wylder
"I went to town..." by Emily Allen Hathaway (age 10)
"Marvelous/Excruciating Recordings in 1985" by Thomas Hathaway
"The Musical Community" by Thomas Hathaway
"As Good Almost Kill A Man" by Thomas P. Haviland
"Francis Hopkinson and the Grammarians" by Thomas P. Haviland
"College Eliminates Required English" by Bob Hoffman (2 copies)
North Carolina Folklore edited by Arthur Palmer Hudson
"The Heroic Style in the Battle of Maldon" by Edward B. Irving, Jr.
"The Device of Sophia's Muff in Tom Jones by Maurice Johnson
"Remote Regions of Man's Mind - The Travels of Gulliver" by Maurice Johnson
5 4 K-L
"Folklore of Jamaica" by MacEdward Leach
"The Singer or the Song" by MacEdward Leach
"`Vindicta mihi!': Meaning, Morality, and Motivation in The Spanish Tragedy" by Michael Henry Levin
"How the Dog Got Its Days: A Skeptical Inquiry Into Traditional Start and Weather Lore" by Eleanor Long (2 copies)
"Some Observations on the Nature of Folk Belief' by Eleanor Long
"Colorado Folk Songs" by Ben Gray Lumpkin
Colorado Folksong Bulletin Edited by Ben Gray Lumpkin
5 5 M-P
"Minstrel Man of the Appalachians" by Harold H. Martin
"The Contemporaneity of the Lyrical Ballads" by Robert Mayo
"Abraham Fleming: Editor of Shakespeare's Holinshed" by William E. Miller
"Periaktoi in the Old Blackfriars" by William E. Miller
"Samuel Fleming, Elizabeth Clergyman" by William E. Miller
"The Hospital of Incurable Fools" by William E. Miller
Scenes and Songs of the Ohio-Erie Canal by Captain Pearl R. Nye and Cloea Thomas
"The Term `Communal"' by Louis Pound
"Literary Anthologies and the Ballad" by Louise Pound
"Yet Another Joe Bowers" by Louise Pound
6 1 Q-W
"The Increase in Popularity of Shakespeare's Plays in the Eighteenth Century: A Caveat for Interpreters of Stage History" by Arthur H. Scouten
"Singing fro Freedom: Music in the Integration Movement" by Robert Shelton
"The Meter of the Popular Ballad" by George R. Stewart, Jr.
"The Birth of a Ballad" by L. Parker "Pick" Temple
"Ghost Riders' Song Brings Overnight Riches to Cowboy" by Bob Thomas
"The Challenge of Folklore" by Stith Thompson
"Writers Treat Poetic Drama at Conference" by Caldwell Titcomb
"Jean Ritchie Performs at Folf Ballad Conference" by Laurene Tibbetts
"Folk Seminar Program Had Talks, Singing" by Laurene Tibbetts
"The Madrigal In the Garden" by Gerald Weales
The University of Virginia Magazine Edited by Alexander W. Whitaker III
"A Whitman Ornithology" by Courtland Y. White
6 2 W
"The Kentucky Folklore Society" by D.K. Wilgus
"The Wilgus-Long System of Ballad Classification: Continuing Revaluation" by D.K. Wilgus
"Little Mary Phagan': Further Notes on Native American Ballad in Context" by D.K. Wilgus and Nathan Hurvitz
"The Future of American Folksong Scholarship" by D.K. Wilgus
"American Ballads in Ireland" by D.K. Wilgus
"Rose Connoley' An Irish Ballad" by D.K. Wilgus
"The Early American Influence on Narrative Songs in Ireland" by D.K. Wilgus
"Andrew Jenkins, Folk Composer: An Overview" by D.K. Wilgus
"The Types of Scandinavian Medieval Ballad" by D.K. Wilgus
"A Tension of Essences in Murdered-Sweetheart Ballads" by D.K. Wilgus
6 3 W
"The Blues Ballad and the Genesis of Style in Traditional Narrative Song" by D.K. Wilgus and Eleanor R. Long
"The Ailing and the Cowboy" by D.K. Wilgus
D.K. Wilgus' Book Review of Aspects of Style and Language in Child's Collection of English and Scottish Popular Ballads by Kirsti Kekalainen
The Ballad and the Scholars by D.K. Wilgus and Barre Toelken
D.K. Wilgus' Book Review of "Fakesong: The Manufacture of British `Folksong' 1700 to the Present Day" by Dave Harker
"D.K. Wilgus' Book Review of Kentucky Country: Folk and Country Music of Kentucky by Charles K. Wolfe
6 4 W-Z
"The Hanged Fiddler Legend in Anglo-American Tradition" by D.K. Wilgus
"American Ballads in Ireland: Two Examples" by D.K. Wilgus
"Rose Connoley': An Irish Ballad" by D.K. Wilgus
"The Ballad of James Monks" by Don Yoder
6 5 Articles and Writings (Published and Unpublished) from Malcolm Laws Jr. Folklore Collection
(List alphabetical by Title of Article because no Author)
"The Annual Report of the Library Company of Philadelphia for the Year 1965
"The Berkshire Tragedy, or The Wittam Miller"
"The Butcher Boy" from Greig "Charlotty"
English Department Newsletter (Spring 1967)
English Department Newsletter (Spring 1968)
"G. Malcolm Laws, Jr. of the Eagles Mere Inn now holds the record..." "Green Grow the Rushes Ho"
"The Hero in Legend, Life, and Literature"
"Homemade Ballad"/"Death in Laredo"
"The Huntington Advertiser"
"Kentucky `Singin' Gatherin"'
"Lie there, lie there, my pretty young maid,..."
Princeton Alumni Weekly
"Singing in Class" "Tragic Toubador" "Wreck of C&O No. 5"

