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Regional & Fieldwork-Based Research Collections

#GradCapTraditions: Decorating graduation caps, also known as mortarboards, has become an increasingly common tradition among graduating students. Dr. Sheila Bock from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas completed a study on the diverse forms and meanings of this tradition among people graduating from colleges or universities. The purpose of this study, titled “Decorated Mortarboards: Forms and Meanings,” is to find out how and why people choose to decorate their mortarboards. 

Appalachian Studies Network@OSU: Audio and video interviews with community members in southeast Ohio reflecting on educational, economic, social, political, and environmental factors affecting high school students in the area and their desires to attend college. This project also includes audio and video of focus groups held with Appalachian students who currently attend Ohio State University. Material artifacts include pamphlets collected during site visits. Digital photographs from the site visits are also included. (Formerly the Appalachian Project, Ohio) 

Be the Street: Materials from OSU's community-engaged performance project dedicated to creating collaborative spaces with and for community within the Hilltop neighborhood through storytelling.

Columbus-Copapayo Sister City Project: Documents collected include newspaper clippings, delegation information, personal correspondence, video footage, a book and other miscellaneous documents. Other items include material objects like t-shirts, posters, crafts from Copapayo and the FMLN. Moreover, archived are a number of interviews conducted from February-April 2014 with key leaders and community members involved with the project.

FolkOhio Collections: Materials from former microsite of the CFS website, including fieldwork notes, WOSU-FolkOhio radio features, and Covid Conversations podcast episodes

Genre Cards: Boxes of filing cards and student papers categorized by genre. Materials were collected by OSU students. Major genres include belief, custom, legend (character, etiological, contemporary). 

Key Ingredients: Ohio by Food: Images, audio, and transcription from a foodways exhibit coordinated by the Ohio Humanities Council and supported by We The People, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Materials include photographs, interviews, and transcriptions. 

Lake Erie Fishermen: Laborlore in Ohio: The Lake Erie Fishermen Collection was compiled by Timothy Lloyd and Patrick Mullen from 1983 to 1984 in northern Ohio. The collection includes interviews with 20 individuals, thirty 90-minute TDK cassette tapes, 35 sheets of negatives, 35 contact sheets, 725 slides, 393 black-and-white photographs, 131 pages of logs of 16 interviews, 746 pages of transcription from 25 interviews, and one hardcover book. A secondary collection includes one binder of 52 CDs of audio material and three DVDs of audio material digitized from the cassette tapes. Lake Erie Fishermen: Work, Tradition, and Identity, a co-authored monograph by Timothy Lloyd and Patrick Mullen, is available to read on the ACLS Humanities E-book website, where you can also access multimedia collection materials from the original fieldwork from our Folklore Archives.

Listening for Religion: Digital gallery pages highlighting the sounds of particular religious “sites” in central Ohio.

Little Brown Jug Oral History: Materials related to an oral history project about the annual Little Brown Jug (LBJ) harness race that take place in Delaware County, Ohio, in late September.

New Harmonies: Ohio Vernacular Music Today: Digitized music (original field recordings of folk music festivals in Ohio and selected records of Ohio musicians), research notes, and images (forthcoming) from the New Harmonies tour in Ohio. The project was coordinated by the Ohio Humanities Council and supported by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit Service’s Museum on Main Street initiative.

The Ohio Arts Council Projects: Consists of several fieldwork projects funded by the Ohio Arts Council in the 1970s and 1980s. Materials include interviews, slides, and recordings documenting Ohio folklore, such as fiddle contests, foodways, and religious practices. 

Ohio Heritage Fellows Collection: This collection contains images, audio, and video gathered during the production of Traditions.

Ohio Field Schools: The Ohio Field Schools Collection contains audio interviews, photographs, field notes, and ephemera collected by CFS faculty and staff, and graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in the Ohio Field Schools course. The project, sponsored by a generous gift from the Columbus Foundation in 2016, asks the question: How do Ohioans create a sense of place in a changing environment? 

Ohio Valley Folk Publications: Publications of the Ohio Valley Folklore Research Project carried out by the Ross County Historical Society in Chillicothe, Ohio, in the 1950s and early 1960s. The items originally were printed by mimeograph and assembled using wallpaper (taken from sample books) as covers and stapling the pages on the spine. This developing online collection will be of the covers or first-pages only of items held in the collection. 

Oral Narratives of Latinos/as in Ohio: The Oral Narratives of Latinos/as in Ohio is a statewide initiative begun in 2014 to collect, catalog, and preserve oral narratives of Latinos/as in Ohio in collaboration with the Ohio Hispanic Heritage Project and the Center for Folklore Studies. Materials include video interviews and photographs.

Say Amen: Portraits of Southern Ohio Folklife: Materials collected by the Southern Ohio Folklife Radio Program. Materials include reel-to-reel audio of the series sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council. 

Student Ethnographic Projects: Over 10,000 OSU folklore student research projects stretching back to the early 1960s, focusing on regional oral traditions (with a particular strength in contemporary and historical legends, anecdotes, jokes, and oral history), beliefs, customs, festivals, material culture, and traditional ways of living.

Student Digital Folklore Collection: The aim of the SDFC is to gather, document, and preserve iterations of digital folklore as it shared among OSU students. This includes memes, TikTok videos, Instagram threads, etc. as well as future forms as yet unknown. The Collection is focused on folklore which points to aspects of the experience of being an OSU student; for example, concerns regarding safety, housing issues, relationships with peers and instructors, campus life, etc.

Slang Journals: The Slang Journal Collection is a compilation of words, sayings, and abbreviations collected by English 2271 students since autumn 2011, as well as one Mosaic high school student's 50-term contribution in SP17. There are currently 1,900 entries. The master list is an Excel file that includes the following information, each in separate columns: word, preceding utterance, utterance containing word, following utterance, spoken/written, speaker age, speaker gender, speaker race/ethnicity, addressee age, addressee gender, addressee race/ethnicity, domain, taboo, situational context, meaning, semester and year of collection. The alphabetical catalogue enables researchers to seek out specific terms, compare applications of a word or saying, or simply familiarize oneself with popular terminology used on and around the Ohio State University campus, as documented by students. 

University District Project: Oral histories collected from OSU University District residents by students in English 367.05: The American Folk Experience (winter and autumn 2008). Materials include interviews, photographs, and transcripts.