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Tradition archives, folklore archives, ethnographic archives, cultural archives

Click on the + to view more information about each archive.

We are the cradles of Ethnology and Folklore studies and we are known by many names. Some of us are more than a hundred years old while others were founded last year. Every institution seems to be organised somewhat differently; still we have a defining principle in common: the will and the means to document experience, knowledge and cultural expressions from living people.

To find answers to your questions, to finish your thesis, to write those decisive chapters in your book, you need to find the right sources for knowledge. Archives can offer a great variety of services in this quest, both in finding established documentation and in establishing new cultural records. But first you have to find us.

After the first few meetings of the SIEF Working Group on Archives, we realised that we can be surprisingly hard to find. Tradition archives are often localised at some greater institution – at a library, a museum or a university – and information about the archive can be well hidden in the host institution’s web pages. The archives’ most important users are often the local populations, and much of the information is only given in the national languages.

To help you on your way, we decided to make this overview, listing and localizing relevant archives along with some information about their purposes and collections, with links pointing towards more information.

If you happen to work at an archive like this, and wish to be listed with the rest of us, please contact SIEF WG on Archives co-chair Maryna Chernyavska:


+ [100 témoins des barrages de la Dordogne, France] / 100 witnesses of the building of 5 large dams in France: the Upper Dordogne Project.

57 rue des frères 31820 Pibrac FRANCE

+[Archives of Latvian Folklore, ILFA, UL (Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art, University of Latvia)] / LU LFMI Latviešu folkloras krātuve

The Archives of Latvian Folklore were established in 1924 in Riga, following the initiative of Anna Bērzkalne (1891–1956), a folklorist and school teacher. Based on international standards, the Archives were developed as the central institution for the collection and study of folklore in Latvia. The name and affiliation of the institution have changed several times over the years. Initially, the Archives were affiliated to the Boards of Monuments of the Ministry of Education. In 1992 the historical name of the Archives, Latviešu folkloras krātuve, was restored, and now it is a department within the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art, University of Latvia.

Being the largest centre for collection of Latvian oral traditions, the holdings of the Archives of Latvian

Folklore contain approximately 3 million folklore items. The main body is constituted by Latvian folklore, but there are also collections of Livonian, Russian, German, Belarusian, Jewish, Lithuanian, Estonian and Gypsy folklore. The collections represent the culture of different social groups, since folklore was collected among peasants, schoolchildren, soldiers, informants in old people’s homes, in prisons, etc. The major part of the depository is made up of handwritten manuscripts. However, there are also sound and video recordings, notations, drawings and photographs of different decades in the holdings of the Archives.


LU LFMI Latviešu folkloras krātuve
Mūkusalas ielā 3
Rīgā, LV-1423
Latvia (EU)
Phone: +371 67228632



+ Archivio Sonoro "Franco Coggiola" - Circolo Gianni Bosio

Founded in 1969, the Archive is a leading institution in oral history and an international folk music archive. It was established as an independent, movement-oriented institution, to research, collect, and share the culture of the working classes, and was thus an integral part of the radical approach to folk music revival in Italy. It also promoted concerts and produced records and books. Its first campaigns focused on the folk and working-class musical traditions of Rome and the Lazio region, and on the working-class cultures of the industrial town of Terni and of the Appalachian region. In the 70s, it extended to an original approach to oral history, which has placed it at the vanguard of the international oral history movement.

The most important collections are: Roma e Lazio, on the folk music of Rome and its region; Terni and Umbria: folk music and oral history, focused on steel workers; “Roma forestiera”, Migrant music in Rome, sounds from 30 different countries; American folk and topical music, Appalachian music; International sounds from 30 countries, including India, Brazil, Bulgaria, Estonia, Nigeria, etc.; Italian Oral history: labor, anti- Fascist, urban cultures, youth movements; Appalachian oral history: Alessandro Portelli’s collection of coal mining interviews from Harlan County Folk music; and oral history from Italian regions: Calabria, Marche, Campania, Abruzzi, Tuscany, Lombardy.


c\o Casa della Memoria e della Storia - via di San Francesco di Sales 5 - 00161 Rome (39) 393 590 7331

+ [Árni Magnúson Institute for Icelandic Studies – Folkloric Collection] / Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum – þjóðfræðisafn

Under the auspices of the Institute, and to a certain extent in cooperation with others, a large portion of the Folkloric Collection has been recorded on tape. Folklore has been collected in all corners of Iceland, as well as in the Icelandic settlements in North America. This material includes rímur (ballads) and other types of folk songs, along with oral compositions in both prose and verse: various poetic genres, all sorts of folktales, and descriptions of folk customs. The Institute also houses a number of smaller folklore collections. The oldest material consists of recordings of folk songs made onto wax cylinders during the years 1903–1912, but most of the recordings were made in the latter half of the 20th century.

