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BOOKS: Over 1285 books describing the many different dance styles, including Folk Dance, Eastern Square Dance aka Traditional, Modern American Western Square Dance, Round dance, and Line Dance, make up the nucleus of the library.
MAGAZINES: 6780 National and State Folk, Traditional, and Modern Square Dance publications are on file. It is the most complete collection in existence.
NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS: Historical print material records past and current dance programs. Includes promotions to help communities and health research organizations; public service awards to individuals; and other notable events.
MUSIC RECORDS: 30,000 square and round dance records (in sizes 78 – 45 – 33 1/3 rpm), and vintage albums are on display.
VIDEOS & CD’S: Present both a visual and audio history of Dance festivals, Dance Camps, Dance Conventions, Square Dance Fashion Shows, and Special Dances.
SOUND EQUIPMENT:    Vintage square dance caller equipment from a megaphone to the highly specialized electronic microphones and sound systems.
DANCE CHOREOGRAPHY: Choreography notebooks, square dance caller schools syllabi, and innovative modern choreography are abundant.
PHOTOS: An extensive collection features Callers, Cuers, Dance Leaders, and Clubs from all the New England States.
ARTWORK: Oil Paintings, Watercolors, Lithographs, sculpture, felt banners, fabric banners, needlework (all pertaining to dance) augment the collections.
DANCE COSTUMES: A vintage collection (1940’s – 1950’s) and a current dance costume collection (1960’s – 2011) for men, women, teens and children is the most extensive or any known in the U.S.A. Many New England dancers made their own dance costumes. Others purchased their dance costumes from dance clothing manufacturers in different states. There is a collection of square dance patterns for those knowledgeable in the art of sewing.
DANCE ACCESSORIES: (1940’S – 2011) The changing styles for both men & women through the decades were accompanied by different dance accessories. Dance conventions and dance celebrations have their own unique accessories.
HISTORICAL DISPLAY BOARDS: This is a time line tracing the most complete history of the square dance historical evolution.
New England Square & Round Dance Convention materials from 1959 to 2010, 51 years.
New England Square & Round Dance Convention banners from 1977 to 2012.
Club Traveling banners from 350 clubs.
Photo/scrapbooks from 168 clubs.


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 Donations Minimize

We welcome the donation of any dance related collectible item from any source. All such donations are acknowledged in writing. The Library/Museum Committee has full control and authority over the collection. The Committee is responsible for the organization, display, record keeping, disposition, and storage of materials.




Camp Becket, also known as Camp Becket-in-the-Berkshires, is a YMCA summer camp for boys, located in the Berkshires of Western, Ma. Founded in 1903 by Henry Gibson on Rudd Pond in Becket, It is the oldest continually running summer camp in the United States. It's focus in on group activities and team building. Nearby is Chimney Corners, a girls camp located on Smith Pond.
In the summer time people would travel to this Massachusetts camp in the Berkshires.    It was home to hundreds of square dancers during the last week of summer. This occurred during the 1950's early 60's called the New England Square and Folk Dance Camp.      Its director was Charlie Baldwin and the YMCA administrator was Warren C. Scott. The program consisted of Dick& Evelyn Doyle on rounds, Jack Livingston, Ken Smith, Jim & Ruth Brower on squares, Herbie Gaudreau on contras, Peg Aubin on folk dances, Mike and Betty Stark on beginner’s squares, Mac McKenzie as song leader, Stan Burdick on stunts and special programs and Grant and Marion Longley on children's programs.
There were square dance classes in the afternoon, learning new dances and new steps and formal   dances in the evening in all their finery. Youngsters would watch from the balcony observing the shifting patterns of the squares from overhead, the swirling skirts like pinwheels. People were happy. Caller Jim Brower's singing calls were very popular. Professor Longley and wife Marion headed the youth program. Charlie Baldwin organized the square dance conference. Charlie would sit in the dining room at a table closest to the piano and microphone and would make announcements at some point during the meal. Charlie would tell everyone ''You know, I've found square dance people are the best people in the world''. Everyone either blushed or nodded. After diner someone would play the piano and everyone would sing. Caller Dick Doyle and his wife Evelyn had a following who attended the camp annually. Stan and Kathie Burdick interest in square dancing and romance grew during this time.   Herbie Gaudreau introduced the ''Becket Reel'' which was copyrighted by the New England Caller, Inc.in 1958. Daily schedules were published and distributed called the Bow 'n Balance (your daily talk thru). Those who attended fondly remember the good times. Along the upper level balcony walls were photos of all the camp years past and in one section all the long photos of the square dance years.


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