• Open Folklore Looks Ahead to Fall Enhancements
    Posted on Fri, 09/02/2011 - 1:46pm
    In time for the 2011 American Folklore Society (AFS) meetings in Bloomington, the Open Folklore project team anticipates releasing or announcing several new enhancements to the Open Folklore portal site. Here is a preview of some of what is coming next month. The next release will see the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus (ET) out of its current beta testing phase and fully and officially incorporated into the Open Folklore portal. At that point, we will begin developing some how-to materials to help users incorporate the ET into their own projects. The ET will also begin to figure more prominently in the publishing and database work of various projects affiliated with Open Folklore, including IUScholarWorks and The Journal of American Folklore—the flagship journal of the American Folklore Society. Looking ahead, the fall announcement will also call attention to a range of new folklore studies journal content that is being made available in open access form via several channels—IUScholarWorks, HathiTrust Digital Library, and Google Books. In addition, the availability of additional grey literature materials in folklore studies will be announced and additional websites in the field will be added to the Open Folklore Archive-It collection. Some small enhancements are also being made to the OF Portal site and we anticipate releasing at least one new educational video to help the community more effectively use the resources being made available through the OF Portal and other parts of the OF project. The upcoming AFS meetings will also provide opportunities for colleagues to learn more about not only OF but about open access and digital humanities topics in general. With AFS members converging in Bloomington—home to many parts of the OF universe—it is an especially exciting time for the project and the field. OF hopes to see you in Bloomington October 12-15, 2011.
  • The Ethnographic Thesaurus is Added to the Open Folklore Portal
    Posted on Wed, 08/03/2011 - 1:45pm

    What follows is an American Folklore Society announcement concerning the Ethnographic Thesaurus and the Open Folklore project:
    The AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus (www.openfolklore.org/et/) is now available in a beta version on the Open Folklore (www.openfolklore.org/) portal, a collaborative effort of the Society, the Indiana University-Bloomington Libraries, and the Indiana University Digital Library Program.
    The post-beta version, the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus 2.0, will be available on that same URL on October 1, 2011.
    The AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus is a searchable online vocabulary that can be used to improve access to information about folklore, ethnomusicology, cultural anthropology, and related fields. Supported by a generous grant from the Scholarly Communications Program of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and early planning-grant funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Folklore Society developed the Thesaurus in cooperation with the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.
    AFS thankfully recognizes the dedicated work of the Thesaurus editorial board, the IU-B Libraries, and the IU Digital Library Program to transfer the AFSET to its new home. This work has strengthened Open Folklore as a direct provider of useful tools for folklore studies and related fields, as well as a search-and-discovery tool for online content available elsewhere.
    The current beta version incorporates the AFSET editorial board's revisions of the following facets: art, belief, dance, disciplines, entertainment and recreation, foodways, health, language, law and governance, material culture, music, performance, ritual, social dynamics, transmission, verbal arts, and literature.
    The editorial board will be completing the review of these remaining facets before launch of the AFSET 2.0 on October 1: general; beings; documentation; education; migration and settlement; research, theory and methodology; space and place; time; and work.
    AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus Editorial Board
    (all of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, DC)

    Catherine Hiebert Kerst, Folklife Specialist/Archivist
    Maggie Kruesi, Cataloger
    Michael Taft, Head of the Archive

  • Recent Conference Presentations on Open Folklore
    Posted on Fri, 07/15/2011 - 1:43pm

    Open Folklore Communications Lead and IU Digital Publishing Librarian Jennifer Laherty has taken a lead this summer presenting on the Open Folklore project to eager audiences at two national conferences.
    In a presentation titled "Open Folklore: A Model Collaboration" that she developed with fellow OF team member Garett Montanez, Jennifer discussed the OF project with an audience at the 2011 Open Repositories Conference in Austin, Texas.
    Here are excerpts from their abstract:
    The Open Folklore (OF) project exemplifies inter-institutional cooperation to maximize the strengths of digital repositories and leverage the building blocks of staff, shared mission and goals, and technology to support a new model of collaboration. Kim Fortun (2011) has offered her praise for OF:  “Open Folklore has built new social relations that can undergird and protect scholarly work and education for many years to come. Most fundamentally, Open Folklore has forged new connections between scholars, a scholarly society and university librarians.” We add to this our technical partners as well.
    A variety of social and technical symbiotic relationships exist within the Open Folklore project. This cross-institutional effort takes advantage of digital repositories while leveraging the building blocks of staff, shared mission and goals, and technology. This presentation will demonstrate each community’s contribution and benefits from the project. We will also illustrate how the two technical foundations central to OF’s effectiveness and success – metadata and digital repositories – operate within OF. Finally, we will discuss plans to incorporate additional pieces such as the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus, a searchable online controlled vocabulary which would make OF Search more effective at providing access to information.
    At the American Library Association meeting last month, Jennifer presented on the "Role of Humanities and Social Science Liaison Librarians in Scholarly Communication and Publishing." This presentation was part of the panel: 21st Century Scholarly Communication: Conversations for Change. The abstract for this session noted:
    As the Open Access movement ramps up in the humanities and social sciences, librarians need to be aware of the initiatives that are altering traditional scholarly publishing. Open access journals, monographs, presses, and more, are changing librarians' roles and the scholarly communication landscape. This panel will discuss the progress and impact of this important reform movement from the perspective of feminist librarians and other stakeholders.
    This panel was organized by the Women and Gender Studies Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries.
    In her remarks, Jennifer focused on examples from the humanities and social sciences work that she does with the IUScholarWorks team at IU. Open Folklore was one of the projects that she used to explain how important scholarly society/association involvement is in these very faculty-centric issues. She expressed that faculty, though they belong to institutional departments and must comply with local promotion and tenure policies, have allegiances that are likely to be stronger to colleagues in their narrower research fields as opposed to those colleagues in their home department.
    In the fall, other members of the OF project team will be speaking about the project at a number of different professional conferences. Stay tuned for more information on these presentations.

    Thanks to Jennifer for her efforts spreading the word about the OF effort.