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Polly Grimshaw Prize

The Archives and Libraries Section of the American Folklore Society offers stipends of up to $750 in honor of the late Polly Grimshaw, curator of the folklore collection at Indiana University Libraries. The Grimshaw Prize is intended to support folklore or ethnomusicology projects with a significant connection to libraries and/or archives.

Examples of eligible projects include:

  • support for travel costs to enable on-site research in a library or archive collection
  • research into problems, issues, or methods in information organization and retrieval in folklore or ethnomusicology, including libraries, archives, collections, and related topics
  • travel to the American Folklore Society annual meeting to present the results of such research

Applications from students, professionals, or researchers in folklore/ethnomusicology are welcome. Primary consideration is given to students enrolled in folklore graduate curricula and professional folklorists. Applications will consist of a narrative of no more than 600 words describing the project and its relationship to libraries and/or archives; a detailed budget; a resume or curriculum vitae; and one letter of recommendation.

The Prize is awarded every other year, in odd-numbered years, and nominations are accepted continuously during the year. The next deadline for submissions will be in the fall of 2019. Members of the Grimshaw Prize review committee are Janet Gilmore (chair), David Azzolina, Terri Jordan, and Moira Marsh. 

Please submit questions or nominations for the Prize by e-mail to the chair of the committee, Janet Gilmore, at


Past Grimshaw Prize recipient(s):

2017: Two Grimshaw Prizes in the amount of $500 apiece were awarded to two recipients: Tina Bucuvalas for her work with the Library of Congress toward the establishment of a Greek music archive, and Joy Fraser for her archival research into mumming and violence in Newfoundland.

2015: No Grimshaw Prize awarded.

2013: No Grimshaw Prize awarded.

2011: Amber Ridington for her collaborative and community-defined digital project to preserve and provide access to valuable Dane-zaa cultural materials. Her AFS poster presents a nuanced discussion of the rewards and challenges of collaboration with Indigenous source communities, and provides guidance that will be useful to scholars and practitioners alike.

2009: Suzanne Godby Ingalsbe for her work to research the papers of collector Ethel Jane Westfeldt to re-establish the link between Iranian prayer rugs at the Smithsonian Institution and their makers. Committee members were particularly intrigued with Ingalsbe's efforts to contextualize museum content by using researcher fieldnotes.

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