Gowing, Gene, Papers, 1941-1957

Collection number: MC 130
Size: 3 boxes (1.00 cu.ft.)

About Gene Gowing (1896-1968)

Gene Gowing was born on March 19, 1896 in Dublin, N.H. His baptismal name was Almerin McIntosh Gowing, and this is the name that appears on his military records, but at some point he acquired the nickname “Gene” and in 1948 he formally changed his name to Gene from Almerin.

Gowing’s military career began at the Signal Corps photographic school at Columbia University. He was assigned to the 55th Service company in Vincennes, France in 1918, where he was employed in the Signal Corps photographic laboratory until March 1919, when he was transferred to an entertainment unit. He returned to the United States in June 1919.

After the war, Gowing spent some time in Hollywood as a motion picture set designer, but by the 1940s he was involved in square dancing. Gowing was the head of Gene Gowing’s Folkways, an organization that promoted and taught square and contra dancing. Gowing often worked with his contemporary Ralph Page to promote their common interest in dance. Gowing also authored three books on square dancing: Gene Gowing’s Collection of American Quadrilles, Contras and Rounds, with General Terms; The Square Dancer’s Guide; and Square Dancing for Everyone. He died on October 13, 1968 in Jaffrey, New Hampshire and is buried in Dublin.

About the Gene Gowing Papers

The Gene Gowing collection contains a small amount of manuscripts, notes and brochures on folk dancing, and scrapbooks.

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], Gene Gowing Papers, 1941-1957, MC 130, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Source: unknown, found in stacks, January 6, 1994 (Accession number: 94.002)

The Dublin Historical Society maintains additional Gowing material, including his military records, correspondence to his parents during 1918-1919, and photographs Gowing took in France, as well as biographical materials such as his birth certificate, resume, and certificate of change of name. A catalog of these holdings is available upon request from the Dublin Historical Society.

Collection Contents

Series 1: Manuscripts

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 11956-1957, Correspondence with Grosset and Dunlap regarding Gene Gowing’s Square Dancing for Everyone
Box 1, Folder 2Manuscript of Square Dancing for Everyone
Box 1, Folder 3Manuscript of Square Dancing for Everyone
Box 1, Folder 4Manuscript of The Square Dance Structures
Box 1, Folder 5Manuscript of The Square Dance Structures
Box 1, Folder 6Dance Instructions accompanying the manuscript of "The Square Dance Structures"
Box 1, Folder 7Manuscript of "Welcome Home"
Box 1, Folder 8Manuscript of Rambling Rhythms, a Book of Playparty Games-Singing Games-Folk Dances for Very Small Children
Box 1, Folder 9"Log of Trip – Hollywood to Death Valley"

Series 2: Notes and Brochures on English Folk Dancing

Box 1, Folder 10Manuscript of English Folk Dances
Box 1, Folder 11Dance Instructions for English Folk Dances
Box 1, Folder 12Dance Society Brochures re English Folk Dance

Series 3: Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 13Miscellaneous Correspondence
Box 1, Folder 14Sheet Music-Virginia Reel
Box 1, Folder 15Sheet Music-The Girl I Left Behind Me
Box 1, Folder 16Miscellaneous published sheet music
Box 1, Folder 1Miscellaneous materials
Box 1, Folder 18Hymns for Monadnock Folkways Sunday Sing, 1949, mostly undated

Series 4: Scrapbooks

Oversize Box 2
Oversize Box 2, Item 1Scrapbook 1939-1942: Programs, announcements, clippings, photos, correspondence
Oversize Box 3
Oversize Box 3, Item 1Scrapbook 1894-1947: programs, announcements, clippings, etc
Oversize Box 3, Item 2Scrapbook 1939-1940: magazine and newspaper clippings to show "the trend back to the old-fashioned ‘group dances’"
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