The Archives and Libraries Section of the American Folklore Society
first established as the Archiving Section at the annual
the Society in 1978 in Salt Lake City, Utah. In response to
in a focus on folklore in libraries as well as in archives,
the Archives and Libraries Section in 1997.
The Section's mission is to promote the exchange of
all types of archival methodology relating to folklore,
and other ethnographic collections. In addition, the Section
share information and to help develop standards relevant to
collections and activities in folklore. The Section has
a particular interest in the developing technological
can advance the work of archivists and librarians working
materials, and improve collections management in the field.
The Section adopted the original version of this statement of goals in 1994, and modified it in 2001 to include reference to library issues:
- To promote awareness of preservation issues of both
and modern ethnographic collections and act in support of
care of documentary media. Because of the potential loss
collections in fragile formats (wax cylinders, acetate
nitrate film) and the changing technological media and
of modern formats (magnetic media, DAT) the skill of
and archival repositories must be encouraged, developed,
if documentary collections are to be preserved for future
- To promote the treatment of multi-format ethnographic
as whole created works including all media and preserving
intent. In order to make librarians and historical
collaborators, we must promote an understanding among
of ethnographic collections as multi-format created works.
- To explore and develop technological methods of
to folklife materials using state of the art methods and
such as CD ROM, MARC databases, and World Wide Web. While
of standard methods of access may help the field, efforts
the development of standards should not stand in the way
- To promote collections management in fieldwork planning
to ensure better documentation of collected materials. To
students and collectors concerning methods of preserving
data, including the use of technology (computer databases,
- To encourage student use of archives and special
in ethnographic research and to facilitate the
introduction of students
in ethnographic disciplines to archival practice and
- To reach out to archivists and librarians in related
The concerns of folklife archivists and librarians are
archivists and librarians in related disciplines such as
anthropology, oral history, and sociolinguistics.
with these archivists and librarians will help us in
to develop our practice.
- To encourage granting agencies to require planning for
management and funding for the care of collected
researchers about opportunities to apply for funding for
- To encourage folklorists in the academy to accept an
housed, accessible collection as a created work, providing
- To support the creation of archives in public or
and cultural programs that collect data.
- To review and analyze the current state of
in folklore and ethnomusicology, relating to cataloging
tools in all media, ongoing indexing projects such as the
Journal of American Folklore Index,
the International Folklore Bibliography, and the MLA
The Section has a LISTSERV for discussions of
library issues relating to folklore.
The Section awards two prizes on an every-other-year basis:
Brenda McCallum Prize (even years) for a work
that contributes to the goal of improving archival care and
to folklore collections, and the Polly Grimshaw Prize
(odd years) for the support of folklore or ethnomusicology projects with a
significant connection to libraries and/or archives.
The convener for the Section is Terri M. Jordan of the University of Oklahoma. Dues are $10.
Click here to join this American Folklore Society interest-group section.