• Open Folklore at AFS
    Posted on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 1:25pm

    Much has been happening behind the scenes at Open Folklore, with several projects bearing fruit and others about to begin. Watch this space over the next several months as we report on what's been accomplished and introduce new endeavors.In the meantime, we are pleased to announce a session at the American Folklore Society annual meeting showcasing some of the new developments at Open Folklore. 

    New Digital Tools and Resources for Folklore Scholarship

    Saturday, October 22, 2016, 10:15 am-12:15 pm  
    Tuttle Prefunction Room, Hyatt Regency Miami 
    Sponsored by AFS and the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries


              Participants: Julie Bobay (Indiana University Bloomington Libraries), Jason Baird Jackson (Indiana University), Shannon Larson (Indiana University), Tim Lloyd (American Folklore Society), Moira Marsh (Indiana University Bloomington Libraries)

    Description: We admit it: Archive-It, the HathiTrust, IU ScholarWorks, and the MDPI may be mysteries to most folklorists—but they shouldn’t be. In this session, folklorists and librarians from the Open Folklore Project (a partnership of AFS and the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries) will introduce you to several of a growing number of new digital tools and resources that you can use to enhance your folklore research, and to disseminate your work openly online to the widest possible audience. Previous digital humanities experience and technical savvy are most emphatically not required. Come for a glimpse of the future (available today)!
  • News from the Quiet Phase
    Posted on Thu, 08/27/2015 - 9:15pm

    Open Folklore's quiet phase will continue for a bit longer, but we cannot resist reporting that a lot of new work is underway and some great new people have joined the OF team. We look forward to explaining more about the details in the months ahead, but for now just know that some neat things are happening behind the scenes. The OF team looks forward to seeing many colleagues at the 2015 American Folklore Society annual meetings in Long Beach, California in October.

  • Remembering OF Team Member Garett Montanez
    Posted on Thu, 07/02/2015 - 2:14pm

    It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Garett Montanez, a beloved and valued member of the Open Folklore Team. Garett made enormous contributions to the project as its Technology Lead, including the design and implementation of the web site as well as the associated “Search” feature. As excellent and outstanding as those professional contributions were, however, Garett’s personal qualities will remain even longer in our hearts and minds. His remarkable goodwill, generosity, constant smile, and his absolutely guaranteed optimism, carried us through many rough patches. Every time we asked if he could add new features (and there were many of these requests, small and big alike,) we learned to expect his standard response, “Sure, we can do that!” And in fact, not only did he say it, he did it. Always. His colleagues on the Open Folklore Team join the many others who were fortunate to know him in expressing our sadness at his passing and the knowledge that we will miss him greatly.

  • The Open Folklore Web Archive Collection Grows Past 100 Sites
    Posted on Sun, 10/12/2014 - 11:12am
    (Written by Moria Smith and Cross-posted from the AFS Review)
    Websites contain valuable information for research and for documenting the history of the field of folklore studies. But they are ephemeral; they may change rapidly or even disappear. Anyone who cites information disseminated in websites as either primary or secondary data, for example, soon discovers that "link rot" is a significant problem.

    Web archives capture snapshots of websites as they appeared at a particular moment. Researchers can use the resulting archives as a searchable index of websites both past and present, including websites that have changed. Web archives also provide a persistent citation to a site that existed at a specific time (thus avoiding link rot), and they allow access to websites that are temporarily down or permanently departed.


    The Open Folklore Web Archive is a searchable collection of archived copies of websites that are of research value or institutional importance to folklorists. Collecting began in 2010 and is continuing, using the Archive-It service from the Internet Archive. The archive consists of two collections (https://archive-it.org/collections/2077 and https://archive-it.org/collections/2843) that together contain over 100 websites selected for their research value or institutional importance to the field.

    So far, the collection has two areas of emphasis, both directed toward the goal of capturing and making accessible the institutional history of the field:


    1. Websites of academic folklore programs


    2. Websites of public, folk, and vernacular arts organizations, both government-sponsored and private not-for-profit. We based our initial selection on Gregory Hansen’s “Webography of Public Folklore Resources,” Folklore and the Internet: Vernacular Expression in a Digital World, ed. Trevor J. Blank (Utah State University Press, 2009):213-230.


