Instructions for Electronic Submission of Ethnographic Research Materials


The Center for Folklore Studies Archives recommends that ethnographic research materials be donated electronically.* Please follow the instructions articulated below to do so:

For Students:

Project Suitability: All project donated to the archives will be made accessible to the public. If your project has any restrictions with regard to access, please contact the archives Director to discuss the suitability of your donation. With this in mind, please use appropriate pseudonyms to protect the identities of your informants if they ask you to do so. We will not accept projects with incomplete or missing consent forms. Should you interview minors (adults under 18) we require parental consent.

Submission Needs: Along with your research project, we require that you include the following documents (accessible on other Forms and Registers page) as one consolidated PDF in the following order:

  • Archival Database form: This form provides an overview of the project including title, collector and informant information as well as key descriptive words and genres. Keywords: All projects should include a list of keywords that will help researchers search your materials in the future. This should include the following: location (county, city, specific locales (ex: Gore Orphanage)), genre (legend, fairy tale, folk tale, personal experience narrative, joke, proverb, etc.), group (ethnic or national identity, faith community, intentional community, etc.), cultural practice (wedding, Yom Kippur, Dia de los Muertos, pranks, festival, alien abductions, etc.), and any other special terms or phrases that are unique to your project.
  • Collector Consent form: This form acknowledges your consent to have your folklore project housed in the Center for Folklore Studies Archives.
  • Informant Consent form(s): This form acknowledges that your informant understands your project and agrees to participate. Additionally, it allows your informant to give full or partial consent to the archives to house and release their interview materials.
  • Analytical paper
  • Audio-Visual Media Log
  • Photo Log
  • Tape Log(s)

Format Needs:

  • Save your project, which will be submitted a one consolidated PDF, using the format: Last Name, First Name_Title (Ex: Buckeye, Brutus_Football Folklore.pdf).
  • Save all audio files as MP3 or .wav files and all video files as .mov or .mp4 files using the following format: Collector Last Name, Collector First Name_ Title.format (Ex: Buckeye, Brutus_Football Folklore.mp3, Buckeye, Brutus_Football Folklore.mp4). If you have multiple recordings or videos, include # of # in parenthesis (Ex: Buckeye, Brutus_Football Folklore (1 of 4).mp3Buckeye, Brutus_Football Folklore (2 of 4).mp3, etc.). Include as  Missing media item.  that explains what is on each of the files. Include the Audio-Visual Media Log in your consolidated project PDF.
  • Save all images (including screenshots) as .TIFF or .JPEG as: Collector Last Name, Collector First Name_# (Ex: Buckeye, Brutus_1.jpeg, Buckeye, Brutus_2.jpeg). Include a Missing media item.  that explains what is on each of the files. Include the Photo Log in your consolidated project PDF.
  • Organize the documents in your final consolidated PDF in the order listed above and reiterated here:
    • Archival Database form
    • Collector Consent form
    • Informant Consent form(s)
    • Analytical paper
    • Audio-visual Media Log
    • Photo Log
    • Tape Log(s)

*Free PDF consolidators exist online. We suggest searching for the PDF consolidator that best suits your needs. Alternatively, OSU provides student access to the full Adobe suite, which includes Adobe PDF Pro, which allows you to combine and edit documents and PDFs. The Adobe suite is availble to students through the Self Service portal. Click on "service catalog," then select "software services" and "site licensed software" to navigate to the Adobe suite. Search the internet for instructions on how to use Adobe PDF Pro to combine files.

Defining terms:

  • Collector: the individual taking the course and collecting interviews, images, and other information
  • Informant/Interviewee: an individual (or sometimes a group) who is being consulted by the collector about some aspect of folklore
  • Folklore Archives: located at 218 Ohio Stadium, the repository for the Student Ethnographic Projects, which have been collected since the 1960s

For Faculty:

Key-wording Projects: Please make sure that all the projects are key-worded so as to enable efficient virtual search and access. A failure to do so will only exacerbate an already staggering backlog in material accessions. Key-words should include but not be limited to the following categories: genre, location, group, unique identifiers. Library of Congress subject headings and the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus are excellent resources for this purpose.

Electronic Submission: Please assure that all student projects are saved using the correct format. These projects should be submitted to the archives by you via in-person transfer or by using BuckeyeBox. Please contact the Archives Director, Cassie Patterson at to organize a dedicated BuckeyeBox for your class submission.