The Institute now owns or has collected over 2,000 hours of recorded folklore. Most of it has been digitised and made available for open access on the website www.ismus.is/.

Database: www.ismus.is

Árnagardi við Sudurgötu, 101 Reykjavík
Phone: +354 525 4010

+ Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives

The Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives studies, documents, acquires, and preserves Ukrainian folklore in Ukraine, Canada, and around the world as it changes over time, and makes it available to researchers and the public. BMUFA strives to become the premier resource that documents cultural experiences of Ukrainians in Ukraine, Canada and other diaspora communities, accessible to all and integral to the understanding of diaspora culture. BMUFA originated in 1977 through the initiative of Dr. Bohdan Medwidsky as a collection of student manuscripts. It was renamed the "Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives" in 2003 to honour Dr. Medwidsky. Ethnographic collections that document human life and traditions are at the core of the Archives. It also houses non-current records of people, organizations and corporate bodies that document Ukrainian culture.

BMUFA acquires, preserves and provides access to records that have enduring value and are related to Ukrainian folk culture, such as: traditional songs, tales, sayings, beliefs, calendar customs, life cycle rituals, material culture, folk arts, performance traditions, community life studies of Ukrainian ethnic culture such as dance, choral activity, drama, embroidery, foodlore, ceramics studies of vernacular and popular culture that relate to Ukrainian identity.

Holdings include audiovisual recordings, manuscripts, correspondence, diaries, journals, photographs, posters, and printed ephemera. BMUFA maintains a Research Library covering topics of Ukrainian folklore, general folklore theory, history and culture of Ukrainian Canadians and other Ukrainian diaspora communities. BMUFA houses a collection of artifacts that is used for teaching, research, as well as for exhibits and other outreach activities.


Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives
250 Old Arts Bldg, University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB T6G 2E6
+1 780-492-6999


+[Danish Folklore Archives]/ Dansk Folkemindesamling

The archive was established in 1904 as a special collection under the Danish Royal Library.

Chr. Brygge 3
1016 Copenhagen K

+[Departmental Archive of Saône-et-Loire] / Archives départementales de Saône-et-Loire

Like all French departmental archives, the Departmental Archive of Saône-et-Loire, located in South Burgundy (central eastern part of France), was established following the Revolution in 1796. Its aim was initially to gather paper documents from local administrations and churches for the use of citizens. It has now become the repository of the memory of local life, collecting all types of documents of public or private origin from medieval times to the present day. Its holdings now add up to 21 km of documents. The ethnographic collections only form part of the overall archive.

Several folklorists, archeologists, and amateurs of local traditions have deposited their private collections comprising published monographs, personal notebooks, photographs, drawings, postcards and audiovisual recordings. Among them are historian Gabriel Jeanton on local geography, habitat, and language up to the 19th century, folklorist Emile Violet with his surveys of customs, and his study of the tales and dialect spoken in the Mâconnais area, and archeologist Louis Bonnamour about traditional trades on the river Saône. The collections also include a series of surveys carried out in villages all over Saône-et-Loire gathering information about customs and languages, as well as documentary films by local organizations about rural traditions and skills, in particular in the Bresse area


Archives départementales de Saône-et-Loire Place des Carmélites 71000 Mâcon France Tel. (+33) 3 85 21 00 76

+ Elphinstone Institute Archives

The Elphinstone Institute was founded in celebration of the University of Aberdeen's quincentenary in 1995. The Elphinstone Institute Archives were created soon after to house the fieldwork and materials of staff, students, and the general public.

