|History of the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus|
Support for the development of the Ethnographic Thesaurus was provided by:
In 1988, the Subject Access Working Group (SAWG) of the American Folklore Society was established to explore the feasibility of creating a controlled vocabulary for the discipline of folklore. Among the first accomplishments of this group was a survey of the folklore community that determined that there was indeed a demand for an ethnographic thesaurus.
In 2000, the Ethnographic Thesaurus Working Group was formed to further the work of SAWG. Funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2001 allowed SAWG to once again survey the ethnographic community, place a prototype thesaurus of folklore terms online and plan further actions.
In 2003, the American Folklore Society received a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to hire a lexicographer, two subject specialists in folklore and ethnomusicology, and a database manager to begin the construction of the Ethnographic Thesaurus and to convene an advisory board to offer guidance on the project. The Ethnographic Thesaurus Advisory Board (members listed below) consists of 13 members who have archival, museum, and library experience and represent the fields of folklore, cultural anthropology, ethnomusicology, and library science.
During the fall of 2007, the first full draft of the Thesaurus was posted on the American Folklore Society website, using MultiTes Pro, a thesaurus construction and management program. The MultiTes software program provides an HTML export of the Ethnographic Thesaurus to upload onto the web that creates a dynamically-searchable thesaurus, as well as an XML export to allow the data to be shared among different platforms and applications.
Co-chairs: Michael Taft, Head of the Archive, and Catherine Hiebert Kerst, Folklife Specialist/Archivist, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington DC
Flandreau, Head Librarian and Archivist, Center
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