    In the last 6 months, the Open Folklore team has archived the following 48 new sites for the collection, raising the total collection to 115 sites:


    Alaska Native Heritage Center - http://alaskanative.net 


    Arts Center of Cannon County (Tennessee) - http://www.artscenterofcc.com


    Blue Ridge Institute and Museum of Ferrum College (Virginia)- http://www.blueridgeinstitute.org 


    California Indian Basketweavers Association - http://www.ciba.org  


    California Traditional Music Society - http://www.ctmsfolkmusic.org


    Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (Maryland) - http://www.cbmm.org 


    Chinavine - http://www.chinavine.org


    Department of Arkansas Heritage - http://www.arkansasheritage.com/


    George Washington University Department of American Studies (District of Columbia) - http://departments.columbian.gwu.edu/americanstudies/


    Georgia Council for the Arts - http://www.gaarts.org


    Illinois Arts Council - http://www.state.il.us/agency/iac 


    Institute for Community Research (Connecticut) - http://www.incommunityresearch.org 


    Iowa Arts Council - http://www.iowaartscouncil.org 


    Jubilee Community Arts at the Laurel Theatre (Tennessee) - http://www.jubileearts.org 


    Kansas State Historical Society - http://www.kshs.org 


    Kentucky Historical Society - http://history.ky.gov


    Louisiana Folklife Center - http://www.nsula.edu/folklife


    Maine Arts Commission - http://mainearts.maine.gov


    Massachusetts Cultural Council - http://www.massculturalcouncil.org


    Mississippi Arts Commission - http://www.arts.state.ms.us


    Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians - http://www.choctaw.org


    Mississippi Cultural Crossroads - http://www.msculturalcrossroads.org


    Missouri Folk Arts Program - http://maa.missouri.edu/mfap


    Missouri Historical Society - http://www.mohistory.org


    Museum of International Folk Art (New Mexico) - http://www.moifa.org


    New England Foundation for the Arts - http://www.nefa.org


    North Carolina Folklife Institute - http://www.ncfolk.org


    North Dakota Council for the Arts - http://www.state.nd.us/arts


    Northwest Folklife (Washington State) - http://www.nwfolklife.org


    Northwest Heritage Resources (Washington State) - http://www.northwestheritageresources.org


    Northwest Native American Basketweavers Association - http://www.nnaba.org


    Ozark Studies Institute (Missouri) - http://ozarksstudies.missouristate.edu/programs.htm


    Philadelphia Folksong Society - http://www.pfs.org


    Rangeley Regions Logging Museum (Maine) - http://www.rlrlm.org


    Rhode Island State Council on the Arts - http://www.arts.ri.gov/folkarts


    Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area (Pennsylvania) - http://www.riversofsteel.com


    Rose Center and Council for the Arts (Tennessee) - http://www.rosecenter.org


    Sealaska Heritage Institute (Alaska)- http://www.sealaskaheritage.org


    South Georgia Folklife Collection - http://www.valdosta.edu/library/find/arch/folklife/index.html


    Talking Across the Lines - http://www.folktalk.org


    Texas Folklife - http://www.texasfolklife.org


    The Folklife Center at Crandall Public Library (New York State) - http://www.crandalllibrary.org/folklife


    Traditional Arts in Upstate New York - http://www.tauny.org


    Tuckerton Seaport and Baymen's Museum (New Jersey) - http://www.tuckertonseaport.org


    University of Kentucky Modern & Classic Languages, Literatures & Cultures - http://mcl.as.uky.edu


    Virginia Folklife Program - http://www.virginiafolklife.org


    Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art (Maryland) - http://www.wardmuseum.org


    Washington State Arts Commission - http://www.arts.wa.gov


    To recommend other sites for this collection, please contact Open Folklore team member Moira Marsh at molsmith@indiana.edu.


    Founded in 2010, Open Folklore (www.openfolklore.org), an award-winning partnership of the American Folklore Society and the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries, is a scholarly communications effort to make a greater number and variety of useful resources available to folklorists and the communities with which folklorists partner. Open Folklore offers a single point of access to a growing universe of folklore studies scholarship and public education in books, journals, websites, and gray literature, and to information about open-access communications in folklore studies and beyond.