The research focus of the Elphinstone Institute is on the vernacular culture and folklore of the North-East of Scotland. The Elphinstone Institute Archives hold over 2,000 items, the bulk of which is made up of audio and video recordings. Also contained in the archives are photographs, digital scans of manuscripts, and questionnaires. Broad genres covered include calendar customs, singing, instrumental music, ballads, craftwork, narrative, oral history, occupational folklore, vernacular architecture, and vernacular religion. The Elphinstone Institute is currently in the process of digitising the materials of the archives and making the catalogue database available online.

abdn.ac.uk/elphinstone (Elphinstone Institute)
abdn.ac.uk/elphinstone/resources/archives (Archives sub-page)

Elphinstone Institute
MacRobert Building
King's College
AB24 5UA
United Kingdom
Phone Number: +44 (0)1224 272996


+[Estonian Folklore Archives] / Eesti Rahvaluule Arhiiv

The EFA were founded in 1927 by Oskar Loorits as the folklore archive of the Estonian National Museum (1909), and were based on the large collections of Jakob Hurt and Matthias Johann Eisen. The archive has had a network of correspondents since its beginnings. In the 1930s several folklore collection competitions were initiated and the systematic preservation of folklore of other nationalities in Estonia began. In 1940 the EFA were reorganised as the Folklore Department (FD) of the State Literary Museum. Large-scale sound recording projects were started in the 1950s in collaboration with Estonian Radio. The first films preserved by the EFA are from 1959. The video recordings date from the 1980s. In 1995 the archives regained their original name — the Estonian Folklore Archives.

The Estonian Folklore Archives include collections of manuscripts, photographs, multimedia, and sound and video recordings, covering all aspects of folklore, including the folklore of other nationalities in Estonia, as well as rare Finno-Ugric folklore. The collections were formed by Estophils from the 18th–19th centuries, as well as by various societies, correspondents and researchers. The oldest recordings are paper manuscripts and sound recorded on wax cylinders, while the newest material is often in digital form. A part of every collection mentioned is in digital form either digitized through a project or collected digitally to start with.

Homepage in Estonian: folklore.ee/era/
Homepage in English: folklore.ee/era/eng/index.htm
Digital repository KIVIKE: kivike.kirmus.ee
Runosong database: www.folklore.ee/regilaul/andmebaas/?ln=en

Vanemuise Str. 42, Tartu 51003, Estonia
Open: M–F 9.00–17.00
Phone: +372 7377 730; Fax: +372 7377 706


+The ethnographic manuscript collection at the library of the Lithuanian Institute of History

The roots of the manuscript collection tends the 1935 and beyond.

There are more than 2,360 items of ethnographic material and more than 90,000 ethnographic photo negatives in the collection.


Lithuanian Institute of History, Kraziu 5, 01108 Vilnius

+ [Finnish Literature Society] / Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura (SKS)

The SKS Archives consist of two collections: the Traditional and Contemporary Culture Collection and the Literature and Cultural History Collection. Collecting and documenting traditional culture has been part of the activities of SKS ever since its establishment in 1831. The oldest manuscript in the Archives is the Piispa Henrikin surmavirsi (Death-song of Bishop Henry) from the 17th century. The collection of the material began to be amassed more systematically with folklore collecting trips, carried out by Elias Lönnrot and his contemporaries, in the 1830s. In 1937, SKS founded the Folklore Archives to house and organise these collections and to continue to collect and document folklore and traditional culture.  In 2016, the Folklore Archives were merged with the SKS Literature Archives (established in 1971) to form the new SKS Archives.

The Traditional and Contemporary Culture Collection is the central resource for the research of folklore and cultural heritage in Finland. It encompasses oral tradition, folk music, ethnological descriptions, biographies and oral history as texts, images and sounds. The collection contains approximately 4 million folklore items, 30,000 hours of sound and video recordings and 140,000 photographs or drawings.  Its development relies on the contributions of individual collectors sending material to the Archives. A significant amount of the material has been collected through collecting competitions and other forms of active collecting. The collection has its own contributor network consisting of approximately 550 contributors of all ages and social groups across the country. The collection has received material from well over 30,000 donors in total. The Literature and Cultural History Collection consists of private archives donated by writers, cultural figures, researchers, self-taught writers, and literary societies. Also, the documents associated with the founding of SKS are a part of the collection.


