AFS-Utah State University “Collecting Memories: Oral Histories of American Folklorists” Project

Collecting Memories: Oral Histories of American Folklorists is a joint project of the American Folklore Society, including its Archives and Libraries and History and Folklore sections, and Utah State University’s 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.

The American Folklife Center is an adviser and contributor to the project.

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 (USU Special Collections & Archives), Jessica Turner (American Folklore Society), Guha Shankar (American Folklife Center, Library of Congress), and two AFS sections: Archives and Libraries and History and Folklore, using best practices as set forth by the American Folklore Society, the Oral History Association and USU’s Institutional Review Board. The fieldworkers (interviewers) will come from the general membership of the American Folklore Society.

For more information on this project, please contact:

Terri Jordan
Utah State University Special Collections & Archives
3000 Old Main Hill
Logan UT 84322-3000 USA

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