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The Herbert Halpert Collection
Memorial University of Newfoundland, Queen Elizabeth II Library


Donated in 2001 by Dr. Herbert Halpert and Violetta Maloney Halpert.

The Herbert Halpert Folklore Collection comprises the private library of Dr. Herbert Halpert, the founder of Memorial University of Newfoundland's Folklore Department. The collection is strong in the areas of folksong and folk narrative, containing numerous volumes of folktales, legends, fables, and ghost stories. There are subject concentrations in wit and humour, animal lore, and child lore including rhymes, games, language, child life, songs and play. The collection also reflects Dr. Halpert's passionate interest in language. In the words of his colleagues, "he was a major contributor to scholarship across the full range of traditional linguistic genres: proverbs, Wellerisms, dites, blason populaire, placenames, rhymes and riddles" (Lovelace, Smith and Widdowson, 2004). Geographically, the collection focuses on areas in which Dr. Halpert conducted his primary research: the Eastern, Midwest and Southern United States, and Newfoundland. The collection also holds a wealth of folklore material concerning the ancestral cultures of New World populations, including those from Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Mann and Africa. The collection also holds many titles relating to Native American societies, as well as works of folklore and anthropology from many other geographic locations, including Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands, West Indies/the Caribbean, Australia, Mexico, the Middle East and Asia. Taken as a whole, the Herbert Halpert Folklore Collection has strong interdisciplinary appeal. The collection comprises mostly published material from the twentieth century, though there are also works from the nineteenth century. The Herbert Halpert Folklore Collection is also notable for its annotations and bookmarks.

English Language publications predominate, though there are titles in Irish Gaelic, German, French, Danish and Norwegian.

13,000 monographs and journals.

Bibliographic Access
The collection is catalogued and searchable via Memorial University Libraries catalogue:

Physical Access
The collection is open to the public with identification. For further information visit

Interlibrary Loan: Yes

Reprography: Yes

Reference Assistance: Yes

Publications Describing Collection
The following collection of essays may be of interest:Folklore, an emerging discipline: selected essays of Herbert Halpert / edited by Martin Lovelace, Paul Smith, J.D.A. Widdowson. St. John's, Newfoundland: Dept. of Folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2002.