    To learn more, attend the Open Folklore session at next month’s AFS annual meeting in Santa Fe (Exploring Open Access Folklore Scholarship I: How Open Folklore Can Help You To Be a Smarter (!) Folklorist, Session 01-03, Thursday, November 6, 8:00-10:00 am).

  • Is No News, Good News? At Open Folklore, the Answer is Yes!
    Posted on Sat, 03/01/2014 - 2:01pm

    The news page at the Open Folklore portal has been quiet. Is that a bad sign for the project and for open access in folklore studies? No, it is good news and here is the backstory.


    Since the update of the Open Folklore portal site, the OF team has been focused on the project's longer term efforts. This noisy behind-the-scenes work has meant that we have been more quiet in public. But what is going on back stage? The OF team works to be open about the project, of course, so here are some updates.


    Last May, in anticipation of an external assessment of the project, the OF team prepared a a background document titled "Open Folklore Project: Background Briefing for Consultants." You can now read this report yourself. Find it in IUScholarWorks Repository here:


    Generous and talented colleagues Miriam Posner (UCLA, @miriamkp), Nancy Sims (U Minnesota, @CopyrightLibn), and Ethan Watrall (Michigan State U, @captain_primate) visited Bloomington for meetings with the Open Folklore team during July 2013. On the basis of their studies of the project, they authored the report "Open Folklore: Maintaining Momentum, Assuring a Future." It too is now accessible in the IUScholarWorks Repository. Find it here:


    Because of travel problems, a fourth project consultant--Perry Willett (California Digital Library, @cpwillett)--was unable to reach Bloomington for the assessment meetings in June. He generously undertook an independent review of the project and its portal site. His report is also now available in the IUScholarWorks Repository. Find it here.


    Since accepting these thoughtful and helpful reports, the project team has been working to implement and build upon the recommendations made by the consultants. Team efforts in pursuit of these project enhancements--both organizational and technical--accounts in part for our quietness.


    In sync with these efforts, Open Folklore co-project principal investigators Julie Bobay and Timothy Lloyd have been participating in a series of gatherings and workshops on "sustainable scholarship" organized by Ithaka S&R--a research organization serving libraries, scholarly societies, academic publishers, and others interested in scholarly communication.


    Plans for the future of Open Folklore are being developed in the context of two additional efforts. One of these is the National Folklore Archives Initiative. This connected and parallel project includes AFS and many partner organizations in the field. Building upon the work of its initial NEH funded phase, the NFAI is--like Open Folklore--planning its next steps. In early February, OF and NFAI project participants met together in Bloomington to coordinate joint work in partnership with the IU Libraries, which hosted the meetings.


    In addition to NFAI, Open Folklore is in close dialogue with the Office of Scholarly Publishing at Indiana University. The OSP is a new campus unit that brings together the IU Press and the open access scholarly communications work of the IU Libraries. It thus holds much relevance for both Open Folklore and the field of folklore studies. Like OF and NAFAI, the Office of Scholarly Publishing, and the IU Press within it, are making ambitious plans for the future.


    On top of all of this, Indiana University Bloomington is pursuing a number of key plans of relevance to Open Folklore. In addition to a new campus strategic plan, Indiana University has announced an ambitious program of digitization for all of its time-based media holdings as well as a new planning effort for the digitization of other campus holding.. As these include the full holdings of the Archives of Traditional Music and other collections of relevance to folklorists and local communities around the world, this is a big deal with immediate relevance to OF.


    The takeaway is hopefully clear. A quiet news page is a consequence of a lot of work going on behind the scenes. If we stay quiet for a while longer, that is only because we are tackling some big and worthy items on the OF to do list.

  • New Version of the OF Portal Launches
    Posted on Sat, 10/12/2013 - 5:13pm

    The following story has appeared on the AFS website. It reports on the launch of the new OF site, which you are now visiting.


    The Open Folklore partnership of the American Folklore Society (AFS) and the Indiana University Bloomington Library (IUBL) has just unveiled a major update to the look and operation of its web site openfolklore.org. The new design simplifies the visual appearance of the site, and a number of underlying changes improve the site's search functions as well as its presentation of background information about scholarly communications in the field of folklore studies. Our thanks go to the AFS members and IUBL staff members who provided comments as part of this process or who took part in the beta-test of the new site.


