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John R. Dignan, interviewed by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives


Scope and Contents

From the Record Group:

MF167.1 consists of interviews conducted by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives on Prince Edward Island between 1969 and 1970, as part of his work to document the folk songs of Prince Edward Island, specifically the songs “made by” Joe Scott, Larry Doyle, and Larry Gorman. Material included in this collection served as source material for Ives’ later publications, Lawrence Doyle: The Farmer-Poet of Prince Edward Island (1971); Larry Gorman: The Man Who Made the Songs (1977); Joe Scott: The Woodman Songmaker (1978); and Drive Dull Care Away: Folksongs from Prince Edward Island (1999). This collection includes recordings of interviews, Ives' field journal, and 17 photographs taken by Ives.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1955-1970


Conditions Governing Access

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From the Record Group: 203 items

Language of Materials

From the Record Group: English


NA4361 John R. Dignan, interviewed by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives, August 24, 1965, at Howland, P.E.I., Canada. Dignan, age 83, talks about meeting Joe Scott around 1902 when Dignan was 19 years old during his "first and only experience" working in the woods. Dignan was working with Tom Tracey's crew at the Wentwork [?] location on the Androscoggin River near the New Hampshire border. Joe Scott showed up at the camp selling his songs for 10-cents apiece. Dignan bought three or four of the songs. Dignan recalls a freshet that took a bridge out on the stream that year--possibly the Dead Diamond; step-dancing in camp as entertainment; mentions Joe Gonyor as one of the men who step-danced. Joe Gonyer and his father Lawrence Gonyer worked together but spoke French, so there were communication issues. Dignam worked at the upper camp swamping. Ed Elliot and Dignan were two-head sawyers. Interview in English with one punchline given in Canadian French. Ives' notes on the visit are recorded in his "Field Diary, Aug. 20, 1965, to Sept. 10, 1965." (NA2539, p. 4) Recording: mf167_1.1_ives065.01b_cd080_01 - mf167_1.1_ives065.01b_cd080_14. Time: 00:29:42

Repository Details

Part of the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States