Traditional Drama Forum - No.10 ISSN 1743-3789 April 2004


James Madison Carpenter Collection

The project to digitise the James Madison Carpenter Collection has just received funding for its next phase from the British Academy's Committee for Larger Research Grants. This phase will evaluate the content and significance of Carpenter's Dictaphone cylinder recordings and make concomitant transcriptions. As one might expect, most of the recordings are of songs and ballads, but there are also a few folk plays.

The collection is held by the Library of Congress, Washington DC, and the project is led by Dr.Julia Bishop of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, with Eddie Cass looking after folk drama matters. For our review of the first fruits of the project - the online catalogue - see Traditional Drama Forum, No.7.

ERD for Sale

Paul Smith has copies of E.C.Cawte, Alex Helm and N. Peacock, "English Ritual Drama: A Geographical Index" (London: The Folklore Society, 1967) available for sale (£25.00 sterling, including postage and packing).

For more information contact:
Paul Smith, Department of Folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St.John's, Newfoundland, Canada, A1B 3X8.
Email: Tel.: (Office) +1 709 737 8410, (Home) +1 709 895 3159


Observant readers may have noticed that Traditional Drama Forum now has an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number). This came about following a dialogue with the library at the Univerity of Bristol. They had included TDF in their list of electronic journals, but with a faulty hyperlink. In discussing the correction, they recommended we obtain an ISSN, and this was duly done. ISSNs are useful to librarians, publishers, subscription agents and others who need to identify the provenance of journals (whether paper or online). Readers at universities and colleges may wish to send the Traditional Drama Forum ISSN and URL to their Librarians for inclusion in their own lists of electronic journals.


Claude Gaignebet Les Triomphes de Carnaval [The Triumphs of Carnival]
Musée du Dessin et de l'Estampe Originale de Gravelines, Chateau-Arsenal, Gravelines, France, 5th January-6th June 2004

If you are travelling to France via Calais for an early summer holiday, it would be well worth making a short detour to see this exhibition at Gravelines, on the coast about 20km to the east of Calais. It concerns various aspects of carnival, including features relevant to folk drama such as the Commedia dell'Arte. The exhibition catalogue by Claude Gaignebet, Jean Sébille and Dominique Tonneau-Rycknelynck has 248 pages, with 180 colour illustrations. Opening hours are 14:00-17:00 Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays; 15:00-18:00 Saturdays & Sundays; closed Tuesdays.


P.T.Millington The Origins of Plough Monday Updated 13th Feb.2004

This paper was first presented at the Traditional Drama '79, One Day Conference, University of Sheffield, 20th Oct.1979. It reports a preliminary survey of Plough Monday customs, including of course Plough Monday plays. It identifies the common characteristics of the customs, and plots their geographical distribution. This suggests a correlation with the ancient Danelaw, and possible historical sources and influences are investigated further.

Peter Millington Folklore on the Internet. Asset? Liability? Opportunity? Threat? Updated 27th Feb.2004

These are outline notes from a seminar presented at NATCECT, University of Sheffield, December 2003. While they cover the issues that the Internet raises for folklore generally, many of the examples are drawn from folk drama and experience with managing the website.

Julia Smith Preserving Yorkshire Customs and Traditions
Dalesman's Yorkshire Journal, Spring 2004, No.44, pp.62-71

This is the first part of a four-part survey of Yorkshire customs and traditions, and the efforts being made to safeguard them for posterity, with a look at the groundbreaking work of the National Centre for English Cultural Tradition in Sheffield and the indomitable efforts of Doc Rowe to record these seasonal events. The article does not talk about folk plays per se, but it is illustrated with pictures of Pace-Egging plays from Heptonstall and Midgley. Traditional drama will be covered in part four, which presumably will be in the Winter issue.

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