    Since 2010, Open Folklore has operated as a) a website; b) a scholarly portal providing access to open-access books, journals, websites, and gray literature in our field; c) a branding effort or unifying label for a collection of projects and efforts being pursued by AFS and IUBL to make a greater range of scholarly resources in folklore studies openly available for those who need them; and d) a case study for productive and effective collaboration between an scholarly society and an academic library.

  • Technology Lead Garett Montanez Interviewed About his Open Folklore Work
    Posted on Sun, 10/21/2012 - 2:03pm

    The School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University recently interviewed alumnus and Open Folklore Technology Lead Garett Montanez about his work on the project. Read the interview here: http://www.slis.indiana.edu/news/story.php?story_id=2438 

  • Digest: A Journal of Foodways and Culture Relaunches as Open Access Title
    Posted on Thu, 09/27/2012 - 2:02pm

    Many back issues of Digest, the journal of the Foodways section of the American Folklore Society were already available via IUScholarWorks Repository and discoverable via Open Folklore search, but the Open Folklore team is particularly excited to relay news that the journal has been relaunched as an open access journal title under the leadership of co-editors Michael Lange and Diane Tye.
    The editors note in their recent editorial: "The new Digest is the result of collaboration between the Department of Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the professional programs at Champlain College in Vermont. This innovative cooperative model divides the work between the two campuses, maximizing the resources and skills of both. The content editorial work will be handled at Memorial, drawing on the knowledge and experience of the folklore faculty members and graduate students. The layout, design, and publishing work will take place at Champlain, where the skills of professional majors such as Graphic Design, Web Design and Programming present the journal’s content in an attractive, functional, and professional form."

    Congratulations to all involved in this exciting work. Read the full announcement and the new journal issue that it accompanies online at http://digest.champlain.edu/index.html.

  • World Oral Literature Project, Open Book Publishers and UnGlue.It Release New, Open Edition of Oral Literature in Africa.
    Posted on Wed, 09/12/2012 - 2:00pm

    The World Oral Literature Project, a "Friend of Open Folklore" organization, and the UnGlue.It project, in partnership with Open Book Publishers, has just released a new open access edition of Ruth H. Finnegan's book Oral Literature in Africa. This is the first book to be successfully "unglued" through a crowdfunding scheme with the aim of making the book permanently and freely available to all in an open access edition. The new publication is accompanied by an freely accessible online archive of supporting media presented and preserved by the World Oral Literature Project.
    The book is available in PDF, EPUB and MOBI formats from both unglue.it and Open Book Publishers. Open Book Publishers is also selling a paperback and hardback edition. All versions are published under a CC-BY license.
    It is particularly exciting that the world's first unglued book is a study of folklore and that so many non-folklorists and non-anthropologist joined in the work of making it freely available. Two hundred and fifty seven contributors came together to give this book to the world. The group includes distinguished people from many fields, including fiction, history, archaeology, law, librarianship and many others.

    Congratulations to everyone involved in this exciting project.

  • Catching Up With Open Folklore: Project Report Spring 2012
    Posted on Tue, 06/12/2012 - 1:59pm

