Folklore archival collections—unpublished multi-format collections of materials created in the field that document traditional cultural expressions and knowledge—comprise one of our nation’s most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. The National Folklife Archives Initiative (NFAI), a project of the American Folklore Society, is a national effort to make the intellectual content of these collections more widely accessible.

This database, one of several efforts now being undertaken by the NFAI team, is an open-access online resource providing searchable 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, and about the organizations (we call them repositories) that maintain those collections. It contains general information from a national survey of folklore archival repositories and collections, and more specific information, provided by the staffs of some of those repositories, about their specific folklore archival collections. It will grow over the years, as we--and folklore archivists across the country--add information on more repositories and collections.

The Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program of the National Endowment for the Humanities' Division of Preservation and Access has provided support for the NFAI project.

Featured Objects from the Archive