Finnish Literature Society, SKS
Hallituskatu 1
PL/P.O.Box 259, FI-00171 Helsinki
Phone: +358 201 131 231



+ [Folklore Archive of the Department of Folkloristics, Ivan Franko University of Lviv] / Фольклорний архів Кафедри української фольклористики

The Folklore Archive was established in the 1980s. It started from folklore fieldwork materials of the students of the Faculty of Philology of the University of Lviv. Until the 2000s, most materials were textual notations of oral lore. From the mid 2000s, the Department of Folkloristics reorganized its fieldwork with a focus on the complex documentation of folklore using technical tools. Therefore, the Folklore Archives started collecting audiovisual records, first analogue and then digital.
The Folklore Archives functions as a research project of the Department of Folkloristics.

The Folklore Archive preserves fieldwork collections of Ukrainian folk traditions (in various formats: audio, video, photographs, fieldnotes, graphic notations) recorded during folklore fieldwork research by the students of the Faculty of Philology supervised by the instructors of the Department of Folkloristics.
The Folklore Archive houses materials of approximately 6,300 fieldwork projects (interviews, observations): 3,800 hours of audio, 27,000 photographs, the number of video recordings keeps growing. Folklore materials in the Archives represent mostly customs and traditions of the rural population of Western Ukraine (Boikivshchyna, Hutsulshchyna, Opillia, Western Podillia, Pokuttia, Volyn, Western Polissia) from the 1980s until today. They include various expressions of Ukrainian folklore tradition both living practised in everyday life and ritual) and past (as remembered by older generations) such as folk songs, folk narrative (folk tales, legends, stories) and drama, as well as calendar and life cycle rituals, and beliefs.


Filaret Kolessa Department of Ukrainian Folkloristics
Ivan Franko National University of Lviv
Universytets'ka St., 1 / 345
79000 Lviv

tel. +38032 239 47 20

+ [Folklife Archives in Lund] / Folklivsarkivet med Skånes musiksamlingar

The Folklife Archives were founded in 1913 by Carl W. von Sydow who the same year was appointed examiner for the subject of folklore. The collected records formed a folklore collection associated with Lund University and from the beginning the Folklife Archives were integrated with the education and research of the academic discipline today known as ethnology.

Archive material consists of interviews, questionnaire answers, records, photographs and video recordings, as well as audio recordings of folk music, folk dance, music books and handwritten songbooks. There are also measurements, photos, and descriptions of folk buildings, in addition to personal documents such as letters and diaries. Until the 1960s, the Folklore Archives’ collections contained only folklore, folk customs, country folk techniques, and social culture. In the 1960s and thereafter, the collections included data on 19th- and 20th-century culture and ways of life. A special series of the Folklore Archives represents the collection of watercolors, drawings, descriptions and notes created by Nils Månsson Mandelgren (1813-1899). His intention was to depict Swedish cultural history.

Databases: www.folklivsarkivet.lu.se/samlingar/

Physical adress: Porfyrvägen 20, 224 78 Lund, Sweden
Post: Box 117, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
Göran Sjögård Tel: +46462223135, Mobile: +46727393535
Gabi Limbach Tel: +462227568
Patrik Sandgren Tel: +46462223612, Mobile: +46727364646

+ The Folklore Society Archives

Folklore Society papers 1878 and onwards, plus deposited mss collections of folklore notes.

Web: folklore-society.com/
Database: archives.ucl.ac.uk/DServe/dserve.exe?dsqApp=Archive&dsqCmd=Index.tcl

The Folklore Society, c/o The Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB tel +44(0) 207 862 8564

+[Hellenic Folklore Research Centre, Academy of Athens] / Kentron Erevnis tis Ellinikis Laografias tis Akadimias Athinon

Known as The Folklore Archive until 1966, it was established in 1918 by N.G. Politis. Its aim was “to collect, preserve and publish the memorials and records of the life and language of the Greek people”. G.A. Megas (dir. 1936–1955) systematized research through the introduction of systematic guidelines of field research and a taxonomy of folklorist material. In the 1960s the director G.K. Spyridakis emphasised archiving collections, and encouraged filmed documentation and recording of folk songs. Following the Law on Research (1990), personnel were assigned positions as researchers and new staff members were elected. Aik. Polymerou-Kamilaki (dir. 1994–2013) initiated the digitization of collections (manuscripts, photographs etc.), staged large-scale exhibitions and conferences, and started a new series of publications. From 2014 to the present, digital repositories have been developed as part of the 'Hellenic National Documentation Network of Intangible and Tangible Cultural Heritage' (acting Director Evangelos Karamanes). Many original publications have resulted from this work.

