Fonds consists of folkloric material collected as a result of field trips to various communities, outports and bays in Newfoundland; predominantly Notre Dame Bay, White Bay, the Baie Verte Peninsula and Placentia Bay. The material in the fonds was collected by Widdowson (1963-99) and several collaborators: Herbert Halpert (1964, 1974-75), Clyde Williams (1964), Pierce Power (1964), Walter Lyver (1964), Fred Earle (1964-67), John Hewson (1964), Harold Paddock (1966), Paul Smith (1969), Violetta M. Halpert (1974-75), Lawrence G. Small (1974-75), William J. Kirwin (1979), and Cecil J. Reynolds (1984?). Widdowson also acted as co-depositor with Gwen Seary (1985).
The material in the fonds was collected on 246 audio reels, 2 audio cassettes and 14 folklore survey cards. As well the fonds contains fieldwork notes, informants' biographical sheets, song sheets, partial and/or full audio transcriptions and correspondence.
The majority of the material in the fonds deals with the folklore genres of oral history, song, tale, dance, beliefs, child lore, custom, food ways, language, proverbs, riddles, material culture, and personal experience narratives. Much of the material collected by Widdowson and his co-collectors was used in the creation of The Dictionary of Newfoundland English and Folktales of Newfoundland.
The fonds also consists of miscellaneous items such as a toast by Dr. E.R. Seary (1973); a methodical discussion of MUNFLA (1975), lectures (1975), a transcript of an oral history presentation (1974); a speech on MUN's future (1975); a recording of a BBC radio broadcast [1979?]; and the personal papers, writings and collections of Mr. Cecil Reynolds (1976-86). As well, the fonds contains a small amount of published documents and photocopied material that were deposited due to a connection with the collector or informant and/or its folkloric content.