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Mary Mellish Archibald Memorial Library
Mount Allison University, Ralph Pickard Bell Library

Folk music; Folklore; Songs

The collection was established in 1905 by Raymond Clare Archibald, in memory of his mother Mary Mellish Archibald. Mr. Archibald added to the collection during his lifetime and, at his death, bequeathed a sum of money, the interest on which provides an endowment for the collection. A grant has also helped develop the collection.

The collection contains material on the Anglo-American folk song tradition; the development of folk music in Canada; ballad literature; art song; patriotic and college songs; and songs for children. Folklore coverage is international, with strengths in Great Britain, Canada, and the U.S. All periods are covered. The collection includes many early Canadian and European music imprints. Material in non-Roman alphabets is excluded. The record and tape collection is comprised of two distinct groups. The first is a collection of some three thousand pre-1960 sound recordings (mostly 78s) which are not accessible to the public. These are mostly art songs, with some spoken word material. Most of the art songs on records have been transferred to tapes which are available for use. The second collection consists of sixteen hundred titles (1,400 discs; 125 cassettes; 292 tapes), of folk music and spoken word material and is available for use. Present acquisition concentrations are on Canadian and Anglo-American folklore and folk music with representative material in other areas.

English, French, and selected European language material.

10,000 volumes; 225 serials; 100 serials currently received; 100 microform reels; 417 audiotapes; 6 video cassettes; 4,600 sound recordings.

Bibliographic Access
The collection is catalogued on cards before 1980 and fiche after 1980. A separate shelf list is maintained. LC subject headings and classification are used. The holdings are recorded in the National Library Union Catalogue, and A-G Canada Ltd (post 1980).

Physical Access
Part of the collection is housed in the Rare Book Room which is open to the public. For further information about the collection visit: For information about access to the collection visit:

Interlibrary Loan: Available except for fragile material.

Reprography: Yes.

Reference Assistance: Yes.

Publications Describing Collection
Ralph Pickard Bell Library. -- Catalogue of Canadian folk music in the Mary Mellish Archibald Library and other special collections. -- Compiled by Eleanor E Magee, librarian, and Margaret Fancy, special collections librarian. Sackville, N.B. : Ralph Pickard Bell Library, Mount Allison University, 1974.