The American Folklore Society is excited to announce its receipt of a new grant from the Preservation and Access Division of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support the second phase of the National Folklore Archives Initiative (NFAI), an effort to document and provide access to archival collections held by folklore programs at academic institutions, community-based cultural and ethnic organizations, nonprofits, and state government-based arts and cultural agencies in the United States. Folklore archival collections constitute one of the nation’s most valuable cultural resources, but scholars, teachers, students, and community members can usually only access these materials with some difficulty. The NFAI is responding to this situation by creating an integrated, field-wide, sustainable infrastructure to make these collections more widely discoverable and accessible, and to help ensure their long-term preservation.
With the NEH-funded first phase (2011–13) having led to the creation of the Folklore Collections Database (FCD), a stable framework hosted by the Indiana University Library at www.folklorecollections.org through which archives can catalog and share metadata describing their collections, the second round of funding ensures that this framework will be built upon. Phase two (2015–17) will enable 25 archival partner organizations to begin cataloging their collections, adding content to the FCD, and testing training materials that will be developed by the NFAI project directors to aid future database users.
AFS is pleased to be receiving part of the $22.8 million in awards granted by the NEH in its latest round of funding. Visit http://www.neh.gov/news/press-release/2015-03-23 for more information on some of the 232 humanities projects that the NEH will be supporting.