Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

Debra O'Leary

Jennifer Piurek
University Communications

Last modified: Monday, August 9, 2010

IU Libraries, American Folklore Society partner for Open Folklore digitization project

August 9, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- An innovative and mutually beneficial partnership between Indiana University Libraries and the American Folklore Society (AFS) will liberate much of the world's previously inaccessible folklore materials.

Brenda Johnson

Brenda Johnson

Print-Quality Photo

The multifaceted project, titled Open Folklore, combines digitization and digital preservation of data, publications, educational materials and scholarship in folklore. Because much of the material is copyright restricted, IU librarians will work with rights holders to make books and journals that have already been digitized -- often through Google Books and the HathiTrust Digital Library -- freely available to the public.

"Open Folklore provides us with the perfect opportunity to explore new tools that support research libraries' historically rich mission -- to provide persistent access to resources that support the creation of new knowledge -- with our partners that include scholars, scholarly societies, and publishers," said Brenda Johnson, Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries.

In its initial phase, the partners will construct a prototype Web site to collect feedback from the folklore community to help shape its growth and development. The prototype will be launched at the annual AFS meeting in October.

The project includes:

  • Supporting the publication of new and existing journals in folklore with an open access publishing platform
  • Digitizing educational material and previously unpublished literature
  • Preserving "born digital" resources and publications
  • Selecting and digitally archiving Web sites of public and academic folklore programs (with permission)

This effort will provide future access to historic Internet documents of scholarly and disciplinary relevance. In addition, an online search tool will enhance discoverability of relevant, reliable resources for folklore studies.

Jason Baird Jackson

Jason Baird Jackson

Print-Quality Photo

"Generations of librarians at Indiana University have worked to build a priceless research collection for our field," said Jason Jackson, IU associate professor of folklore. "Now, the IU Bloomington Libraries are endeavoring with the AFS to freely share this collection and many other folklore resources with the wider world. These efforts will make scholarship in folklore studies more accessible and will help us to better achieve our field's shared ethical goal of being engaged with, and responsible to, the communities that we serve and in which we study."

According to AFS President Kurt Dewhurst, the initiative will provide increased access and use of the published work of folklorists and scholars from related fields. "We are grateful to our partners, especially the IU Bloomington Libraries, for this important investment in the field of folklore."

For more information, visit, or contact Tim Lloyd ( or Moira Smith (