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Collection Number: 04442

Collection Title: Lawrence Gellert Scrapbook, 1930s

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1 items)
Abstract A 191-page typed manuscript called "Tales of One Time I'shman Told by Southern Negroes," collected by Lawrence Gellert and apparently prepared for publication by the Hours Press, New York. The manuscript contains about seventy folk-tales told by African-Americans in the South about Irish immigrants to the area. Included are thirty-six pen and ink illustrations by Gellert.
Creator Gellert, Lawrence, 1898-1979, collector.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
Copyright in all manuscripts left by Gellert is held by Bruce Harrah-Conforth of Bloomington, Ind. Publication of all or any part of this material is thus prohibited without the permission of Mr. Harrah-Conforth.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Lawrence Gellert Scrapbook, #4442, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Purchased from McBlain Books of Hamden, Conn., in April 1986.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Very little information on Lawrence Gellert is available. He was born in Budapest, Hungary, on 14 September 1898, came to the United States when he was seven, and grew up in New York City. For health reasons, he moved to Tryon, N.C., probably in the late 1920s or early 1930s.

From 1933 to 1937, Gellert traveled through North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, collecting folksongs of black Americans. He compiled and published two anthologies of these songs in the 1950s, including "Negro Songs of Protest," which was re-released on Rounder Records in the late 1980s.

Gellert, along with his brother Hugo, was a frequent contributor to the magazine Masses (later New Masses) from 1930 to 1947, writing mainly about traditional black American music.

Lawrence Gellert died in 1979.

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This volume consists of about seventy folk tales told by Southern blacks about Irish immigrants, and compiled and illustrated by Gellert, with an afterword by William Fay.

Because of the fragile condition of many of the pages, the tales were removed from the volume. The pages were numbered in square brackets and placed in folders in their original order as shown in the table of contents. In cases where the captions to some illustrations could not be removed, photocopies were made (see Folder 10).

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Laura K. O'Keefe, June 1986

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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