Smith, Elmer Lewis Papers, 20th century *JMU Faculty Papers*

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Summary Information

Repository:
Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Creator:
Smith, Elmer Lewis, 1920-1981
Title:
Elmer Lewis Smith Papers
Collection No.:
SC 0166
Date:
20th century
Extent:
6 folders, .2 Cubic Feet
Language of the Material:
English
Abstract:
The Elmer Lewis Smith Papers, 20th century, consist of six folders of notes and drafts, compiled and written by Elmer Lewis Smith, on folk superstitions, ghosts, conjuring, powwowing, folk healing, and holiday superstitions in the Shenandoah Valley.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], [box #, folder #], Elmer L. Smith Papers, 20th century, SC 0166, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

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Bio/Historical Note

Elmer L. Smith was born in 1920 in Newark, New Jersey. He earned a B.S. from Florida Southern College in 1946, an M.A. from Western Reserve University in 1948, and a Ph.D. from Syracuse University in 1956. From 1948-1958 he served as chairman of the Department of Sociology at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania and in 1958, he became James Madison University's Director of the Social Sciences Division. Smith was one of the founders of the Shenandoah Valley Folklore Society. He conducted research and interviews to document the folk culture of the Shenandoah Valley until his death in 1981. Smith also published a wide variety of books and papers, many of which are available at the Blue Ridge Institute in Ferrum, Virgina.

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Scope and Content

The Elmer Lewis Smith Papers, 20th century, consist of six folders of notes and drafts, written and compiled by Elmer L. Smith, on folk superstitions, ghosts, conjuring, powwowing, folk healing, and holiday superstitions in the Shenandoah Valley.

Some of these subjects include proposed tables of contents and book or article layouts and drawings. The notes appear to be from a variety of secondary sources and interviews. Many of the notes and drafts have been edited by hand. According to John G. Stewart, Smith's former partner and the donor of this collection, these materials were never published.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged topically in six folders.

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Administrative Information

Revision Description

Converted to schema conforming EAD by dtd2schema.vh.xsl. 2013-11-21

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk. (library-special@jmu.edu).

Acquisition Information

Donated by John G. Stewart, former colleague of Elmer L. Smith, in October of 2001.

Processing Information

In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in 2017-2018. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 4038.

Location

Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

880 Madison DriveMSC 1704Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807library-special@jmu.eduURL: https://www.lib.jmu.edu/special/

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Related Materials

Related Material

John G. Stewart Papers, 1761-2002 (bulk 1953-1973), SC 0157, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

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Index Terms

Subject

  • Folklore -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- History
  • Ghost stories, American -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- History
  • Holidays -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- History
  • Traditional medicine -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Witchcraft -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Manners and customs -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- Social life and customs
  • Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- History

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Bibliography

Blue Ridge Institute Newsletter, vol. 4, no. 3, December 1981.

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Collection Inventory

Title/Description Instances
Superstition, undated box 1 folder 1
Ghosts, undated box 1 folder 2
Conjuring, undated box 1 folder 3
Powwowing, undated box 1 folder 4
Occult Folk Healing, undated box 1 folder 5
Special Days/Holidays, undated box 1 folder 6