Utah State University Library

Link to Utah State University Home Page.

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. In addition, she is affiliated faculty of the USU Folklore Program, where she teaches a field school for cultural documentation with colleague Lisa Gabbert. Along with managing the world-renowned Fife Folklore Archives, Williams directs USU's community-based fieldwork projects, bringing the voices of diverse people from the Inter-Mountain West, many historically excluded, into the Archives. At present, she is working on the Great Salt Lake Wetlands Oral History Project. Previous fieldwork includes:

Jackson Hole Dude Ranching Traditions: Triangle X, 2017
Voices from Drug Court, 2016-2017
2016 U.S. Presidential Election Reflections: Social Media Collecting Project
Swaner Legacy Oral History Project, 2015-2016
Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project, 2015
Central Utah Project: Capturing Utah's share of the Colorado River, 2012-2013
Ranch Family Documentation Project, 2009-2012 and Digital Collection
Collecting Memories: Oral Histories of American Folklorists, 2011-present
Logan Canyon Land Use Management Oral History Collection, 2008-2009
Latino/Latina Voices Project, 2007 and 2012 and Digital Collection
Living Traditions of the Bear River Area, 1999-2004
USU Veterans History Project

She is a 2017 recipient of a Utah State University Diversity Award. As well, she was honored, with colleague Elisaida Mendez, with a 2009 Utah Humanites Human Ties Award for the Latino/Latina Voices Project and she received a 2002 UH Merit Award for Living Traditions of the Bear River Heritage Area.

Fall 2016, she 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. 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 Utah Humanities, Folklore Society of Utah, and Refugee Connection. She is 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. 2007-2009, she served on USU's Common Literature Committee, chair 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. Areas of academic interest include community-based oral history fieldwork, archiving, ethical metadata, diversity awareness, Mormon family, and public folklore.