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McDermitt, Barbara Rice Damron



  • Existence: 1934-


Barbara McDermitt was born on September 7, 1934 in Orange, New Jersey. She received a BA in English and Speech from Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, in 1956. Post graduate work undertaken in 1956 and 1957 included studies in theater arts at Columbia University, New York City, and religious drama at Union Theological Seminary, New York City. In 1958 McDermitt earned a certificate of elementary education from Paterson State Teacher's College, Paterson, New Jersey, and in 1968 she earned a MA in theater arts from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. At Northwestern McDermitt taught storytelling and, as a consequence, became interested in the origin of stories and tales and in the art of storytelling. These interests, together with a curiosity about her family's Scots and Appalachian heritage, led McDermitt to research and write her dissertation, "A Comparison of a Scottish and American Storyteller and Their Marchen Repertoires." The dissertation was completed in 1986 at the School of Scottish Studies, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Throughout her career McDermitt has been active in teaching and writing about children's literature and theater. Included among her pursuits have been teaching drama in elementary school, serving as an elementary-school literature testing consultant for the Chicago Board of Education and writing articles on storytelling, drama and literature for elementary school children.

At present McDermitt divides her time between music and folklore. She directs the Edinburgh Harp Festival International and works on special projects with the School of Scottish Studies, Edinburgh University.

Found in 4 Collections and/or Records:

Appalachian-Scottish and Irish Studies Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AppMs-0326
Scope and Contents The Appalachian-Scottish & Irish Studies Collection focuses on the various components of the academic studies program examining the history and culture of Appalachia, Scotland, Ireland, and the interrelationships of the three locales. Materials document course work, lectures, field trips, student papers or projects, notes, schedules, and other aspects of the program. Documentation is found in manuscript records, audio and videorecordings, and photographs. The material provides insight on...
Dates: 1957-1997

Thomas G. Burton-Ambrose N. Manning Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AppMs-0025
Scope and Contents The collection resulted from Dr. Burton’s and Mr. Manning’s interests in Appalachian folklore and related teaching, research, and service activities. A central component of the collection consists of reel-to-reel audio recordings, dub sheets, transcripts, and indices created as part of the professors' efforts to gather ballads, instrumental music, stories, superstitions and beliefs, folk remedies, and accounts of everyday life from individuals in Western North Carolina and East Tennessee. ...
Dates: 1899 - 1989; Majority of material found within 1967 - 1971

Duncan and Linda Williamson Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AppMs-0603
Arrangement The collection is divided into two series: Series 1, Folktale Transcripts, 1976-1990, Box 1; and Series 2, Sound Recordings, 1976-1990, 29 tapes. The School of Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh assigned numbers to the recordings when placed in their Archives. The numbers incorporate the year of the recording followed by the number of the tape collected that year (ie. 1976/46). The numbering system places the tapes in chronological order. The numbering created by the School for...
Dates: 1976-1990

Barbara McDermitt Recordings

Identifier: AppMs-0134
Scope and Contents

The Barbara McDermitt Recordings consist of 28 audiocassette recordings of Ray Hicks, Hattie Presnell, Stanley Hicks and Frank Proffitt, Jr. telling stories, playing music, and singing; 14 photographs, mainly of storytellers; and reports on the field trip tapes as well as a partial transcript of the Ray Hicks tapes. The tapes were recorded in the summer of 1982 in Beech Mountain, North Carolina.

Dates: 1982

Additional filters:

Banjo music 3
Photographs 3
Ballads 2
Jack tales 2
Superstition 2