Tradition archives, folklore archives, ethnographic archives, cultural archives... 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. Read more... 


Archives of Traditional Culture: 100 + 10

International Conference
Riga, Latvia
October 29-31, 2024 

Call for papers 

Approaching its 100th anniversary, the Archives of Latvian Folklore (1924), in close cooperation with the SIEF Working Group on Archives and the SIEF Working Group on Cultural Heritage and Property, invites contributions for an international conference addressing a diverse range of issues related to present and future of the archives of traditional culture. The centenary is, of course, a good reason to look back and take stock of what has been done, to understand how the histories of archiving have developed in different countries. But what we would like to do even more at this conference is to assess current situations and to look ahead, say, to the next 10 years. Read more

Folklore Archives Webinars - May 2023

May 10, 2023 at 18:00 CET 

Siv Gøril Brantzæg, Associate Professor Department of Language and Literature, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

"From tradition to tablet: Constructing a database of Norwegian skilling ballads"

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Folklore Archives Webinars - March 2023

March 22, 2023 at 18:00 CET 

Katherine Borland, Professor & Director of the Center for Folklore Studies & Department of Comparative Studies at the Ohio State University
Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth, Archivist & Visiting Assistant Professor at the Centre of Folklore Studies at the Ohio State University

"The University Folklore Archives: Institutional or Community Resource?"

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Folklore Archives Webinars - February 2023

February 22, 2023 at 18:00 CET 

Christina Crowder, Executive Director, the Klezmer Institute, NY

"Community-Centered Models for Musical Folklore Projects: The Kiselgof-Makonovetsky Digital Manuscript Project and the Klezmer Archive Project"

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SIEF 16th Congress in Brno, Czech Republic

The 16th international SIEF congress will take place in Brno, the second largest city of the Czech Republic, the country, where SIEF forerunner Commission internationale de l’art populaire has been founded. After almost 100 years SIEF returns to Central Europe, a region where many uncertainties worth of ethnological, folklore and related research arises and overlaps for centuries. 

Theme: Living Uncertainty

Deadline for the call for papers is January 10, 2023.

Accepted panels: 

WG on Archives panels: 

Arch05 Documenting and Living Uncertainty in Tradition Archives Today and in the Future
Convenors: Nicolas Le Bigre (Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen) and Cliona O'Carroll (University College Cork) 

Arch06 Responsibility, Repair and Representation in Archival Practices
Convenors: Guha Shankar (Library of Congress (USA) and Maryna Chernyavska (University of Alberta) 

Turning the Wheel: Access to Archives – Tradition and Variation

Section on University and Research Institution Archives of the International Council on Archives (ICA-SUV) in collaboration with the Working Group on Archives of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF WGoA) are pleased to invite submissions of proposals for the 2023 in-person conference to be hosted on May 29-31, 2023 in Dublin, Ireland, by the University College Dublin. The theme of the conference is: 


We invite academic and/or practice-based proposals for individual papers, panels, discussion tables, and other formats on different aspects of archival practice in university and research institution archives that address the conference theme.

Presentations can relate to any aspect of the theme but we particularly encourage proposals which discuss the following topics: 

Presentations should be 20 minutes and should be analytical rather than purely descriptive. Please note that unfortunately there will be no translation facilities at the conference, so only papers in English will be accepted. Please submit a short abstract of 250-300 words with a bibliography of at least two items, which will not count towards the 250-word minimum along with the following information using this form:

Submission form

The ICA-SUV Proposal Submission Guidelines can be consulted here:

The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2023. Authors will be notified by February 1 whether their paper has been accepted. Speakers will be expected to cover their own travel costs.

We look forward to seeing you in Dublin!

Folklore Archives Webinars - January 2023

January 18, 2023 at 18:00-19:30 CET 

James Deutsch, Smithsonian Centre for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Washington, D.C., USA

"Festivals as Teaching Tools for Folklore Archives"

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Meeting ID: 954 9897 6413

Passcode: 625111

Folklore Archives Webinars - December 2022

Our next live Folklore Archives Webinars session on 7 of December 2022 at 18:00-19:30: 

Dr. Ioannis Karachristos, Senior researcher, Hellenic Folklore Research Centre, Academy of Athens

Dr. Paraskevas Potiropoulos, Senior researcher, Hellenic Folklore Research Centre, Academy of Athens


"Traditional Folklore archives in the Digital era. Curation and documentation, challenges and prospects in the Hellenic Folklore Research Centre Archive"

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Meeting ID: 921 5977 6378

Passcode: 752662

Folklore Archives Webinars - November 2022

Our next live Folklore Archives Webinars session on 23 November 2022 at 18:00-19:30: 

Mari Sarv, Senior researcher, Estonian Literary Museum, Tartu

Kati Kallio, Senior researcher, Finnish Literature Society and University of Helsinki


"Towards a lab of folklore texts: explorations on Finnic oral poetry"

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Meeting ID: 951 7372 6242

Passcode: 397225

Folklore Archives Webinars - May 2022

Our next live Folklore Archives Webinars session on 9th of May 2022 at 18:00-19:30: 

