Karen Baldwin Folklore Archive

1974-2015, undated
Manuscript Collection #1160
Creator(s)
Physical description
155 Cubic Feet, consisting of student research projects, accession sheets, inventories, subject index cards, audio cassettes, publications, and correspondence; plus one file cabinet containing folklore-related subject cards and multiple indexes to student papers contained in the archive.
Preferred Citation
Karen Baldwin Folklore Archive (#1160), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
Repository
ECU Manuscript Collection
Access
Use of this collection is temporarily closed while processing is taking place. If you need to access this collection, you must first contact Dale Sauter at 252-328-0275 to make arrangements.

Collection (1974-2015, undated) of eastern North Carolina folklore student research projects based upon interviews with family, friends, and acquaintances completed for folklore classes at East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.


Biographical/historical information

Karen Baldwin was born in 1943 and grew up in suburban Philadelphia. She attended Guilford College in North Carolina where she received her bachelor's degree in English and Journalism in 1964. Baldwin then attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she first discovered her love for folklore. She received her graduate degree and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania where she also went on to teach as Associate Professor in The English Department. Her dissertation was remarkable as it helped set the groundwork for what would become known as "family folklore" within the field of study,

In 1978 Baldwin was named director of the East Carolina University Folklore Archive. She also served as editor of the North Carolina Folklore Journal and former director of ECU's North Carolina Studies Program. Baldwin produced nearly forty publications that appeared in various national and international journals, anthologies and encyclopedias. Her ground-breaking work dealt with oral poetry, family folklore, folk medicine, women's culture, deaf folklore, folklore and education.

Baldwin died of cancer at her home in Greenville, North Carolina, in 2007. Throughout her lifetime she was deeply committed to Quaker values, social justice and environmental issues. In 2008, Baldwin's family made a $100,000 gift to Guilford College to establish an endowed fund supporting scholarships.


Scope and arrangement

Collection materials consist of eastern North Carolina folklore student research projects (completed as class projects at East Carolina University) based upon interviews with family members, friends, and acquaintances. Formats include interviews on audio cassettes, publications, scrapbooks, reports and correspondence. Originally established in 1967 by ECU Professor Douglas McMillan, the Baldwin Archive contains various projects, including texts of verbal material, proverbs, belief expressions and narratives relating to folklore and folk art subjects. During the early 1990s, Baldwin also published a comprehensive annotated accession list of folklore projects representing twenty-nine counties in Eastern North Carolina that were completed between 1983 and 1992.


Administrative information
Custodial History

December 31, 2009. Archive (1974-2006, undated) of Eastern North Carolina folklore student research projects, based upon interviews with family members, friends, and acquaintances; also including accession sheets, inventories, subject index cards, audio cassettes, publications, and correspondence; plus 1 file cabinet containing folklore-related subject cards and multiple indexes to student papers contained in the archive. Formats include interviews on audio cassettes, publications, scrapbooks, reports and correspondence.

Source of acquisition

Originally established in 1967 by ECU Professor Douglas McMillan. Gift of Dr. Ron Mitchelson, ECU English Department.

Processing information

Processed by Erin Gathercole, 2010; Jason Brown, 2012; Sharon Brown, 2012; John Loonam, 2013; Jesse Gay, 2014

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.