Manuscript Archive, National Record Collection, National Music Archive, Film Archive, Museum Collection, Photography Archive

Manuscripts Archive Catalogue: www.kentrolaografias.gr/el/content(...)

3 Ipitou St.
GR-105 57 Athens, Greece
Telephone: +30 210 3318042 / +30 210 3318043
FRONT DESK: +30 210 3664751
Fax: +30 210 3313418 +30 210 3664735



+ [Israel Folktale Archives - IFA] ארכיון הסיפור העממי בישראל ע"ש דב נוי - אסע"י

The Israel Folktale Archives (IFA), named in honor of its founder Prof. Dov Noy, were established in 1955. Two principle motives led to their establishment. Firstly, to collect, save, and document oral folk narratives passed down over the generations by newly arriving immigrants, and veteran Israelis alike, from numerous ethnic and cultural backgrounds; and, secondly, to systematically research these folk narratives using modern scientific methods. IFA has the largest collection of Jewish folktales in Israel and the world over. IFA initiates folktale research in concert with Israeli and foreign research institutes, and publishes scientific editions from its collection.

The Israel Folktale Archives (IFA), named in honor of its founder Prof. Dov Noy, is a unique, rich collection of more than 24,000 folk tales, based on Jewish oral tradition and Israeli folk narratives. The IFA is also documenting stories from Israel's Arab population – including Bedouin, Christian, Muslim and Druze. The tales were told by more than 5,000 narrators from 70 ethnic groups in several languages, and were documented by 1,000 fieldworkers. The collection is organized and classified according to various categories, including the Aarne-Thompson international indexing system. The data compiled at the Israel Folktale Archives includes the details and life histories of the narrators, and stresses the roles, backgrounds and motives of the recorders.

Web: ifa.haifa.ac.il/

Abba Houshi Avenue, Mount Carmel, Haifa 3498838 Israel

+[The Collection of Folklore Records in Belarus] Калекцыя фальклорных запісаў

The Collection of Folklore Records, which is the largest folklore archive in Belarus, was founded in 1957 when the Institute of Art, Ethnography, and Folklore — named after K. Krapiva — was established at the Belarusian Academy of Sciences. The Collection belongs to the Department of Folklore and Culture of the Slavic peoples. The Collection of Folklore Records contains materials from Institute staff field expeditions (1960–2016), manuscripts which were sent to the ‘Best Folklore Collector’ contest, materials from the archives of Belarusian universities, and private archives donated by writers, cultural figures, researchers, etc. In 2001 the Collection obtained heritage status for its contribution to National Sciences.

The Collection of Folklore Records covers all aspects of folklore, and includes manuscripts, photographs, musical note transcripts, and audio and video recordings. Most of the items are of Belarusian folklore, but there are also collections of Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Jewish, and Gypsy folklore. It contains more than thirty thousand rare sound recordings of ethnic folklore, which were made during field expeditions in Belarus and neighbouring countries from the early 20th century to the beginning of the 21st century. The Department of Folklore and Culture of the Slavic peoples is currently in the process of digitising the materials of the Collection and making the catalogue database available online.


Belarus, Minsk, Surhanava St., 1, Bldg. 2, 220072 The Center for the Belarusian Culture, Language and Literature Research of the NASB phone: +375 17 284-23-83; e-mail: belfolkarchive@gmail.com

+[Lithuanian Folklore Archives of the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore] / Lietuvių literatūros ir tautosakos instituto Lietuvių tautosakos rankraštynas

The beginning of our Archives is linked with the activities of the Lithuanian Science Society working in Vilnius from 1907–1940. Its chairman, Dr. Jonas Basanavičius, and other members actively promoted the collection of folklore. Following the occupation of Vilnius region, the funds of LSS became unavailable to scholars working in the independent Lithuania, so the Folklore Commission (1930–1935) and the Commission for the Gathering of Folk Melodies (1934–1935) were established in Kaunas. In 1935, these Commissions were joined together, and the Lithuanian Folklore Archives was founded. In 1941 the collections of the LFA and LSS were merged and placed under the provenance of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. Since 1990 the Archives is a part of the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore.

