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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 project products 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 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 (USU Special Collections & Archives), Timothy Lloyd (American Folklore Society), Guha Shankar (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:
working with project directors, identify and contact potential participant and explain the project

at the participant's convenience, set up an appointment for the oral history interview and give/mail: letter of information/informed consent, interview questions and release form for participant review

at the beginning of the interview, review the release form with the participant

conduct a recorded interview, turning off the recording machine if the participant requests

if possible, transcribe interview or have interview transcribed

review with participant potential for donation of related materials for inclusion in this collection and option for monetary donation to support the project; if participant is interested, please notify Randy Williams or Tim Lloyd

get the participant's signature on release form

submit (to address, email or BFT below)
☑ transcript/notes/logs: in MSWord document
☑ interview sound: audio on CD in .wav format or .wav sent via USU's big file transfer
☑ video: on DVD in AVI or MOV format or AVI or MOV sent via USU's big file transfer
☑ photographs: originals or scanned TIFFs at 800 dpi for smaller than 5x7 in; 600 dpi for 5x7 in; or 400 dpi for larger than 5x7 in

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

Thank you for your support!

Project Forms