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Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature


Contact Information

(617) 496-2499
Widener Library, Room C, Cambridge, MA 02138
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The Milman Parry Collection is the largest single repository of South Slavic heroic song in the world. It includes the following separate collections, in addition to other materials:  1. The texts and recordings of oral literature, including both epic and lyric songs, some stories, and conversations with singers and others, made by Professor Milman Parry of the Department of the Classics at Harvard University during the summer of 1933 and from June 1934 to September 1935, in Yugoslavia.2. The Albanian Collection of some one hundred dictated epic texts was made by Lord in the north Albanian mountains in the Fall of 1937.3. The Lord Collection consists of epic texts collected by him in Yugoslavia in the summers of 1950, 1951, and 1966. The last of these is little known, but contains Christian songs from the mountain ranges from Nis to Prijepolje.4. The Lord and Bynum Collection consists of texts collected by Lord and Bynum in Yugoslavia in the summers of 1962-1965 and 1967.5. The James A. Notopoulos Collection of Modern Greek Ballads and Songs. More info.





  • Access
  • By appointment only. Qualified scholars should contact the curatorial staff well in advance of intended visits. Prior notice of several weeks or more will ensure that researchers are able to read / audition the material which will be most useful to them.

  • Circulation
  • Non-circulating collection



  • Wheelchair accessible.