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 was last located in the historic Waumbec Mill, 250 Commercial Street, Manchester, New Hampshire, before it’s permanent closing in December of 2016.
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”. When we were formed, we were the only organization we knew of with that preservation as a goal. Over the past four decades we have amassed a treasure chest of America’s Modern Western Square and Round Dane History in the form of collectibles, including books, magazines, photographs and videos. The collection includes a wealth of historical documentation and club history. Although we have recently closed the library/museum that was housed in the Waumbec Mill building in Manchester, New Hampshire, most of the collection has been transferred to the Milne Special Collections department of the Library of the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH as described in more details on the home section of this site.