Hutchins Library
Special Collections & Archives
Guide to the Josiah Combs Papers, Series I-III
Accession Number: 71
The Josiah Combs Papers, 1910-1960
Bulk dates: 1921-25 and 1941-1957
1.2 Linear feet
Online Catalog Record (BANC)

Series I - Biographical
Series II - Thesis Work, 1925
Series III - Balladry and Folk Songs, 1910-1959

Series IV - Appalachian Linguistics, 1915-1960
Series V - Scatology and Ribaldry
Series VI - General Writings, 1921-1957
Series VII - Miscellaneous

3 Manuscript Boxes

Access and Use

Acquisition Information: The collection was placed in the Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives on October 5, 1994 by Norris Combs, Josiah's nephew, and opened for research in 1996. The ballad texts are photocopies of originals retained by Norris Combs. All other items are Josiah Combs’ originals. Extensive correspondence and a large number of additional ballad texts originating with Josiah Combs are to be found in Berea’s D.K. Wilgus Folklore Collection, SAA 67.

Preferred Citation: Josiah Combs Papers, Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea, KY.

Related College Archives:
Series I Biographical Box 1

Box 1

This series consists of printed material describing Combs’ lecture activity in the early 1900s, bibliographies of his published works, photographs, newspaper obituaries, and published tributes by colleagues at the time of his death.

  1. Biographical
Series II Correspondence Box 1, contd.

This series consists mainly of a draft (in English) of Combs' thesis, Folks Songs Du Midi Des Etats Unis (Folk-songs of the Southern United States) presented at the Sorbonne (University of Paris), November 1925. Included also is the English text of Combs’ formal defense which is essentially an introduction and summary of his work. Also present is The Highlander’s Music, (in French with English translation), the thesis chapter which was rejected by University faculty on the grounds that it included songs previously published in the U.S.

Box 1, continued

  1. “Defense of My Thesis”
  2. Thesis Chapters 1-3
  3. Thesis Chapters 4-6
  4. Thesis Chapters 7-9
  5. Rejected Thesis Chapter
Series III Balladry and Folk Songs 1910-1959 Box 1, contd.

This series consists mostly of photocopies of more than 200 ballad texts that Combs collected. Morris Combs also provided copies of this material to the Kentucky Historical Society. The accompanying alphabetical list and index were compiled by KHS archivist, Linda Anderson. Also included are a few ballad-related manuscripts and published journal articles by Combs.

Box 1, continued

  1. Ballad Collection Correspondence
  2. Ballad Collection Title Index
  3. Ballad Collection 1-21
  4. Ballad Collection 22-52
  5. Ballad Collection 53-74
  6. Ballad Collection 75-104
  7. Ballad Collection 105-119
  8. Ballad Collection 120-131
  9. Ballad Collection 132-150
  10. Ballad Collection 151-175
  11. Ballad Collection 176-193
  12. Ballad Collection 194-205
  13. Ballad Collection 206-221
  14. Ballad Collection 222-240
  15. Ballad Collection 241-252
  16. Ballad Collection Tune Transcriptions
  17. Journal Article - A Traditional Ballad From the Kentucky Mountains
  18. Manuscript - Folk-Songs of the Kentucky Mountains (n.d.)
  19. Manuscript - Progress of Ballad Literature in Kentucky 1922
  20. Journal Article - Songs and Rhymes From the South 1913

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