The Lithuanian Folklore Archives of the ILLF preserve collections of manuscripts, photographs, and negatives as well as sound and video recordings, covering all aspects of folklore, including the folklore of other nationalities in Lithuania. It stores the oldest folklore manuscript collections of the Lithuanian Science Society, including files written by the Lithuanian writers (Simonas Daukantas, Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas, Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė, Julius Janonis, etc.), and wax cylinders; manuscript collections and phonograph discs of the Lithuanian Folklore Archives (1935–1939); personal collections by famous folklorists (Zenonas Slaviūnas, Stasys Paliulis, Jurgis Dovydaitis, Jonas Balys, etc.); digital materials from modern fieldwork, etc. Holdings include audiovisual recordings, manuscripts, correspondence, diaries, journals, photographs, posters, and printed ephemera. BMUFA maintains a Research Library covering topics of Ukrainian folklore, general folklore theory, history and culture of Ukrainian Canadians and other Ukrainian diaspora communities. BMUFA houses a collection of artifacts that is used for teaching, research, as well as for exhibits and other outreach activities.

Web: www.llti.lt/lt/archyvas
Lithuanian Folklore Archive’s database: www.tautosakos-rankrastynas.lt
Database of Folklore Audio Recordings: archyvas.llti.lt/irasai
Database of Photographs: archyvas.llti.lt/nuotraukos
Digital Books of Sutartinės and Folk Instrumental Music: www.sutartines.info

Antakalnio Str. 6, 10308 Vilnius, Lithuania. Open: M–F 9.00–17.00 Phone: +370 85 2616258 E-mail: ,

+ Massachusetts Archives

To ensure the preservation and accessibility of the records of government. To provide assistance to government agencies. To provide leadership to ensure the preservation and accessibility of Massachusetts's historical heritage. To develop appreciation of the value of historical records. The Massachusetts Archives serves the Commonwealth and its citizens by preserving and making accessible the records documenting government action and by assisting government agencies in managing their permanent records. The Archives provides leadership in preserving historical records and ensuring that those records are known and valued by citizens, students, and scholars.

AF10/870x, Massachusetts Folklife Interview Files; AF10/871X, Massachusetts Folklife Audiocassettes; TR12/2670, Folk Arts and Heritage Collection 1999 – 2014

Web: www.sec.state.ma.us/arc/arcidx.htm and preservica-web.sec.state.ma.us/

Massachusetts Archives 220 Morrissey Blvd. Boston, MA 02125
Telephone: 617-727-2816
Fax: 617-288-8429

+ Meertens Instituut. Meertens Institute. Research and Documentation of Dutch Language and Culture Archieven en collecties Meertens Instituut, Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie van Wetenschappen Archives and collections Meertens Institute, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

Since the 1930s the Meertens Institute has been acquiring archives and collecting the documents of scholars and institutions working in the fields of folklore, ethnology, dialectology, and onomastics in the Netherlands. The collection is partly created by the Meertens Institute and its researchers and partly collected through the acquisition of archives and documentation from other institutions, commissons, scholars, and collectors. The material is about everyday life and language variation in the Netherlands.

The institute holds more than 450 collections consisting of (digital) research data, digitized material, archival collections, printed material, handwritten questionnaires, maps, prints, photos, and audio material.

