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About the CFS Archives

The Folklore Archives was established by Frances Lee Utley (1907-1974) in 1961 as a joint effort between the Schools of Music and Education, and the Departments of English and Anthropology. First named the Archive for Primitive, Ethnic, and Folk Music, Utley envisioned the archive as an interdisciplinary center for studying and documenting vernacular music. The initial collection included large runs of commercially produced music to be used for research and teaching purposes.  

Over subsequent decades, a growing community of Folklore scholars at Ohio State contributed to the Archive’s holdings. The archives now hold the research materials of Pat Mullen, Dan Barnes, Amy Shuman, Tim Lloyd, Katherine Borland, among many others. Their work represents a wide range of folkloric genres and practices in North America and internationally. Many of the Archive’s collections include original ethnographic and oral histories of the folklife and history of Ohio. 

The Archives remain an important pedagogical resource for the University community. Students in folklore classes have deposited over eleven thousand ethnographic projects in the archives. The Student Ethnographic projects represent a unique collection of materials documenting undergraduate life on campus and its connected communities. These projects and other materials continue to be used for research and as classroom teaching materials for graduate and undergraduate students.  

Amy Shuman and Pat Mullen founded the Center for Folklore Studies in the 1990s to centralize the folklore community on campus. 

Location & Directions

The OSU Folklore Archives is located in 455 Hagerty Hall, 1775 College Road S. Make an appointment to visit the archives by emailing cfs@osu.edu. Most materials are stored remotely, so please make any request to view specific materials at least two weeks in advance. 


Archive hours

Access to the Folklore Archives is available by appointment. Some items may take longer to process while others may be unavailable. To request access to the archives via appointment or to request materials, email cfs@osu.edu.


Donating to the Archives

The Center for Folklore Studies Archives will accept donations of research and other collections after being accessed and approved by the Center's research committee. Book collections will be under particular scrutiny at this time because we lack sufficient space to maintain a large library. If you are considering making a book donation, please contact the OSU Libraries first to see of their interest.

If you are interested in making a materials donation to the Center for Folklore Studies Archives, please contact cfs@osu.edu.

All donations are subject to review and can be tax-deductible with a qualified appraiser. The Center does not provide nor pay for an appraiser's services.