The Folklore Collection at the Indiana University Libraries

上一篇 / 下一篇  2008-11-06 09:04:27 / 个人分类:啃书的日子


Folklore Collection:
History and Description


The Folklore Collection at the Indiana University Libraries is the largest, most comprehensive working collection of its kind in the world. It contains approximately 41,000 monographs and 850 serials. We have over 250 current serial subscriptions, and the collection grows at a rate of 760 titles annually. It also includes a non-circulating folklore reference collection of approximately 230 titles.

The collection houses books, monographs, conference proceedings, newsletters, and journals from all over the world.  It covers all genres and specializations in the disciplines of folklore and ethnomusicology, including:     

  • Folk literature (myths, tales, legends, riddles, proverbs, folk speech,etc.)
  • Ethnomusicology, folk music and folk song
  • Folk art and folk craft
  • Folk and vernacular architecture
  • Manners and customs: especially life cycle rituals, festivals, and calendar customs
  • Folk costume
  • Folk dance
  • Folk belief
  • Folk religion
  • Occupational folklore
  • Ethnic folklore
  • Urban folklore
  • Popular culture
  • Folklore and psychology
  • Folklore and culture
  • Folklore and literature
Most of the materials we collect are research publications in Western European languages, but we also collect popular works, as well as works in other languages. These include materials in the vernacular from Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. The collection also includes African and Latin American materials.


The Folklore Collection has a long unbroken history at Indiana University. The collection was brought together, nurtured and sustained for forty years (1920-1959) by Stith Thompson, Distinguished Professor of English. The library encouraged this development and provided Thompson with funds to purchase library materials during his research trips to Europe, South America and Asia. Thompson's purchases were especially extensive in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Scandinavia. The original collection grew as an offshoot of Thompson's work on his monumental Motif-Index of Folk Literature (1932-37; rev. 1955-57). This work established Indiana University as a focal point for the comparative study of folklore among international scholars and researchers.  The size, quality, and diversity of the Folklore Collection has been instrumental in attracting external support for numerous research projects and conferences. These projects include:

  • Offering NEH summer seminars for college teachers (e.g. 1978)
  • Editing the Handbook of American Folklore
  • Collaborating in international research projects
  • Hosting conferences on mid-century folklore (1950), urban folklore, folklore and the modern world (1973), and others.

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