Dorothy Howard (1902-1996) was a pioneering scholar of children’s folklore. She graduated
from North Texas State Teachers College (1923) and utilized folklore in public schools
as a teacher and principal. She received a PhD in Education in 1938 with a dissertation
on children’s folklore that combined both Victorian collection methods with ethnographic
fieldwork. As a professor in the English Department at Frostburg State University
(1944-1967), she brought her students out to document regional folklife, focusing
on occupational traditions of coal miners and canal workers, folk narrative, belief,
and customs. She and her students at Frostburg amassed a considerable body of fieldwork,
which Dr. Howard donated to the Maryland State Arts Council in the 1970s. She published
extensively, including in the Journal of American Folklore, and authored two major
works: Dorothy's World: Childhood in Sabine Bottom, 1902-1910 (1977), and Pedro of
Tonalá (1989). The American Folklore Society named an award in her honor, the Dorothy
Howard Award for Excellence in Folklore.
The collection was originally donated by Dr. Howard to the Maryland Folklife Program
under George Carey. It was then donated to UMBC by the Maryland State Arts Council
in 2014 as part of a larger accession, MSS 2014-02.
Upon arrival, materials had been partially arranged and described and came with an
inventory. Maryland Traditions contract archivist Hannah Rogers arranged the collection
in June 2014. Paper tabs acting as dividers for index cards were removed and replaced
with archival board. Materials were separated by format into format-specific boxes,
and housing was created for autograph books. Larger papers retain their original order
in archival folders. Index cards also retain original order, and are divided into
7 boxes. The cards are separated into groups based on collector or theme. Additional
processing was completed in Spring 2015 by Special Collections graduate assistant
Jessica Pantazis and Maryland Traditions contract archivist Nichole Procopenko.
Describing Archives: a Content Standard (DACS)
Archives Processing Manual: Description (2015): The processing manual used in Special Collections for all descriptive platforms, including
Finding Aid: http://library.umbc.edu/speccoll/findingaids/coll121.php
Reproductions allowed for research purposes. Copyright maintained by the creator.
Howard, Dorothy, 1902-
Folklore -- Maryland
Maryland, Western -- Social life and customs
Howard, Dorothy, 1902- -- Archives
Extent: 2 boxes (3 linear ft.)
Materials arranged by format. Larger papers predominantly retain their original
Extent: 8 boxes (3 linear ft.)
Materials arranged by format. Index cards in retain original order and are separated
into groups based on collector or theme. Box 10 contians two autograph books.