• Coverage of the Open Folklore Portal Launch
    Posted on Fri, 10/15/2010 - 1:15pm

    The Open Folklore portal was launched on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 with the start of the annual meetings of the American Folklore Society. At the time of the launch, a press release highlighting the project was issued by, and is available from, the Indiana University News Room.

    Two early discussions of the portal are a detailed and well-informed review by Creighton Barrett at Archivology and a contextual discussion by Barbara Fister in Library Journal.

    Thanks to all who are trying, discussing, and commenting upon the site and the project, including the new OF Twitter followers and Facebook supporters.

  • Open Folklore’s First Strategic Partner: Utah State University
    Posted on Fri, 09/24/2010 - 1:14pm

    The Open Folklore project is pleased to announce that the Utah State University Libraries are the first Open Folklore Strategic Partner.
    Utah State University has been a leader in folklore scholarship, instruction, and collection building for over 40 years, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in public and academic folklore. The USU Libraries' Special Collections and Archives is home to the American Folklore Society Papers and to the Fife Folklore Archives, one of the largest repositories of American folklore materials in the United States. The Fife Folklore Archives boasts the renowned Fife American and Mormon Collections, the flourishing Folklore Student Collection, a robust oral history program, the G. Malcolm Laws Ballad Collection and many others. Also within the USU Libraries is the USU Press, which has been publishing cutting-edge folklore studies for over thirty years. Many of these collections, including all the Press' books, are freely available to researchers in digital form, with new items and collections from the USU Libraries continually being added to Open Folklore.

    Both organizations are delighted to find a common ground for collaboration in pursuing our shared goals. Welcome, Utah State University Libraries!


  • Open Folklore Featured in Podcast
    Posted on Mon, 09/20/2010 - 1:11pm

    Open Folklore project team member Jason Baird Jackson recently discussed the effort during the first of a projected series of podcasts for the  group (anthropology) blog Savage Minds.   About the experience, Jackson reflected: "It helped me clarify my own thinking and gave me practice talking informally about the project in the run up to the upcoming American Folklore Society (AFS) meetings. One thing that I should have said is that my remarks represent my own (not always fully formed) thoughts and do not necessarily represent the views of my colleagues working on the Open Folklore project or the official policies of the AFS or IU Bloomington Libraries."  Jackson expressed appreciation to Savage Minds and his conversation partner for the podcast Alex Golub.

    The podcast is available in iTunes here or directly from the Savage Minds website here.

