Elkin, Kerry, Papers, 1975-2000

Collection number: MC 248
Size: 4 boxes (2 cu.ft.)

About Kerry Elkin

Kerry Elkin (1951-2009) was born in New York City and grew up in Middleborough, Massachusetts. He graduated from Middleborough High School in 1969, where he lettered in football. He earned a bachelor's degree in wildlife biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He also attended Rutgers University, where he majored in engineering, and played football and rugby.

Kerry spent his early career at the Manomet Bird Observatory (now the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences) in Manomet, Massachusetts. Always deeply interested in wildlife and the natural world, he found his true vocations as a farmer and a musician.

As a farmer, he was principally involved with cranberries. He was a bog manager for Beaton Cranberries, Inc. in Wareham from 1984 to 1992. Kerry was also a grower, who built his own bog in Rochester and farmed it from 1985 to 1995.

It was as a musician that he drew his most satisfaction and acclaim. Kerry was an accomplished traditional dance fiddler, who performed at dances, dance camps, and festivals across the United States, Canada, Belgium, Ireland, and France. His bands, "Geese in the Bog" and "Fresh Fish", performed at monthly dances in Rochester and Rehoboth granges, and drew on the large community of contra dancers in New England. His bands recorded cassettes and CDs, and he was invited to perform on the recordings of other musicians. He was the proud owner of and performer of a custom Bob Childs fiddle, and was a member of the band "Childsplay".

About the Kerry Elkin Papers, 1975-2000

Most of the Kerry Elkin Papers consists of sheet music, reflecting a wide variety of styles and interterests. This includes Swedish, Cape Breton, Scottish, Irish, international folk dance, singing squares, swing dance, and New England genres. Some compositions are original; many others are hand-transcribed. Copius dance diaries exist for the years 1987-1993, along with dance cards, chord charts, and field and commercial recordings.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], [Folder], [Box], Kerry Elkin Papers, 1975-2000, MC 248, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Gift from the Elkins family, 2012

Separated Material

Commercial recordings are housed with the main collection.

Collection Arrangement

Collection is in original order.

Collection Contents

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1Notebook of Dance Calls
Box 1, Folder 2Dance Diary, 1992-1994
Box 1, Folder 3Shetland Tunes
Box 1, Folder 4Wellington Bilgewater Tunes (G.C. Kaynor)
Box 1, Folder 5Misc. Tunes
Box 1, Folder 6Misc. Tunes, A-J
Box 1, Folder 7Misc. Tunes, K-Z
Box 1, Folder 8Dance Binder: Reels
Box 1, Folder 9Dance Binder: Jigs
Box 1, Folder 10Dance Binder: Waltzes, Hornpipes, Clogs
Box 1, Folder 11Dance Binder: "Mandolin from Joe"
Box 1, Folder 12Dance Binder: "Mom's" Tunes
Box 1, Folder 13Misc. Transcribed Tunes
Box 1, Folder 14Copy of Unidentified Tune Book
Box 2
Box 2, Folder 1Waltzes
Box 2, Folder 2First Collection of Irish Music (Mulvihill)
Box 2, Folder 3Reels
Box 2, Folder 4Misc. Tunes
Box 2, Folder 5Reels: Canadian
Box 2, Folder 6Jigs: Canadian
Box 2, Folder 7Reels: Cape Breton
Box 2, Folder 8Jigs
Box 2, Folder 9Jigs: Irish
Box 2, Folder 10Reels: Irish
Box 2, Folder 11Reels: Quebecois and Newfoundlander
Box 2, Folder 12Jigs: Quebecois
Box 2, Folder 13Marches
Box 2, Folder 14Waltzes
Box 2, Folder 15Polkas
Box 3
Box 3, Folder 1Childsplay
Box 3, Folder 2English Country Dance Tunes
Box 3, Folder 3New Compositions
Box 3, Folder 4International
Box 3, Folder 5Singing Squares
Box 3, Folder 6Scottish
Box 3, Folder 7Taggart Collection
Box 3, Folder 8Swedish
Box 3, Folder 9Swing Dance
Box 3, Folder 10Set Lists, 1987-1990
Box 3, Folder 11Misc. Dance Materials
Box 3, Folder 12Misc. Dance Materials
Box 4
Box 4, Folder 1Chord Charts
Box 4, Folder 2Chord Charts
Box 4, Folder 3Dance Cards: Improper Contras
Box 4, Folder 4Dance Cards: Improper Contras
Box 4, Folder 5Dance Cards: Other Formations
Finding Aid Image TEMP


Audio Recordings
Manuscripts & Typescripts
Sheet Music