In 1958, Edward “Sandy” Ives founded the Northeast Folklore Society and began publishing Northeast Folklore. He soon found he needed a repository for the material from both student fieldwork and from his own. Thus, he founded the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History (NAFOH). In the late 1970s, Ives began to get involved with the field of public folklore. Ives organized the Maine Folklife Center in 1992, combining the Northeast Folklore Society, NAFOH, and public programming into one unit. In 1996, the Center hired an archivist who set up the computer database system and archival procedures that we follow today. In 2011, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress purchased the original collection held by NAFOH in exchange for funding to digitize the collection.
All materials acquired by the Maine Folklife Center are managed by the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History. Within the 200 collections containing 4,000 individual accessions (which includes roughly 12,600 photographs, 2,500 slides, 3,000 audio recordings, and 325,000 pages of printed materials) of the Archives, the range of topics covered is broad. Our holdings are especially strong in documentation of occupations, foodways, community histories, lore and legends, traditional music, social activities, ritual and worship, material culture, and expressive arts. Other topics include logging and the lumbering industry, fishing and lobstering, women in Maine, country and western music, northeastern multi-ethnic culture, labor history, Native Americans, and tourism and hunting.
5773 South Stevens Hall
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5773
Phone number: 001-207-581-1844