Guide to the Durham Reelers Scrapbook, 1955-2008

Collection number: UA 7/1/14
Size: 1 boxes (0.33 cu.ft.)

About Durham Reelers

Started in 1947 by Priscilla Rabethge, the recreation specialist for the physical education department, UNH's folk dance club was named after a dance called the Durham Reel. The Reelers met twice each month to practice and took their repertoire of dances to many festivals.

In 1954, hoping to stimulate participation in folk music and folk dancing, the Reelers sponsored the first Intercollegiate Folk Dance Festival and Callers' Jamboree. Attendance grew each year at this event, with dancers from as many as 14 universities and colleges congregating in New Hampshire Hall. Some of New Hampshire's finest folk dance leaders, callers and musicians were a big draw at this event, including Ralph Page, Ted Sannella, Rich Castner, Bob Bennett, Barney and Edna Priest and Dudley Laufman.

For many Reelers, graduation from UNH was not the end of their dancing days. In 1990, Arthur Tufts '48 organized the first reunion of Durham Reelers. Every summer, for the next 24 years, former Reelers got together to trade memories, enjoy a potluck dinner and dance. At the final reunion on September 6, 2014, materials were collected and compiled into a scrapbook.

About the Durham Reelers Scrapbook

The scrapbook includes documents and photographs from the early club dances as well as many photos taken at the reunions. Many have no date or identification of the people in them. The book Gene Gowing’s Square Dancing for Everyone is included because the photos are of Durham Reelers or others closely associated with the Reelers. There is also a DVD titled Durham Reelers: Past Reunions and Sharing, 1996-2008

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the University of New Hampshire.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Durham Reelers Scrapbook, 1955-2008, UA 7/1/14, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Donated by Jon Thunberg, November 2014

Collection Arrangement

The scrapbook pages have been removed from the three-ring binder, but are retained in their original order.