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July / August 2003

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UMaine Today Magazine

Lasting Impression

Edward "Sandy" Ives
Photos courtesy of
Fogler Library Special Collections

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Nearly half a century ago, a folk singer came to Maine to teach English and pursue music. The rest, as they say, is history.

Edward "Sandy" Ives was already collecting traditional songs when he came to the University of Maine in 1955. Through the music, he learned more about the cultural history of the men and women behind the melodies.

In 1958, he founded the Northeast Folklore Society, with its annual publication Northeast Folklore. The next year, he began teaching folklore courses. Ives then established the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History, dedicated to the collection, preservation and study of the songs, tales, legends and oral traditions of Maine and the Maritimes.

Under his leadership, Northeast Folklore and Northeast Archives evolved into the Maine Folklife Center a decade ago. Current holdings include 5,000 hours of tape recordings, 10,000 photos and slides, and 164 linear feet of manuscripts related to folklore and social history. It is considered one of the finest ethnographic collections of regional culture in North America.

The preeminent folklorist of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and eastern Maine retired from the university in 1998. Today, at 77, Ives continues to do research, write and lecture on folklore and oral history. And the national spotlight continues to shine on the Maine Folklife Center, now directed by James Moreira. Most recently, Associate Director Pauleena MacDougall has worked in partnership with staff of the National Council for the Traditional Arts, Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau, the city of Bangor and Eastern Maine Development Corp., to bring the National Folk Festival to Bangor, Maine for the second consecutive summer.

"Lasting Impression" features a memorable person or event in UMaine history.


UMaine Today Magazine
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