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Sackett Folklore Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS 017
The Sackett Folklore Collection consists of documents and audio recordings created and collected by former Fort Hays State Professor of English Dr. Samuel J. Sackett and his graduate assistants between the years 1954 and 1977. Dr. Sackett served in the Department of English at FHSU for 23 years and founded the Kansas Folklore Society. Dr. Sackett and his assistants interviewed immigrants, homesteaders, and other community figures in Kansas and beyond. The project also collected documents concerning a multitude of subjects, as well as the development of the larger Folklore collecting community. The English department deposited these research materials with the Special Collections and University Archives in 1992.

Specific areas of focus include folk music and folk lore. Subjects covered include food, medicine, traditional methods for making household supplies, historical figures and events, place names, religion, weather, folk music, folk stories, immigration and homesteading in the late 1800s through early 1900s, relations with Indigenous Americans and other minorities, language, and customs, along with a wealth of genealogical information. Documents and audio recordings may include sensitive language regarding race, as well as accounts of hate crimes.

The physical arrangement of the materials maintains the existing format distinction in two groupings, audio recordings, and documents. The order of the audio recording materials is grouped by decade, then in alphabetical order by title. This order of arrangement is an attempt to preserve the original order of collection interpretation of the materials and provide the user with a greater degree of insight into the thought process behind the collection of the audio recordings and documents, as well as their relationship both to and with each other.

Notations utilizing the existing catalog numbers with a collection indicator prefix of MS 017-### tie the materials to their earlier identifcation and interpreation. An added benefit of retaining this information lies in the previous citation of materials under those designators, which provides a greater degree of continuity for the collection materials.

Documents consist of unpublished and published materials relating to both the study and documentation of folklore, as well as ‘testimonials’ collected from groups and individuals representing a particular ‘community.’ Published materials include publications on the study of folklore, such as newsletters and books, as well as manuals on the collection and study of folklore. Unpublished materials consist of ‘testimonials’ in handwritten or typed form that record that group or individual person’s perspective about a particular belief, activity, or method of behavior in their ‘community.’

The audio recordings originally were on reel-to-reel and cassette tape magnetic media, which was then migrated to cassette tapes in the 1990s. Conversion to digital formats began in 2020. Many of the original recordings are in poor condition. Some recordings were not recoverable. Materials degraded beyond accessibility for researchers will be documented as withdrawn, with justification for their disposal. If those recordings were previously transcribed, the transcript will remain available. The access recordings presented here have undergone audio enhancement to improve the user experience whenever possible. However, some recordings remain difficult to understand. Unaltered audio transfers are available for researchers on request.

Digital Collections - FHSU Scholars Repository – Digitized Copies of Materials


  • 1954-1977


Language of Materials

English; German; Czech; Swedish; Norweigan; Ukranian; Dutch; French; Welsh; Spanish;

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.


11 Cubic Feet (11 boxes of audio recordings with transcripts.)