Institute: www.meertens.knaw.nl
Info: www.meertens.knaw.nl/cms/en/collections/archives-collections
Inventories: www.meertens.knaw.nl/archieven/
homepage: www.meertens.knaw.nl/cms/en/
Archives and collections: www.meertens.knaw.nl/archieven/
Dutch Dialect Database: www.meertens.knaw.nl/ndb/
Database of Culture en Language maps: www.meertens.knaw.nl/kaartenbank/
Dutch Folktale Database: www.verhalenbank.nl/
Dutch Song Database: www.liederenbank.nl/index.php?lan=en
Database of Shrines and Pilgrimage in the Netherlands: www.meertens.knaw.nl/bedevaart/bol/english


Meertens Institute Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185 1012 DK Amsterdam and PO Box 10855 1001 EW Amsterdam The Netherlands Tel: +31204628500

+ [The National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin] / Cnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann

The creation of the Irish Free State in 1922 was partly driven by a popular desire to delineate a distinct national Irish identity. The formation of the Irish Folklore Commission in 1935 can be traced to this movement. Strong links forged with Scandinavian (especially Swedish) tradition archives at this period were central to the Commission’s success. Much of the archival material in the National Folklore Collection was amassed by its forerunners, the Irish Folklore Institute (1930–1935), the Irish Folklore Commission (1935–1971), and the Department of Irish Folklore UCD (1972–2005). Since 2015 the Collection resides administratively within UCD Library.

The audio and film recordings, manuscripts, and rare printed materials in the Collection span many aspects of material culture, oral literature, language and the Arts. The Main Mss Collection comprises more than 2,400 bound volumes of interviews, in Irish and English. The Schools’ Mss Collection is the outcome of a national project (1937–39) in which schoolchildren recorded more than 750,000 pages of folklore. The Sound & Video Collection features some 12,000 audio recordings, including a large number of early and modern field recordings. The NFC is home to more than 80,000 archive photographs as well as numerous paintings and drawings. The Irish Folk Music Section of the NFC features a large collection of audio recordings, manuscripts, and books dealing with music, song, and dance.



National Folklore Collection, John Henry Newman Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4. Phone: 00353 1 716 8216 Fax: 00353 1 716 1144

+ Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History (at the Maine Folklife Center)

In 1958, Edward “Sandy” Ives founded the Northeast Folklore Society and began publishing Northeast Folklore. He soon found he needed a repository for the material from both student fieldwork and from his own. Thus, he founded the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History (NAFOH). In the late 1970s, Ives began to get involved with the field of public folklore. Ives organized the Maine Folklife Center in 1992, combining the Northeast Folklore Society, NAFOH, and public programming into one unit. In 1996, the Center hired an archivist who set up the computer database system and archival procedures that we follow today. In 2011, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress purchased the original collection held by NAFOH in exchange for funding to digitize the collection.

All materials acquired by the Maine Folklife Center are managed by the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History. Within the 200 collections containing 4,000 individual accessions (which includes roughly 12,600 photographs, 2,500 slides, 3,000 audio recordings, and 325,000 pages of printed materials) of the Archives, the range of topics covered is broad. Our holdings are especially strong in documentation of occupations, foodways, community histories, lore and legends, traditional music, social activities, ritual and worship, material culture, and expressive arts. Other topics include logging and the lumbering industry, fishing and lobstering, women in Maine, country and western music, northeastern multi-ethnic culture, labor history, Native Americans, and tourism and hunting.



5773 South Stevens Hall
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5773
Phone number: 001-207-581-1844


+ [Norwegian Ethnological Research] / Norsk etnologisk gransking (NEG)

Started in 1946 and located at the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History (Norsk Folkemuseum), the initial charter of NEG was to document skills, practices and knowledge from pre-industrial agrarian communities. A national network of respondents for answering topical qualitative questionnaires was established. Documenting the intangible culture of everyday life is still the main purpose of the archive and collecting answers to qualitative questionnaires is still the main method. Since the late 1970s the topics have been both contemporary and historical. Since 2011 the questionnaires have been issued both on paper and through web-based electronic forms. The archive is inscribed in the UNESCO program Memory of the world.

On average, NEG has carried out four questionnaire-based documentation projects each year. The number of answers to each project varies from 50 to 700. In addition, the archive has initiated and participated in projects collecting sound-recorded interviews. We cooperated in a national diary project and collected and archived approximately 16,000 accounts of a single day, April 26th, 2005. In addition to this core of documentation initiated by the archive, we have received a great variety of donations of autobiographical materials and documentations of the skills and practices of the everyday life.


