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Lowell Edmunds collection of folk tales relating to incest and parricide

Ms. Coll. 1170

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Creator:
Edmunds, Lowell
Title:
Lowell Edmunds collection of folk tales relating to incest and parricide
Date [inclusive]:
1974-1985
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 1170
Extent:
0.8 linear feet (2 boxes)
Language:
English
Language Note:
Languages include English, French, French dialect (Creole), Gaelic/Irish, Lithuanian, Romanian, Finnish, German, Czech, Norwegian, Latin, Dutch, Hungarian, Greek, Turkish, Latvian, Javanese, Sudanese, Pohnpeian dialect (Kiti), Yoruba, Italian and Hebrew.
Abstract:
Lowell Edmunds is an emeritus professor of Classics at Rutgers University with research interests in Greek literature and mythology. This collection includes correspondence regarding translations and published and unpublished texts of folk tales relating to incest and parricide translated from more than twenty languages. Researchers will find African, Albanian, Asian, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latin and Greek, Lithuanian, Spanish, and Slavic folk tales as well as those from the Near East and the Western Hemisphere.
Cite as:
Lowell Edmunds collection of folk tales relating to incest and parricide, 1974-1985, Ms. Coll. 1170, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Lowell Edmunds was born on October 11, 1938 in Franklin, New Hampshire. He was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy; Harvard University, earning his A.B in 1960 and his Ph.D. in 1970; and University of California, Berkeley, earning his M.A. in 1965. He taught classics at Harvard University from 1970 to 1978, at Boston College from 1978 to 1983, at Johns Hopkins University from 1983 to 1988, and at Rutgers University from 1988 to 2007 when he retired, remaining as an emeritus professor at Rutgers. In addition to his duties as a professor, he also edited the Comparative Civilizations Bulletin and was a member of several other editorial boards of scholarly journals. His research interests include Greek literature and mythology. He has published extensively on those topics and has also published two books on the martini.

Edmunds collected folk tales relating to incest and parricide from around the world and in many languages. The final item in the collection indicates that much of his work was originally intended for use in Classics 121, a course he taught at Harvard University in the spring term of 1975. It is possible that the final product of his research was Oedipus: The Ancient Legend and Its Later Analogues, which was published in 1985.

Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence regarding translations and published and unpublished texts of folk tales relating to incest and parricide. Lowell Edmunds collected these folk tales and compiled them into an unpublished volume (the annotated draft of which can be found in box 2 folder 4) which was used in his spring 1975 Classics 121 course at Harvard University. Based upon dates in the collection and subsequent requests for folk tales to be sent to him, it appears that this course may have been the genesis for a project which was intended for publication by the University of Pennsylvania Press. It does not appear that the publication progressed as intended; but it is possible that the manuscript was eventually published in 1985 by the Johns Hopkins University Press in 1985 as Oedipus: The Ancient Legend and Its Later Analogues.

These stories include several versions of the Greek "Oedipus" from different cultures as well as numerous versions of a tale called "A Son Who Killed his Father and Married his Mother," to name only a few. The bulk of the collection consists of photocopies of the published folktales in their original language and typescripts of their translations, but it also includes a small amount of correspondence, some manuscript copies of the folk tales, and notes.

Edmunds appears to have arranged the folk tales geographically, and this collection maintains that order. Researchers will find African, Albanian, Asian, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latin and Greek, Lithuanian, Spanish, and Slavic folk tales as well as those from the Near East and the Western Hemisphere.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2016 February 12

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Kelin Baldridge

Access Restrictions

The bulk of this collection is open for use, however, access to the original audiocassette (Box 2, Folder 3) is restricted.

Access to original audio/visual materials and computer files is restricted. The Kislak Center will provide access to the information on these materials from duplicate master files. If the original does not already have a copy, it will be sent to an outside vendor for copying. Patrons are financially responsible for the cost. The turnaround time from request to delivery of digital items is about two weeks for up to five items and three to seven weeks for more than five items. Please contact Reprographic Services (reprogr@upenn.edu) for cost estimates and ordering.

Once digital items are received, researchers will have access to the files on a dedicated computer in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Researchers should be aware of specifics of copyright law and act accordingly.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Source of Acquisition

Gift of Lowell Edmunds.

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Controlled Access Headings

Form/Genre(s)
  • Audiovisual materials
  • Correspondence
  • Folk tales
  • Reprographic copies
Subject(s)
  • Classicists
  • Folklore
  • Incest in literature
  • Parricide in literature

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Collected folktale texts, part 1, in original languages, circa 1974-1985.

1 1

Collected folktale texts, part 2, in original languages, circa 1974-1985.

1 2

Published Albanian folktales, translated, circa 1974-1985.

1 3

Published Finnish folktales, translated, circa 1974-1985.

1 4

Published Greek and Latin folktales, translated, circa 1974-1985.

1 5

Published Irish folktales, translated, circa 1974-1985.

1 6

Published Malaysian and Javanese folktales, original language and translated, includes correspondence and notes, 1974.

2 1

Published Micronesia folktales, original language and translation, includes correspondence and notes, 1974-1979.

2 2

Published Near East, Asia, Africa, and Western Hemisphere folktales, translated, circa 1974-1985.

1 7

Published Sardinian Oedipal folktale, original language, includes correspondence and audiocassette [audiocassette is RESTRICTED], 1985.

2 3

Published Slavic folktales, translated, circa 1974-1985.

1 8

Published Spanish folktales, translated, circa 1974-1985.

1 9

Unpublished folktales, translated, circa 1974-1985.

1 10

"Tales of Incest and Parricide," annotated typescript for use in Classics 121, Spring 1975, Harvard University, 1975 February 21.

2 4