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Fife Folklore Archives Curator

Randy Williams
Photo credit: Donna Barry, USU.

Randy Williams is Fife Folklore Archives Curator and oral history specialist at Utah State University Library's Special Collections & Archives. Along with managing the world-renowned Fife Folklore Archives, she directs USU's community-based fieldwork projects, bringing the voices of diverse people from the Inter-Mountain West (many who are historically underrepresented) into the Archives. At present she is working on the Cache Valley Drug Court Oral History effort with colleagues Andrew Dupree and Jennifer Duncan. Other fieldwork activity includes:

U.S. Presidential Election Reflections: Social Media Collecting Project
Swaner Legacy Oral History Project
Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project
Central Utah Project: Capturing Utah's share of the Colorado River
Ranch Family Documentation Project and Ranch Family Digital Collection
Collecting Memories: Oral Histories of American Folklorists
Logan Canyon Land Use Management Oral History Collection
Latino/Latina Voices Project and Latino Voices Digital Collection
Living Traditions of the Bear River Area
USU Veterans History Project

Williams is on the faculty of the upcoming Library of Congress/Utah State University/University of Wyoming Field School for Cultural Documentation. And, she was a faculty member of the 2015 LOC/USU Field School: Voices: Refugees in Cache Valley.

Along with Elisaida Mendez, Williams was honored with a 2009 Human Ties Award from Utah Humanities for the Latino/Latina Voices Project and she received a 2002 UHC Merit Award for Living Traditions of the Bear River Heritage Area.

Fall 2016, Williams curated "Fifty Years of Folk: The Austin and Alta Fife USU Folklore Legacy, 1966-2016" at the USU Library. Summer 2009, Williams curated "Books and Buckaroos: USU Cowboy Poetry Collection" an exhibit highlighting USU's involvement with the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, from its 1985 beginning. And, Fall/Winter 2009-10 she co-curated with Barbara Middleton Bells: Connecting Animals, People and Land, an outgrowth of oral history work.

Williams is Archival Liaison for the American Folklore Society, a board member of the Folklore Society of Utah, and past section convener (2009-12) for the American Folklore Society Archives and Library Section. She is the folklore subject librarian at the Merrill-Cazier Library, former editor-at-large for Marginalia (the newsletter for the Friends of the Library) and served on USU's Common Literature Experience Committee, serving as chair in 2009.

Along with Elaine Thatcher, she produced Folksongs of the Beehive State: Early Field Recordings of Utah and Mormon Music. Activity in the Arts in Education Program led to Folklore and Folk Art Resource Guide, co-sponsored by the Utah Arts Council. She co-directed the Fife Folklore Conference for five years, created and directed USU's Kinship Conference and taught university courses in folklore. Areas of academic interest include community-based oral history work, belief systems, archiving, diversity awareness, Mormon family and public folklore.