The Texas Folklore Society Collection

What's Inside this Collection.

The Texas Folklore Society Collection

This collection of Texas Folklore Society publications contains a miscellany of Texas and Mexican folklore, including stories about folk medicine and ranch remedies, folk songs, legends and other folklore.

In 1916 Stith Thompson, then secretary, oversaw the publication of the Society's first volume, for which Kittredge wrote the preface. This volume was entitled Publication No. I, and was reprinted in 1935 as Round the Levee. In 1923 J. Frank Dobie took over as secretary-editor, and in the following twenty years of his tenure edited an impressive collection of Texas and Mexican border lore in sixteen numbered volumes. Ever since Publication No. II was issued in 1923, the Society has sent out a book annually to its members, although some have not been numbered publications of its own.

The tradition established by J. Frank Dobie was continued by Mody C. Boatright when he assumed the office of secretary-editor in 1943. He had assisted Dobie in editing Dobie's last five volumes. Harry Ransom also participated in editing the last four. Boatright served for twenty years and produced fifteen volumes. He was succeeded by Wilson M. Hudson, who had been associate editor since 1951.

In 1971 the Society's office was moved to the Stephen F. Austin State University campus in Nacogdoches, and Francis Edward Abernethy became the Secretary-Editor. Abernethy edited fifteen volumes of the PTFS and wrote a three-volume history of the Texas Folklore Society: Volume I (1909 - 1943); Volume II (1943-1971); and Volume III (1971 - 2000).

In 2004, Kenneth L. Untiedt became the sixth Secretary-Editor, after Abernethy's retirement.

The volumes published by the Society contain many of the papers read at its meetings and other articles both volunteered and solicited. Most contributions are the product of original collection, and together they constitute a wealth of material in the various branches of folklore. Some topics dealt with in past publications are home remedies for man and beast, cowboy songs, Negro songs and tales, games, oil field lore, diction used in various occupations, tales of border Mexicans, German customs, superstitions, weather signs, yarns about birds and snakes, Indian myths and legends, the origins of place names, lore of the high plains, of the Gulf Coast, of the brush country, household rhymes, and traditional songs. Texas Folk and Folklore (1954) is made up of items that appeared in earlier volumes. TFS books contain many photos and other illustrations, including original artwork by renowned artists such as José Cisneros. In recent publications the amount of space devoted to folklore studies as distinguished from folklore collections has increased.