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Finding Aids to Individual Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture


AFC 1983/007

Compiled by Michelle Forner

Library of Congress, Washington DC
September 1994


Physical Description: Photographs 7 b&w photoprints (1 box)

Access and Reproduction: Viewing access to the collection is unrestricted. Duplication of the materials may be governed by copyright and other restrictions. Publication of the materials requires standard permissions.

Key Subjects: costume; folk dance, England; long sword (dance); morris dance; mumming; musical instruments; rapper dance; sword- dance


The Goathland, North Yorkshire, Sword Dance Photograph Collection (formerly the Morris Dance Photograph Collection) consists of seven 6 1/2" X 4 1/2" photographs of the Plough Stotts Long Sword team from Goathland, North Yorkshire, England, circa 1912-1950. Wendy Grossman donated the photographs to the Archive; they were given to her by Gordon Normand of Beverley. According to Grossman, the team was "one of the longest running without a break." Hand-written notes on the back of each photograph give cryptic descriptions of the images and some information about the "side" (dance group). Although poorly-focused and spotted, the photographs offer ethnographic information in sufficient detail to be useful for research purposes.

The photographs depict the side in candid shots and formal poses. One photograph captures a moment of a long sword dance performance; several others focus on specific characters, such as the "Bessie" and "Old Man." The photographs offer a sense of costuming and physical culture associated with the dance, such as musical instruments and long swords. The notes on the backs of the photographs identify the subjects as a group by the name of the Goathland, North Yorkshire, Plough Stotts, give indications of the approximate dates of the photographs, and provide an additional note or two.


Item Number Contents
Photograph Prints
AFC 1983/007:P1 Sword dance performance. "The side in the 30s or 40s. More poss. after Second World War. Goatland [sic] (Plough Stotts). Note Dawson far left."
AFC 1983/007:P2 "Bessie" and "Old Man" posing next to crowd. "About 1930. Goatland (Plough Stotts) Long Sword (North Yorks.). Bessy (Betty) and Old Man. Poss (Toss Pot)."
AFC 1983/007:P3 Close-up (candid?) of "Bessy," "Old Man," and "Mummer." "About 1930. Goatland (Plough Stotts) North Yorkshire. Bessy, Old Man & Mummer."
AFC 1983/007:P4 Posed shot of group (approximately 20 people)."Frank Dawson who collected and reformed the side after the First World War. First on left. Goatland (Plough Stotts). Long Sword North Yorks. At a time when the play was done. Play lost in a fire."
AFC 1983/007:P5 Group walking up a path towards camera (approximately 16 people). "Goatland (Plough Stotts) North Yorkshire. About 1950 going into Brekmole [or Brekhole]. Walking tour."
AFC 1983/007:P6 Posed shot of group in front of building (approximately 9 people). "About 1945-6. North Yorks. Goatland (Plough Stotts)."
AFC 1983/007:P7 Posed shot of group in front of building (approximately 16 people). "Goatland Long Sword (Plough Stotts). Pre First World War. Approx. 1912."


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