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Square Dance Magazines

Among the most useful resources for understanding square dance history are the many square dance magazines published, some for a national readership others for regional, state, or local audiences. In the last two decades, increasing numbers of such publications have been digitized and made available online. The first part of this exhibit highlights complete sets of four important publications with a national audience, plus a regional one. Gardner Patton played a key role here, digitizing Sets in Order, American Squares, and Grand Square, while Cal Campbell is responsible for digitizing The American Dance Circle. The staff of Special Collections at the University of New Hampshire digitized Northern Squares.

The second part of the exhibit is a collection of square dance magazines and newsletters from the late 1940s through the 1960s. Some are samples of publications aimed at a national audience by well-known callers such as Ralph Page, Les Gotcher, and Herb Greggerson. Others serve a more regional or a state audience while still others focus on a much smaller area. Of course, the size of a publication's geographical area does not necessarily indicate the number of activities it describes; look at "Local Square" from San Diego or "Square Dance ~ Where?" from northern California to see just how many clubs and activities were in those areas. For this section, many thanks go to Stig Malmo—Danish dancer, caller, and collector—for the many hours spent scanning these items and for his willingness to share these examples.

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