Noncirculating; available for research.
The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U. S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials, other than that noted above.
Katharine Mary Briggs was born November 8, 1898 in London, England, the daughter of Ernest Briggs, an artist and storyteller who introduced his daughters to the world of folklore. As a Brownie Scout and a Girl Scout, she further developed her storytelling talents. As an adult she honed her performance skills as the head of an amateur touring company. She received her master's degree from Oxford University in 1926, and her Ph.D. from the same institution in 1952. She was primarily known and widely respected as a scholar of folklore. She published prolifically in this field from 1959 until her death in 1980. Her greatest scholarly achievement was probably the publication of the four-volume work A Dictionary of British Folktales in the English Language in 1970. An Encyclopedia of Fairies (1976) was also widely acclaimed.
Briggs was writing for children before she began writing for a scholarly audience. Her first book, The Legend of Maiden-Hair, was published in 1915, and she wrote several other children's books, most of which were based on folktales and legends. In 1969, Briggs was named President of The Folklore Society, a post she held until 1972. Although Briggs passed away in 1980, The Folklore Society named an award in her honor in 1982. According The Folklore Society website, "The Katharine Briggs Folklore Award is an annual book prize established by the Folklore Society to encourage the study of folklore, to help improve the standard of folklore publications in Britain and Ireland, to establish The Folklore Society as an arbiter of excellence, and to commemorate the life and work of the distinguished scholar Katharine Mary Briggs (1898-1980; Society president 1969-1972).
The contents of the Katharine Briggs Papers.
"The Katharine Briggs Folklore Award." The Katharine Briggs Folklore Award | The Folklore Society. The Folklore Society, n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.
Scope and Content
This collection contains material documenting two children's books, Hobberdy Dick and Kate Crackernuts, both based on folktales and legends. Hobberdy Dick is the story of a seventeenth-century hobgoblin who guards Widford Manor in the Cotswolds. He is threatened with eviction when a strict Puritan merchant moves to Widford. There are manuscript notebooks for both of these titles. Of her scholarly works for adults, three titles are represented in this collection: An Encyclopedia of Fairies, The Vanishing People, and The Personnel of Fairyland. All three books discuss the characteristics of elves, brownies, halflings, and other supernatural races in English and European folklore. For the first two titles, the collection holds typescripts. For the latter, the collection holds a manuscript notebook.
The collection also contains Briggs' thesis notebooks. She eventually turned her thesis into two published books: The Anatomy of Puck (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1959), and Pale Hecate's Team (Humanities, 1962).
Series and Subseries
A. Correspondence (1966-1968, 1976)
B. Books (1954-1979)
C. Thesis Notebooks (Undated)
Box/Folder A. Correspondence (1966-1968, 1976) 1/1 Correspondence with de Grummond Collection, 1966-1968, 1976, 11 items. B. Books (1954-1979) An Encyclopedia of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures by Katharine Briggs (New York: Pantheon, 1976). 1/2-4/5 Typescript, 1/2 Front matter, and "Abbey-Awd". 1/3 "Bad-Billy". 1/4 "Black-Bran". 1/5 "Bread-BWCA". 1/6 "Cabyll-Cluricaune". 1/7 "Co-Walker-Cyhyraeth". 1/8 "Dagda-Devil". 1/9 "Diminutive-Dwarfs". 2/1 "Each-External". 2/2 "Fachan-Fairy Funerals". 2/3 "Fairy Godmothers-Fary". 2/4 "Fashions-Fuath". 2/5 "Gabriel-Goosebury". 2/6 "Grant-Gyre". 2/7 "Habetrot-Hyde". 2/8 "I-J" 2/9 "Kate-Knockers". 3/1 "Lady-Lutey". 3/2 "Mab-Mauthe". 3/3 "Meanness-Mester". 3/4 "Micol-Muryans". 3/5 "Padfoot-Puck". 3/6 "N-O". 3/7 "Ratchets-Scott". 3/8 "Seal-Short". 3/9 "Sib-Small" 3/10 "Solitary-Swarth". 4/1 "Taboo-Titania". 4/2 "Tod-Tylweth". 4/3 "U-V". 4/4 "Waff-Wild E". 4/5 "Wild H-Young". Hobberdy Dick by Katharine Briggs (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1955). 4/6 Manuscript, pp. 1-108. Kate Crackernuts by Katharine Briggs (New York: Greenwillow Books,1979). 4/7 Manuscript, pp. 1-123. The Personnel of Fairyland: A Short Account of the Fairy People of Great Britain for Those Who Tell Stories to Children by Katharine Briggs, illustrated by Jane Moore (Cambridge, MA: R. Bentley, 1954). 4/8 Manuscript notebook, 103 pp. The Vanishing People: Fairy Lore and Legends by Katharine Briggs,illustrated by Mary I. French (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978). 5/1-5/3 Typescript, 5/1 Chapters 1-5, pp. 1-98. 5/2 Chapters 6-11, pp. 99-197. 5/3 Chapters 12-13, pp. 198-237, and back matter (notes, glossary, book list), 68 pp. C. Thesis Notebooks (Undated) "Folklore in Jacobean Literature" 5/4-5/6 Manuscript, 5/4 Volume 1, pp. 1-52. 5/5 Volume 2, pp. 53-106. 5/6 Volume 3; pp. 107-124, and appendices.
Biographical Sketch | Scope & Content
| Related Collections | Series &
Subseries | Box Inventory
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The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5148
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
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