    Since the time of the fall 2011 report to the community, Open Folklore has continued its work to extend the benefits of open access to the folklore studies community and to the diverse stakeholders with whom folklorists partner. Here are some highlights on the project's work over the past eight months.
    New Partners and New Harvested Content
    Two new partners have joined the Open Folklore community as "Friends of Open Folklore." Scholarly content from these partners is now discoverable via the Open Folklore search tool.
    HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theoryis now part of the Open Folklore universe. HAU is a new gold open access journal published by a consortium committed to the development of theoretical perspectives that are grounded in sophisticated ethnographic fieldwork. HAU is a new journal that launched last fall.
    Another new partner is the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America, the scholarly association that publishes the journal Tipití. Tipití is the only refereed journal dedicated to the study of the societies of lowland South America. The journal has been published in its current form since 2003 and is being made open access through the Digital Commons repository at Trinity University.
    Additional Content from the American Folklore Society
    New AFS materials made available during the most recent reporting period include a collection of "Best Practice and Case Study Reports" deriving from a program of consultancies supported since 2009 with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, a collection of "Professional Development Publications," and a collection of society publications on the "History of U.S. Folklore Studies."
    Extended runs of two more of the Society's section journals have also been made available in open access formats. These titles are Digest: An Interdisciplinary Study of Food and Foodwaysand the Public Programs Bulletin.
    All of this AFS content has been deposited in the IUScholarWorks Repository and is thereby discoverable via Open Folklore Search. It can also be accessed via the IUScholarWorks Repository.
    Open Folklore Content in Archive-It
    The Open Folklore team continues to work to preserve key folklore studies-related websites through the Open Folklore collection in Archive-It, the media rich archiving service offered by the Internet Archive. This work has resulted in preservation copies of the websites for:

    • The Center for Folklore Studies at the Ohio State University
    • City Lore
    • The Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures
    • The Folklore Program at the University of Oregon
    • The University of Wisconsin Folklore Program
    • The American Studies Program at Penn State Harrisburg
    • The Mid Atlantic Folk Arts Forum
    • The Museum Anthropology Review Weblog
    • The Alliance for California Traditional Arts
    • The Peter and Doris Kule Centre for Ukrainian and Canadian Folklore
    • The International Society for Folk Narrative Research
    • The Civil Rights History Project
    • Local Learning
    • Folklife in Louisiana
    • Keepers of Tradition
    • Memorial University of Newfoundland Department of Folklore
    • New York Folklore Society
    • Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts
    • The University of Pennsylvania Graduate Program in Folklore and Folklife
    • Georgia State University Heritage Preservation Program

    These archived websites are in addition to those websites archived and announced previously. In-kind support from the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries makes use of the Archive-It service possible.
    The Open Folklore team thanks Sara Naslund and Jennie Crowley, both students in the Indiana University School of Library and Information Science, for this excellent work on the OF Archive-It Collection during 2012-2013.
    Outreach Activities
    Since the last biannual report, the Open Folklore team has been busy speaking about the project in a range of venues.
    Librarians from the Open Folklore team led two "Learning With Librarians" sessions at the AFS annual meetings in Bloomington. One was "An Introduction to Copyright, Intellectual Property, and Open Folklore" and the other was "An Introduction to Digital Humanities and Online Information Resources."
    Last October, OF team member Moria Marsh presented "Open Folklore Project–Collection Development, But Not as Your Father Knew It" during the 2011 Archive-It Partners meeting in Louisville, KY.
    At the 2011 meetings of the American Anthropological Association, OF team member Jason Baird Jackson presented "Another World is Possible: Open Folklore as Library-Scholarly Society Partnership" as part of the panel "Digital Anthropologies: Projects and Projections" and is now available on Jackson's website.
    The Open Folklore project was one of a number of projects discussed at an April 2012 event hosted by the University of Minnesota Libraries, with co-sponsorship from the UMN Department of Anthropology. The event was titled Open Research and Learning: Collaboration, Connections and Communities and it focused on the social side of open access, open educational resources, and open research architectures and collaborations. In his remarks, OF team member Jason Baird Jackson discussed not only OF, but also the social nature of research-focused group blogs and the implications of new journal publishing strategies such as those central to the PressForward project and its associated Digital Humanities Now and Journal of Digital Humanities
    In May 2012, Moira Marsh represented Open Folklore at a “Web Archiving Summit” held by invitation at Columbia University. This meeting included librarians and archivists from key institutions engaged in harvesting and archiving web content who discussed high-level programmatic issues of objectives, scope, policies,,and methods for this work.  
    Keeping in Touch

    The OF Project Team, Strategic Partner, and OF Friends share the goals of keeping the community informed about work on OF and receiving continuous input and feedback. We will continue to use the OF news tools (Facebook, Twitter (@openfolklore), and especially the OF News section of the portal site) to share news about OF goals and next steps about every six months. Feedback and comments are always welcome by email, weblog post, Facebook comment, and good old fashioned mail (℅ either the IUScholarWorks Project at the IUB Libraries or the AFS Office).