Accession Number: 4
Katherine Jackson French Ballad Collection, 1980
.4 linear ft.
Series I - Correspondence
Series II - Ballad Manuscripts
Series III - Manuscript
of “A Fortnight in Ballad Country”
Series IV - Biographical
Access and Use
Provenance: The ballads in the Katherine Jackson
French collection were given to Berea College in the early 1950s
as a centennial gift by Ms. French. There are no restrictions placed
on this collection other than federal copyright regulations.
Preferred Citation: Katherine French Ballad Collection, Berea College
Special Collections & Archives, Berea, Ky.
This collection comprises the ballads Katherine Jackson French collected
in the early 20th century from Kentucky mountain residents and some
Berea students. In addition to collecting ballads, French researched
variants of the the ballads she collected and included the variants
for comparison with the newly collected versions in a manuscript
she hoped to publish. The collection also includes correspondence
with Berea’s President Frost and others interested in her project,
plus notes, an article, some pictures, and biographical information.
Katherine Jackson was born in London, Kentucky, and attended
Ohio Wesleyan University. She completed a PhD at Columbia University
in 1905 and taught literature at Mount Holyoke and Bryn Mawr colleges.
Her interest in ballads began at Columbia when she heard two instructors
from Berea talk about the many ballads in the mountains of Kentucky
that no one had collected.
In 1909 Jackson returned to Kentucky because her mother was ill.
That year she made her first trip into the hills to search for
ballads. The following year she conversed with James Watt Raine,
an English professor at Berea College, and picked up some student
ballads. Early in 1911 she sent her ballad manuscripts to President
Frost with the hope that he could find a publisher. By this time
she had married and become Katherine Jackson French.
President Frost returned the ballad manuscripts to Dr. French
in 1915, unpublished. Forty years later, when preparations were
being made for the College’s 1955 Centennial, French made
a centennial gift of the ballad manuscript and associated papers.
The Katherine Jackson French Collection became part of the initial
formation of the Southern Appalachian Archives at Berea College’s
1 Manuscript Box
||Correspondence and Miscellaneous
This series includes correspondence from French to Berea College’s
president, William Frost, concerning the publication of the ballad
manuscript: English-Scottish Ballads from the Hills of Kentucky.
Collected and edited by Katherine Jackson French, four manuscript
versions of English-Scottish Ballads from the Hills of Kentucky are
contained in this series.
||Manuscript of “A Fortnight in
||Box 1, cont.
A corrected copy, in manuscript form, of “A Fortnight
in Ballad Country” by French is included in this series,
as are several typed copies.
||Box 1, cont.
This series includes a brief biography of French typed on the
reverse side of a handwritten letter from French to Elisabeth
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