Howard T. Glasser Archives of Folk Music and Letter Arts


The Howard T. Glasser Archives of Folk Music and Letter Arts were established in 2003 to preserve the artistic and musical collecting legacy of the late UMass Dartmouth Professor, Howard Glasser.  The archives’ initial donation consisted of digital copies of all of his Scottish recordings, many original Eisteddfod recordings and programs and flyers from the Carnegie and URI ceilidhs.  For nearly 40 years Howard T. Glasser arranged informal gatherings, concerts and Eisteddfod Traditional Arts festivals and collected recordings of performances and interviews of hundreds of traditional and folk musicians in the United States and Scotland.  Already an avid folk music enthusiast, Howard first began providing the setting and inspiration for his Ceilidhs at the Carnegie Institute of Technology  in Pittsburgh, PA in 1961.  He was fresh from a 3-month sojourn through Scotland where he collected recordings and interviews of musicians performing traditional songs for their own entertainment, at informal family and community gatherings.  When he left Carnegie in 1968 for URI in Kingston, RI, Howard introduced the Ceilidhs to a new audience.  In 1971 he took the tradition to SMU where the weekly Ceilidhs grew into the Eisteddfod Festival of Traditional Music in 1972.  Under Glasser’s guidance the Eisteddfod flourished for 24 years, and broadened to include workshops, exhibitions, seminars and other programs.  By trade, Howard Glasser was an internationally reknowned graphic artist, calligrapher and teacher.  At all three universities where he brought the tradition of folk music gatherings, Glasser was a professor of graphic arts.  In fact, his graphic art infuses the folk music material, where he lent his skill to creating striking posters, logos, programs, advertisements, tickets, and banners.  He spent 30 years of his career at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (once known as SMU), before retiring in 2001. He died in 2017.

Collection Finding Aids

Digital Archives

Carnegie Ceilidh Concert Series List

The SMU/UMD Eisteddfod 1972-1996

About Howard T. Glasser