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Special Home > Guide to Gene Gowing Papers, 1941-1957

Guide to Gene Gowing 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. See also: a list of over 200 recordings in the collection.

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)

Related Material

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 I: Manuscripts

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1 1956-1957, Correspondence with Grosset and Dunlap regarding Gene Gowing’s Square Dancing for Everyone
Box 1, Folder 2 Manuscript of Square Dancing for Everyone
Box 1, Folder 3 “The Square Dance Structures”
Box 1, Folder 4 Dance Instructions accompanying the manuscript of “The Square Dance Structures”
Box 1, Folder 5 “Welcome Home”
Box 1, Folder 6 Rambling Rhythms, a Book of Playparty Games-Singing Games-Folk Dances for Very Small Children
Box 1, Folder 7 English Folk Dances

Series II: Notes and Brochures on English Folk Dancing

Box 1, Folder 8 Dance Instructions for English Folk Dances
Box 1, Folder 9 Pamphlets/Dance Society Brochures re English Folk Dance
Box 1, Folder 10 “Log of Trip – Hollywood to Death Valley”

Series III: Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 11 Miscellaneous Correspondence
Box 1, Folder 12 Sheet Music
Box 1, Folder 13 “Let’s Dance- with Marge and Gower Champion” by Bob Thomas
Box 1, Folder 14 Howe’s Drawing Room Dances Especially Designed for Social Evening Parties etc… by Elias Howe, 1859

Series IV: Scrapbooks

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