February 21, 2010
The folklore-collecting career of Mary Celestia Parler is often overshadowed by the work of her more famous husband, Vance Randolph. Parler, a professor of English and folklore at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), was a founder of the Arkansas Folklore Society. In 1949, she developed the university’s first folklore course and became director of the UA Folklore Research Project. Under her direction, 442 reels of recorded songs and many other materials were collected. She retired from her professorship in 1975.