George O. Boswell Papers


George O. Boswell Papers


George Worley Boswell, 1919-1995, was Tennessee’s foremost collector of folksongs. He was first exposed to the possibility of studying folksongs during his education at Vanderbilt University (B.A., 1939; M.A., 1940) and George Peabody College (Ph.D., 1951.) He wrote and published on many aspects of folklore, folk music, and literature, including articles in the Tennessee Folklore Society Bulletin and the Kentucky Folklore Record. The centerpiece of the Papers is the Collection of over 1,200 Folk Songs gathered by George Boswell, primarily during the years 1948-1952, transcribed by Boswell and his wife, Emily, as people sang them



Items in the George O. Boswell Papers Collection

Jesse James II
The outlaw Jesse James has been depicted in story and song since his murder in 1882 at the hands of Robert Ford. The lyrics used in songs are mostly biographical and detail his and his gang’s exploits. In many of these stories he is portrayed as a…