Norwegian Ethnological Research
Norsk Folkemuseum (The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History)
Museumsv.10, Oslo, +47 22 12 37 00
PO Box 720 Skøyen, 0214 Oslo, Norway


+[Norwegian Collection of Folk Music] / Norsk folkemusikksamling

The Norwegian Collection of Folk Music was founded in 1951 as an independent music research institute by Norway’s first professor of musicology, Olav Gurvin. From 1971–2013 it was part of the University of Oslo and since 2014 it has been part of the music section of the Norwegian National Library.

Roughly 2000 hours of sound recordings and 300 hours of video recordings, mainly from the archive's own field work.

Web: www.nb.no/folkemusikk

Address: Henrik Ibsens gate 110, Oslo, Norway Postboks 2674 Solli, 0203 Oslo, Norway tel. +47 810 013 00

+[Norwegian Folklore Archives] / Norsk Folkeminnesamling (NFS)

Founded in 1914, the Norwegian Folklore Archives serves as a national archive of cultural-historical texts and source materials. The archives are located at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS) at the University of Oslo. Throughout its history, NFS has been a unique national archive that has striven to collect, preserve, and present traditional texts and source materials — what is often called our cultural heritage. This corpus has been at the heart of research on Norwegian folklore and cultural history since its founding. In 2012, the core of the cultural heritage archive was selected for inclusion in the Norwegian Memory of the World registry (Norges Dokumentarv) under the auspices of UNESCO.

The material largely concerns written records of orally transmitted forms of popular poetry, such as folktales, legends, and ballads, collected during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A catch-all term for such materials is folklore records.

Homepage: www.hf.uio.no/ikos/english/services/norwegian-folklore/

P. A. Munchs hus, B413, Niels Henrik Abels vei 36, 0371 OSLO Tlf. + 47 22854919.
Postal address Pb1010 Blindern, 0315 Oslo Norway


+[SLS Arkiv, Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland] / SLS Archives, The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland

The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland (SLS) was founded in 1885, with one of its central missions being to collect evidence of Swedish-speaking culture and history in Finland. Documenting Swedish-speaking folklore, dialects, and folk culture was actively pursued from the start. In 1937, this work was further developed through the establishment of the Archives of Folk Culture, with archivists working according to modern scientific methods. The Ostrobothnian Archives of Traditional Culture (est. 1982) joined as a regional archive in the 1980s. In 2008, the Institute of Finland-Swedish Traditional Music was integrated with SLS in Vaasa. The archives now jointly function as the SLS Archives in both Helsinki and Vaasa.

The SLS Archives comprises large collections of oral tradition (fairy tales, proverbs, legends, etc.), dialects, place names, folk music and ethnological descriptions. During the course of the 20th century the documentation work was expanded to include urban populations and different social groups in addition to traditional farming and fishing communities. Today, the Archives has material on a wide range of topics such as school traditions, hobbies, food traditions, rituals, festivities, everyday life, etc. The aim is to continuously document the contemporary world including everyday life and societal phenomena and trends. The SLS Archives houses written records, sound recordings, films, and a large collection of photographs. Material is collected through fieldwork, questionnaires, and donations.

Web page: www.sls.fi/sv/arkiv/arkiv
Database: www.sls.fi/sv/digital_archive

Visiting addresses: (Helsinki) Riddaregatan 5, 00170 Helsinki & (Vaasa) Handelsesplanaden 23, 65100 Vaasa Tel: +358-9-618 777

+ Bronisława Kopczyńska-Jaworska Ethnographical Archive
at the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of Culture, University of Łódź

Founded in 1946, these archives contain records on the folklore and traditions of rural and urban areas from around Poland. The archives continue to grow as new fieldwork is conducted by undergraduate and graduate students and also staff. Website in Polish.

Web page: https://etnologia.uni.lodz.pl/mapa-badan-etnograficznych/

Lindleya 3/5 str., 90-131 Łódź, Poland

+ ‘Workers in the 19thand 20th Centuries’ Digital Repository
at the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of Culture, University of Łódź

This collection was founded on the basis of about 9,000 reproductions of photographs and their descriptions from the ‘Worker's Photography’ competition, announced in 1985 by the editors of the Polish journals Przekrój and Polityka Weekly and the Fotografia Quarterly. Website in Polish.

Web page: http://fotografierobotnikow.uni.lodz.pl/dlibra/text?id=repozytorium

Lindleya 3/5 str., 90-131 Łódź, Poland