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FOLK COLLECTION 46: Collecting Memories

Oral Histories of American Folklorists: Information

Project Information: Collecting Memories: Oral Histories of American Folklorists is a joint project of the American Folklore Society, and Utah State University Special Collections and Archives. The project is an effort to preserve and disseminate the voices and images of American folklorists and the field of folklore studies through oral histories (memories and personal commentary), photographs and related materials (personal papers, diaries, logs, etc).

The project will help document the development and change of the field since the mid-twentieth century to more fully tell the story of folklore scholarship and to make accessible the institutional memory of the American Folklore Society, the premier folklore society in the United States. Project products (media, transcripts/logs, images and affiliated materials) will be housed at Utah State University, the official repository of the American Folklore Society Records. USU will host the products of the project in both physical and digital collections.

Project Adviser: The American Folklife Center is an adviser and contributor on the project.

History: "American Folklorists' Voices in Print: A Critical Survey" by Simon J. Bronner, The Pennsylvania State University. (Full article forthcoming in 2011 Folklore Historian).

IRB: Protocol number 2761. USU Institutional Review Board approved 11/2/2010; Certificate of exemption 9/21/2011; approval terminates 11/1/2013.

Target Groups:

  1. Senior public and academic folklorists
  2. Folklorists who are or have conducted important fieldwork projects
  3. Past or current officers/board members from the American Folklore Society or regional folklore societies
  4. General AFS membership

The individuals to be interviewed will be selected by the project partners, with input from AFS Fellows and the general AFS membership (as needed).

Protocol: The oral histories gathered will be conducted under the direction of Randy Williams at USU Special Collections & Archives, Timothy Lloyd of the American Folklore Society, the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, and the AFS History Section and the AFS Archives and Libraries Section, using the best practices of the American Folklore Society, the Oral History Association and USU Institutional Review Board. The fieldworkers (interviewers) will come from the general membership of the American Folklore Society.

Fieldworkers will:

Randy Williams
Utah State University Special Collections & Archives
3000 Old Main Hill
Logan UT 84322-3000
(435) 797-3493
USU Big File Transfer

Please explain to participant that a transcript or log of the interview will be mailed to them for review with a request that they return it to USU in the provided self addressed self stamped envelope. Explain that a revised transcript or log (and CD of the interview) will be mailed to them after their review.

If applicible, review with the participant potential for donation of related materials for inclusion in this collection and option for monetary donation to the project to assist with full (and timely) interview transcription. If participant is interested notify Randy Williams (randy.williams@usu.edu) who will contact interviewee.

Thank you for your support!