The James Watt Raine Ballad Collection
0.4 Linear Feet
Series I - Ballads and Songs, Loose
Series II - Ballad Books
Series III - Short Stories, Plays,
and Book Manuscript
Series IV - A College
Course in Ballads Proposed
Series V - Lecture Notes
Series VI - Correspondence
Series VII - Biography
Overview of the Collection
These are texts, tune transcriptions, manuscripts, and related correspondence
that document the ballad collecting and related scholarly interests pursued by
Berea College English professor, James Watt Raine, beginning in 1906.
Related College Archives:
Raine was born in Scotland in 1861 and immigrated to the United States with his
family when he was 12 years old. The family lived first in West Virginia and
later, Arkansas. Raine was educated at Oberlin College in Ohio and Union Seminary
in New York. Ordained to the ministry, he held pastorates in Ohio and New York.
Married twice, first to Harriett May, who died one year after their marriage,
and secondly to Clara Martz, he fathered six children.
In 1906 Raine became an English instructor at Berea College, where one of the
courses he taught was on English and Scottish ballads. He eventually submitted
several course proposals - all apparently denied by the college - that would
have allowed him to grant credit upon a student’s successfully collecting
a certain number of ballads from the student's home territory. However, Raine
persisted in his ballad collecting activities. (A list of the known contributors
to the ballad collection is included as an appendix to this guide.)
Raine's interest in documenting regional culture extended beyond music. His influential
1924 book, The Land of the Saddle-Bags, included eyewitness accounts of
mountain speech, education, religion, community politics, and farming. Also in
his book, Raine strives to dispel the negative stereotype of the drunken, slothful,
gun-toting hillbilly prone to violence.
Raine - an actor, playwright, and author - directed Berea's speech and drama
activities and was much in demand as lecturer for cultural entertainment programs.
He died on February 12,1949, in Berea, Kentucky.
Series Description and Box Lists
1 Manuscript Box
||Ballad and Songs, Loose Leaves
This series consists of over 320 handwritten and typed texts, arranged alphabetically
This series consists of over 360 tune transcriptions and a few texts, recorded
mostly in notebooks and listed in their order of appearance.
||Short Stories, Plays, and Book Manuscript
||Box 1, cont.
This series consists of a variety of writings by Raine including the typescript
of a projected book, Ways of Life of the Appalachian Mountain People;
short stories; and several manuscripts of original plays.
||A College Course in Ballads Proposed
||Box 1, cont.
Notes pertaining to a proposed ballad course at Berea College which would
grant college credit for collecting ballads. Raine proposed a Berea College
course that would conclude with the students in his class collecting ballads
from the students' home territories for course credit.
||Lecture Notes on Ballads
||Box 1, cont.
Lecture notes related to a ballad course taught by Mr. Raine at Berea College
- an English course combined with Scottish ballads. Typed lecture notes and
related words and music to selected ballads.
The correspondence is dated from 1902 to 1936. The major portion of the correspondence
in this series is between Raine and Berea College president, William G. Frost,
whom Raine addressed as “Willyum Gee.”
This series consists of a short Raine biography contained in an unpublished
manuscript, “Berea's Ballad Collectors: James Watt Raine, John F. Smith,
Katherine Jackson French, and Gladys V. Jameson,”by Sidney Saylor Farr,
dated 1980. A bibliographical listing of articles and books by or about Raine
is also included.
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