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Databases and other materials related to the study of folklore.

Best Bets for Folklore Library Research

As far as we know, the Indiana University Folklore Collection is the largest, most comprehensive library collection in the world for folklore, ethnomusicology, and related fields. Use IUCAT, our library catalog to explore our holdings, including folklore texts, scholarly analysis, indexes, and reference tools.

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When you are getting started on a research project, encyclopedias and reference handbooks give you an overview of the topic, current questions, and suggestions for further reading. Here are just a few sources I recommend. Browse IUCAT for more online encyclopedias and handbooks on folklore (all are ebooks accessible to members of the IU-Bloomington campus). For even more reference works, visit the virtual folklore reference collection in the tabs to the left.

Folklore studies began at Indiana University under Stith Thompson in the 1920s. Professor Thompson supervised many MA theses on folklore topics, beginning with Hortense Braden's 1926 thesis, A classification of incidents in certain collections of African folk-tales. Indiana University was the first university in the United States to offer the PhD in folklore, awarding the first one to Warren Roberts in 1953.

Browse IUCAT for all the IU folklore dissertations and theses completed to date. Below are other tools to locate dissertations and theses from beyond IU.

For primary sources in folklore and ethnomusicology, our rich archival collections await your visit. They include ethnographic field collections and recordings from around Indiana and the world. My advice: check out the pages below and consult with the archivists before you plan to visit. Unlike a library, archival collections need prior notice to be used.

Moira Marsh (formerly Moira Smith) has been the subject librarian for Anthropology, Folklore, and Sociology at Indiana University Bloomington since 1997.

She is a folklorist specializing in humor studies.

She is a kiwi, amateur jackalope wrangler, former editor, and a former President of the Bloomington faculty.

She is a research whisperer. Her second favorite thing to do is consult with students, faculty, and researchers about their research questions, large or small.


Folklore Resources

All Folklore Guides