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National Folklore Archives

The National Folklore Archives Initiative (NFAI), supported by funding from the Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program of the NEH’s Division of Preservation and Access, is an AFS-coordinated effort to document and provide access to information about folklore archival collections held by folklore programs at academic institutions, community-based cultural and ethnic organizations, non-profit organizations, and state government-based arts and cultural agencies in the United States.

Folklore archival collections—unpublished multi-format collections of materials created in the field that document traditional cultural expressions and knowledge—comprise one of our nation’s most valuable cultural resources, but scholars, public humanists, teachers, students, and community members can access these materials only with difficulty.

In this project AFS, working with the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries and a core group of 24 folklore archives partners across the country, has created an online Folklore Collections Database that contains detailed information about the most important collections of these partner organizations, as well as basic information about the holdings of a larger universe of more than 100 other US folklore archives. We are now planning our next step in this project: to be able to provide direct online access to the materials in these collections.

For more information on the NFAI, please contact AFS Executive Director Jessica Turner.

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