Howard T. Glasser Archives of Folk Music and Letter Arts

Howard T. Glasser was a professor of design at UMass Dartmouth for thirty years, from 1971-2001. He is renowned internationally as a graphic artist and calligrapher. He is equally famous in the world of traditional folk music for his role in collecting, hosting and staging performances from many traditional musicians. His love of traditional music began in his youth, and led him, in 1960, to Scotland, where he journeyed about, collecting and researching Scottish traditional music. His large collection of recordings from this endeavor has been a resource for scholars and performers for many years since that time. In 1961, while teaching at Carnegie Mellon University, he established the University Ceilidh programs and concerts at a time when folk music was benefitting from a revival. The ceilidhs, which in Scottish means “gathering” flourished for seven years, giving several artists important boosts at the start of their careers. In 1968 he introduced ceilidh gatherings, concerts, and radio broadcasts to the University of Rhode Island, and in 1971 to Southeastern Massachusetts University (SMU, now UMass Dartmouth). He is founding director of the Eisteddfod-Ceilidh programs at SMU/UMD, and publisher and designer of the “Ceilidh Columns.” The Eisteddfod was staged annually at the university for twenty years, from 1972 to 1995.

The HTG Archives of Folk Music and Letter Arts Collection includes concert and ceilidh recordings, as well as Eisteddfod programs, photographs, and recordings. Housed on reel-to-reel analog audio tape when it entered the Archives and Special Collections, nearly all of this collection has now been digitized through the generosity of Howard Glasser. Due to copyright restrictions, at this time it may only be accessed on site, in person, by request. As we are granted permission on a case by case basis, we will gradually make the collection available to the public. For information, please contact the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections at UMDarchives@gmail.com.

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