Guide to the Durham Reelers Scrapbook, 1955-2008
Collection number: UA 7/1/14
Size: 1 boxes
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,
This collection is open.
Copyright is retained by the University of New Hampshire.
[Identification of item], Durham Reelers Scrapbook, 1955-2008, UA 7/1/14, Milne
Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham,
Donated by Jon Thunberg, November 2014
The scrapbook pages have been removed from the three-ring binder, but are retained in their original order.