PRESERVING A FOLK DANCE HERITAGE
Looking To The Future
Founder: The Square Dance Foundation of New England (SDFNE) was founded in 1973 by caller and editor of The New England Square Dance Caller Magazine, Charlie Baldwin and his wife Bertha. It has a membership of individuals, clubs, and organizations who continue the legacy of traditional, ethnic and social dance and who promote the preservation of dance history and memorabilia in a central archive, consisting of collections from personal clubs and organizations involved in social dance.
The first location of the SDFNE’s Charlie & Bertha Baldwin Library and Museum was in South Weymouth, Massachusetts from 1983 through 1997. It is now located in the historic Waumbec Mill, 250 Commercial Street, Manchester, New Hampshire.
The SDFNE was incorporated in Massachusetts on October 25, 1973, and recently celebrated 38 years of preserving Square, Round and Folk Dance history on October 25, 2011.
Square Dancing: This folk dance art encourages and supports healthy lifestyles. Dance programs and events provide fun and effective exercise for both mind and body, all within a unique system of social interaction.
Research Library and Museum: Historical dance-related documents and artifacts of the last century need to be preserved for future generations, “so that the future may learn from the past”. We are the only archives that house a collection of square dance research material. This collection comes not only from New England, but throughout the world, depicting the evolution of the social dance activity. We welcome you to visit our archive center. While archival material is not available to take out, we welcome those who would like to do research by appointment only.
Tucked in the Historic Manchester Millyard, at the Waumbec Mill, 250 Commercial Street, Manchester, New Hampshire, is a treasure chest of America’s Modern Western Square and Round Dance History in the form or collectibles, including books, magazines, photographs and videos. There is a wealth of historical documentation and club memorabilia on display and/or within easy access for research, and is now open and available to the public. The archive is on the second floor in unit 2009 and is open on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month from 10AM to 2PM. Private visits are also available by appointment at mutual convenience by contacting The Square Dance Foundation of New England Archives Director, Dick Severance, (603} 623-2692 or President Anna Dixon (718) 944-4416.