  • Open Folklore + Community Arts Network
    Posted on Thu, 09/16/2010 - 12:33pm

    Editors note: A part of the Open Folklore effort aims to durably archive content-rich websites of relevance to scholars and practitioners in the field of folklore studies. Recently a need arose to put these plans to a quick test. The Community Arts Network (CAN), a not-for-profit service organization that had built up a large and widely used website found itself needing to cease operation of its elaborate site. On August 31, 2010 Debora Kodish of the Philadelphia Folklore Project contacted the Open Folklore team at Indiana about the possibility that the project might be able to assist in the preservation of the CAN assets. Discussions and investigations quickly followed and the IU Libraries decided to pursue archiving the site. This work was complete before the time of the scheduled shut down on Labor Day, 2010. It all worked and now we can see what a website archived in the manner that we anticipate using looks and feels like. The words of appreciation that have been offered from the community arts and public folklore communities have been most appreciated and are a major source of encouragement for what we are trying to get going with Open Folklore.
    To help explicate a bit further, this is a re-posting of an announcement being circulated by the Community Arts Network (CAN). It was crafted with input from the librarians at Indiana who are central to the current early-phase work on the Open Folklore project. Thanks go to everyone who has been involved in these efforts. (See the CAN Facebook page for additional discussion.)
    The Community Arts Network (CAN), Indiana University Bloomington Libraries, and the American Folklore Society are pleased to announce that the CAN Web site has been archived as part of the Open Folklore project (http://www.openfolklore.org/). Open Folklore is intended to be an online portal to open-access digital folklore content and plans to launch a prototype in October at the American Folklore Society meeting in Nashville, Tenn.
    After CAN announced it would be forced to immediately shut down its Web site due to lack of funds, the IU Bloomington Libraries offered to capture the CAN Web site using Archive-It, a subscription service from the Internet Archive that allows institutions to build and preserve collections of born-digital content. The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded in 1996 to build an "Internet library" with the purpose of offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to collections that exist in digital format. Because CAN is a content-rich Web site that is of great interest to folklorists, the IU Bloomington Libraries made use of their subscription to Archive-It to preserve the site without charge.
    The archived CAN is static, but is fully text searchable, though some external links and some internal scripted functions may no longer work. It is, however, a unique and permanent record of the site as it existed at the time. Users may visit the archived site at http://wayback.archive-it.org/2077/20100906194747/http://www.communityar.... The full text of the site may be searched at the Archive-It home site, http://www.archiveit.org/.
    Art in the Public Interest, CAN's non-profit, will continue to seek funding to develop the CAN materials into a sophisticated archive library.
    Debora Kodish, founder of the Philadelphia Folklore Project first suggested that Open Folklore might have a role to play in preserving CAN, and this suggestion was enthusiastically and swiftly adopted. IU Bloomington Libraries Dean Brenda Johnson described this sequence of events as an excellent proof of concept for Open Folklore and for the value of collaboration between a research library and the scholarly community it serves. “This is a sterling example of why digital preservation efforts are so important. Without the active collaboration of the folklore community, and without IUB Libraries participation in Archive-It, a unique and valuable online resource would have vanished.”

  • Library Babel Fish on Open Folklore
    Posted on Tue, 09/07/2010 - 12:31pm

    Barbara Fister writes a regular column on library and scholarly communications issues for Inside Higher Education. The column is called Library Babel Fish and she focused her August 23, 2010 piece on Open Folklore and a cluster of neighboring discussions, projects, articles, and memos relating to scholarly communications in folklore studies, anthropology, media studies, and in general. Her valuable essay is titled “Open to Change: How Open Access Can Work.”

  • Archivology Assesses Prospects for the Open Folklore Project
    Posted on Mon, 09/06/2010 - 12:30pm

    Writing on his weblog Archivology, Creighton Barrett has written two reflections on the prospects for the Open Folklore project. In his earlier post he offered “Five Suggestions for the Open Folklore Project” based on his experiences working in archives and with information technology.
    In his second essay “Open Folklore, Open Access, and the Future of Scholarly Publishing” he situates the project within the wider context of current debates and discussions on the present and future of scholarly communications.
    Those interested in behind the scenes issues that the Open Folklore project raises will appreciate these attentive essays.

  • Play and Folklore: Another Fully Open Access Folklore Journal to Note
    Posted on Fri, 08/13/2010 - 12:29pm

    n the wake of the Open Folklore announcement, the Open Folklore team was pleased to learn that the journal Play and Folklore published by Museum Victoria in Australia is fully available online. The journal has been published since 1981.

  • Alex Golub on the Open Folklore Project
    Posted on Wed, 08/04/2010 - 12:28pm

    On the basis of the joint press release issued by the American Folklore Society and the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries, Alex (Rex) Golub has published a detailed editorial on the prospects for the Open Folklore project. His piece appears on the anthropology weblog Savage Minds.

