Exposing the Hidden Folklore Collections in the Mid-Atlantic Region


Taken as a whole, the collections to be included encompass four decades of unique primary source documents, particularly audio-visual recordings and oral histories, detailing the traditional customs, beliefs, occupational skills, and expressive cultures of cultural communities and the changing social, political and historical landscape of the tri-state region. They are the products of the exemplary work of fieldworkers and leading scholars in folklore, ethnomusicology, anthropology and American Studies for the twenty years between 1990 and 2010. Collection materials contribute to scholarly research and help to increase broad-based awareness of the centrality of tangible and intangible cultural practices for the conduct of daily life. Fuller and deeper access to the collections promises enhanced access to raw documentation for use in producing seminars and symposia, print publications, documentary films, recordings, museum exhibits, and multimedia and online exhibitions. Enhancing and expanding access to these collections will greatly enhance and inform scholarship on several subject areas, particularly emerging research into the region's occupational and immigrant communities. The collections have enormous evidentiary value because of their breadth and depth. They capture traditions in change at a period of growing trans-nationalism within the Northeastern United States.


Cataloging Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded

Year Added



New York Folklore Society


  • Ellen McHale

Collection Size

240 cubic feet, 153 linear feet, 1610 objects

Date Range

1990 - 2010

Geographic Scope

Collections are held by repositories within the Mid-Atlantic states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York and reflect this wider geographic range.