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Princeton Fifty Year Class Reunion Book and Letter From Tip
Container(s)
box
folder
7 1

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Writings of Malcolm Laws, Jr
Container(s)
Description
Box
Folder
8 1 "Four Essays on Modern British Drama" (Summer 1943) "Some Hints For The Young Instructor" (August 1949)
8 2 "The Major Program in English" in "Essays" (May 1975) and "The Major Program in English" in "Essays" (May 1976)

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General Information Forms of Laws' Personal Life, Writings/Book Reviews On Laws' Three Published Books with Some Related Advertisements of the Books, Reviews From Laws Concerning Other Works, and Articles by Laws

(Folders on Laws' Three Published Books are Arranged Chronologically or in the Order They were Published and the Several Articles Pertaining to Each Book are Alphabetized by the Name of the Society/Journal/Quarterly. Folders on Laws' Reviews are Arranged Alphabetically by the Title of the Book. Folders on Laws' Articles are Arranged Alphabetically.)

Container(s)
Description
Box
Folder
9 1 "Contemporary Authors" Information Form on Laws' Personal Life, Career, Writings, Work in Progress, and Avocational Interests/Untitled Information Form on Laws Personal Life, Education, and Publications/Information Paragraph on Laws' Personal Life, Education and Publications
9 2 Book Reviews and Advertisements of Native American Balladry by G. Malcolm Laws, Jr
9 3 Book Reviews and Advertisements of by G. Malcolm Laws, Jr
9 4 Book Reviews and Advertisements of The British Literary Ballad: A Study in Poetic Imitation by G. Malcolm Laws, Jr
9 5 Laws' Review of American Song Sheets. Slip Ballads, and Poetical Broadsides, 1850-1870 by Edwin Wolf
9 6 Laws' Review of The Ballads by M.J.C. Hodgart
9 7 Laws' Review of The Burl Ives Song Book: American Song in Historical Perspective Arranged by Albert Hague and Illustrated by Lamartine Le Goullon and Robert J. Lee
9 8 Laws' Review of A Folk-Song Chapbook by Marion Kingston
9 9 Laws' Review of Irish Songs of Resistance by Patrick Galvin
9 10 Laws' Review of Negro Slave Songs in the United States by Miles M. Fisher
9 11 Laws' Review of Shantymen and Shantyboys by W.M. Doerflinger
9 12 "Death and Browning's Dying Bishop" by G. Malcolm Laws, Jr
9 13 "The Spirit of Native American Balladry" by G. Malcolm Laws, Jr
9 14 "Stories Told in Song: the Ballads of America" by G. Malcolm Laws, Jr
9 15 " W. Roy Mackenzie: 1883-1957" (a Biographical Sketch) Ballads and Sea Songs from Nova Scotia Collected by W. Roy Mackenzie and Forwarded by G. Malcolm Laws, Jr

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Manuscripts and Typescripts of Laws' Three Published Books

They are Arranged Chronologically - the Order They were Published. The Manuscripts and Typescripts of Each Book are Also Arranged Chronologically.)