  • Worldwide List of Open Access Journals in Anthropology
    Posted on Sun, 07/25/2010 - 12:26pm

    Because of the historical and contemporary overlap between the fields of folkloristics and ethnology, visitors to the Open Folklore site may have a special interest in the worldwide list of gold open access journals in anthropology and neighboring fields that has been compiled by the website antropologi.info. Many folklore and ethnology titles are included. In addition to listing known journals with links, a search utility has been set up on the site. Find the OA anthropology journal list here: http://www.antropologi.info/links/Main/Journals . This is a great resource for a number of reasons, including the presence here of titles such that have not been included in the Directory of Open Access Journals. The listing should be of special value to higher education librarians and the students and faculty that they support.
    Antropologi.info had already established itself as the best blogroll in anthropology ( http://www.antropologi.info/blog/ ), so this was a logical and wonderful next step.

  • Opening Three More Established Folklore Studies Journals
    Posted on Wed, 07/14/2010 - 12:24pm

    Editor's note: Originally circulated before Open Folklore was announced, the good news reported here is directly related to the Open Folklore project. Undertaken in its own terms, the effort to liberate these journal titles was also understood at the time as part and parcel of the Open Folklore effort. This account comes from Simon Bronner (re-posted from his H-FOLK announcement), who led the effort to open up the three important titles discussed here.
    The only point I would add to Simon's account is that the content will not cease being available in Hathi Trust when it also becomes accessible via Google Books. This is reassuring and useful in a number of ways, including the fact that Hathi Trust is a major digital library managed in the public interest by a large and growing consortium of libraries and universities. Indiana University is a leading partner in it. Thus this content (and so much else from the digitization of the important IU Folklore Collection) is not solely being stewarded--and made useful and accessible online--by a corporation whose time horizons and motivations are understandably different from scholarly ones. That said, Google has been an invaluable partner by providing the digitization (or digital creation) of these resources and it will be very useful to be able to search and use such content in two contexts, each with different sets of digital tools and built for different purposes. Thanks go to Simon and the relevant scholarly organizations/communities for the years of effort that went into these titles and for the work of making them available to the world. Folklore studies is stronger for these efforts.
    Penn State Harrisburg, which features a doctoral program in American Studies with a folk cultural area of study, in cooperation with Indiana University ScholarWorks and Google is happy to report the availability online of back issues for three important journals in folklore studies: Folklore Historian, Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review, and Keystone Folklore. The material is available at no cost in HathiTrust Digital Library at the moment until it migrates to Google Books (where it will still be available gratis). [As noted above, this content will not, as described here, cease being available in HathiTrust when it becomes available in Google Books.] All the material is viewable as full-text with the exception of some issues of Keystone Folklore Quarterly, which are at present have limited search functionality.
    The URLs are:
    Keystone Folklore:

    Keystone Folklore Quarterly:

    (Keystone Folklore was the publication of the Pennsylvania Folklore Society and featured important early works in folklife and material culture, public folklore, and ethnic-urban folklore, many produced by students at the folklore and folklife program at the University of Pennsylvania).
    Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review:

    Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Newsletter:

    (Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review was the publication of the Jewish Folklore and Ethnology section of the American Folklore Society, before the establishment of the Jewish Cultural Studies series published by Littman. It featured many special-themed issues, including Yiddish folklore, material culture, folk dance, foodways, pilgrimage, Israeli ethnography, folk literature, and Jews in the Heartland).
    Folklore Historian:

    (Folklore Historian is the still active publication of the History and Folklore Section of the American Folklore Society. Back issues feature essays on the history of folklore studies globally as well as studies incorporating or reflecting on historical methodologies; special issues include "Theorizing Folklore," "Symposium on the Contributions of Francis James Child to Folklore Studies," "Martha Beckwith: The First American Chair of Folklore Studies."
    Simon Bronner
    Editor's note: Other folklore, ethnology, and ethnomusicology titles that have been made available through the work of the IUScholarWorks project include: the Folklore Forum backfiles (see new content at: http://folkloreforum.net/), New Directions in Folklore, and the Folklore and Folk Music Archivist. In addition, IUScholarWorks Journals publishes (with its partners) the titles Museum Anthropology Review, Anthropology of East Europe Review, and the Inter-American Journal of Education for Democracy. These are all freely available to Open Folklore users.