Tim Tangherlini

Professor, Dept of Scandinavian and the Program in Folklore

University of California, Berkeley 


"Multilingual Search and Challenges for the Archive in the 21st Century: Lessons from ISEBEL" 

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Meeting ID: 883 0875 1741

Passcode: 453956

Folklore Archives Webinars - April 2022

Our next live Folklore Archives Webinars session on 4th of April 2022 at 18:00-19:30: 

Eija Stark

Docent, Development manager

Finnish Literature Society


"From genre analysis to examination of everyday narratives. A short history of the vocabulary" uses in the Folklore archives of the Finnish Literature Society

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Meeting ID: 815 7760 1220

Passcode: 875087

Folklore Archives Webinars - March 2022

Our next live Folklore Archives Webinars on 9th of March 2022 at 18:00-19:30: 

Dr. Dani Schrire

The Program for Folklore and Folk-Culture Studies and the Program in Cultural Studies. Director of the Folklore Research Center. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Dr. Tom Fogel

The Ephraim E. Urbach Post-Doctoral Fellowship, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. The Folklore Research Center, Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

"Negotiating archival media and folklore documentation in a community setting"

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Online Webinar Series in Partnership With SAMLA

The SIEF Working Group on Archives has partnered with SAMLA to organize a series of online webinars during the academic year of 2021-2022. The first main theme of this year's webinars will be various ethnographic thesauri used to describe materials in tradition archives. The second theme will focus on folklore archives education, which will present the opportunity to discuss the content and format of courses on folklore archives taught around the world, share experiences, and discuss innovative approaches to teaching such courses.

We are pleased to announce our first speaker, Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh och Jonny Dillon (National Folklore Collection, Dublin), who will present with a seminar titled "Folklore vocabularies, classification systems and digital publishing".

It will take place on November 15th, 6 PM (CET) on Zoom: click here for the link.

SAMLA is an infrastructure project aiming to digitalize all the main ethnological and folkloristic archives in Norway, and provide a one-door solution to accessing the material. SAMLA unites three tradition archives: the Folklore Archives at the University of Oslo, the Norwegian Ethnological Research at the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, and the Ethno-Folkloristic Archives at the University of Bergen.

Folklore Archiving during Pandemic

Folklore and tradition archives have been busy documenting everyday life and cultural expressions related to the pandemic, as well as continued working on other archival projects. Projects presented in the poster provide a sample of our work. We encourage you to be curious, learn about these projects, and explore them following this link:


SIEF2021 in Helsinki: 19-24 June 2021

SIEF2021 15th Congress


Helsinki, Finland,  19-24 June 2021

SIEF2021 time table for the WG on Archives

Time zone: UTC+3

Friday, 18 June


WG on Archives Meeting


Archives, access, ethics and fraud [SIEF Working Group on Archives] 


Theo Meder (Meertens Institute)

Ave Goršič (Estonian Literary Museum)

Format: Panel

Sessions: Thursday 24 June, 10:00-11:45, 14:00-15:45

Being bold in the archives: innovative folklore archival practices [SIEF Working Group On Archives]


Maryna Chernyavska (University of Alberta)

Cliona O'Carroll (University College Cork)

Kelly Fitzgerald (University College Dublin)

Format: Panel Roundtable

Sessions: Monday 21 June, 16:15-18:00 (UTC+3)

Working Group Archives: Now what? Documenting transnational crises


Fredrik Nilsson (Åbo Akademi University)

Niklas Huldén (Åbo Akademi University)

Karin Gustavsson (Lund University)

Format: Panel

Sessions: Wednesday 23 June, 10:00-11:45, 14:00-15.45

Ask the Archivist!

SIEF2019 14th Congress "Track Changes: Reflecting on a Transforming World" will take place in Santiago de Compostela, Spain from 14 to 17 April. 

SIEF Working Group on Archives will be presented at the poster session on Wednesday at 16.30–18.15, University of Santiago, Faculty of Economics and Business administration, Foyer. 

Instead of a usual poster, this year the WG will present  ‘Ask the Archivist’ poster. For this, in addition to board members present, we welcome volunteers to stand at the poster and answer archiving related questions. Please apply by e-mail or to WG's co-chairs Maryna Chernyauska or Ave Goršič during the Congress. 


AFS Awards "Visions and Traditions"

The American Folklore Society has announced the award of 2018 Brenda McCallum Prize which seeks to promote works of excellence and innovation that further the cause of preservation, organization, curation, or enhanced public access and use related to folklife archival collections.

The winner of the Brenda McCallum Prize in 2018 is the collective work "Visions and Traditions. Knowledge Production and Tradition Archives" edited by the Network's members Lauri Harvilahti,  Audun Kjus, Clíona O'Carrol, Suzanne Österlund-Pötzsch, Fredrik Skott, and Rita Treija. 

We congratulate the authors and editors on a work the Committee agreed was forward-looking, cutting edge, and tightly focused on central matters of folklore and folklife archiving, history, theory, and practice. Committee members also saw the work as propelling folklore archives into the modern era of disciplinary shifts by claiming a firm foothold in academic conversations accessible to archivists, folklorists, and folklore-archivists. It also offered numerous interesting case study examples for contemplation. – American Folklore Society / Archives & Libraries Section Prize Committee