Container(s)
Description
Box
Folder
10 1 Native American Balladry - Manuscript of Text and Bibliography - Typescript of Tentative Outline and Several Ballads
10 2 Native American Balladry - Manuscript of Incomplete Text - Typescript of Several Pages
10 3 Native American Balladry - 1950 or 1957 Edition - Typescript of Text with no Appendix, Bibliography, or Index
10 4 Native American Balladry - 1950 Published Edition - 3 Copies of Title Page Through Preface
11 1 Native American Balladry - 1963 Revised Edition - Typescript of Text Used by Augustin - no Appendix, Bibliography, or Index
11 2 Native American Balladry - 1964 Revised Edition - Typescript of Printer's Copy - no Appendix, Bibliography, or Index
11 3 Native American Balladry - Typescript of Only Appendix, Bibliography, and Index
12 1 Native American Balladry - Typescript of Only Appendix, Bibliography, and Index
12 2 Native American Balladry - Typescript of Only Appendix, Bibliography, and Index - List of Additional Ballads and New Numbers for "Doubtful" Ballads at the End
12 3 Native American Balladry - Typescript of Only Chapters I and IV - Manuscript Notes - List of Native American Ballads in Oral Tradition
13 1 American Balladry From British Broadsides - Manuscript and Typescript of Outlines of Chapters I-IV, Bibliography, and Many Notes and Ballads
13 2 American Balladry From British Broadsides - Manuscript and Typescript -Disorganized
13 3 American Balladry From British Broadsides - 1954 Edition - Carbon Copy of Text - No Appendix, Bibliography, or Index - Four Stray Papers
13 4 American Balladry From British Broadsides - 1954 Edition - Mostly Typescript and Some Manuscript of Text - no Appendix, Bibliography, or Index
14 1 American Balladry From British Broadsides - 1956 Edition - Carbon Copy of Text, Appendix, Bibliography, and Index
14 2 American Balladry From British Broadsides - 1957 Edition - Typescript of Text - no Appendix, Bibliography, and Index
14 3 American Balladry From British Broadsides - 1963 Revised Edition -Typescript of Printer's Copy Including Only Footnotes, Appendix, & Bibliography
15 1 The British Literary Ballad - Manuscript and Typescript of Text Only - a Little Stray Paper
15 2 The British Literary Ballad - Typescript and Manuscript of the Majority of the Text
15 3 The British Literary Ballad - 1964 Edition - Manuscript of Text - Carbon Copies of Appendix
15 4 The British Literary Ballad - Revision Notes - Manuscript, Typescript, and Carbon Copy
15 5 The British Literary Ballad - 1965-1966 Edition - Typescript of All But Index
15 6 The British Literary Ballad - 1965 Edition - Carbon Copy of All But Index
16 1 The British Literary Ballad - 1965 Edition - Carbon Copy of Text - Typescript and Manuscript of Appendix - no Notes or Index
16 2 The British Literary Ballad - 1965 Edition - Typescript of Complete Book Including Revisions
16 3 The British Literary Ballad - Carbon Copy of Text - Three Copies of Appendix (One Typescript and Two Carbon Copies) - Two Different Appendixes - Manuscript Appendix
17 1 The British Literary Ballad - Disorganized Mixture of the Book in Manuscript, Typescript, and Carbon Copy
17 2 The British Literary Ballad - Acknowledgments in Carbon Copy - Index in Typescript
17 3 The British Literary Ballad - Revisions in Typescript and Carbon Copy
17 4 The British Literary Ballad - 1969 Edition - Typescript of Text, Appendix, and Notes - no Index
17 5 Miscellaneous Notes - Permission Information For Publication and Disorganized Written and Typed Notes

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Encapsulated Broadside: "THE Sorrowful Lamentations of THOMAS ROE AND BENJN. MILLER, WHO WERE EXECUTED ON NOTTINGHAM GALLOWS On the 2d of April, 1823, For Highway Robbery
Container(s)
box
folder
18 1

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Ballad Bibliography: American Ballad Collections and Studies; and Humor Bibliography
Container(s)
box
19

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Subjects

    • Personal Names :
    • Laws, G. Malcolm (George Malcolm), 1919-
    • Laws, G. Malcolm (George Malcolm), 1919- American balladry from British broadsides.
    • Laws, G. Malcolm (George Malcolm), 1919- British literary ballad.
    • Laws, G. Malcolm (George Malcolm), 1919- Native American balladry.
    • Laws, G. Malcolm (George Malcolm), 1919---Correspondence.
    • White, John I. (John Irwin), 1902---Correspondence.
    • Subject Terms :
    • Ballads, English--Great Britain--History and criticism.
    • Ballads--United States--History and criticism.
    • Folk music--Great Britain.
    • Folk music--United States.
    • Indians of North America--Music.

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