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What can the Open Folklore project help me do now? [1]

While one way to think about Open Folklore is as a website or as a scholarly portal (that will live at ) another way to think about it is to see it as a branding effort or as a unified (unifying) label for a mixed collection of projects, efforts and services being pursued by the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries and the American Folklore Society aimed at making more of the scholarly literature and a greater range of scholarly resources in folklore studies openly available for those who need them. This post is the first in what I hope will be a series in which I show as quickly as I can what some of these resources are and how to access them independently. I am drawing here upon what we might call the “quiet phase” projects that provide the current core of content around which the Open Folklore portal or (viewed somewhat differently) the Open Folklore banner can be wrapped.

In this, context, “What can the Open Folklore project help me do now?” Here is a first and (I hope) simple answer.

Answer 1:  Open Folklore can enable you to consult the full text of out-of-copyright books from the Indiana University Libraries’ famed Folklore Collection in the Hathi Trust Digital Library.

The IU Folklore Collection was digitized by the Google Books project in partnership with the libraries of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). It constitutes the first “Collection of Distinction” to be digitized in this partnership.

Much of the content (books and journals) from the Folklore Collection has already appeared in Hathi Trust. For works that are no longer under copyright, the full text of the original work is both full text searchable and full text readable. So, if you want to consult and read or search a particular book in the collection, you can now do so online. If you wish to try it out, here are the stable URLs for some sample works in the collection.

George Bird Grinnel’s The Punishment of Stingy and Other Indian Stories (1901)

George H. McKnight’s St. Nicholas: His Legend and His Role in the Christmas Celebration and Other Popular Customs (1917)

Arthur Mitchell’s On the Popular Weather Prognostics of Scotland (1863)

Max Müller’s Lectures on the Science of Religion: With a paper on Buddhist Nihilism and a Translation of the Dhammapada or “Path of Virtue” (1872)

Paul Radin’s El Folklore de Oaxaca (1917)

The stable URL for these works also enables you to reliably cite these work when writing or creating new scholarly projects building on this older work. They can be used in citations in new written (and perhaps printed) works such as books and articles, but also in websites, blog posts, and other scholarly new media.

There are (as of today) 2425 other works from the Folklore Collection itself available in full text via Hathi Trust. Hathi Trust as a whole provides full text access to over a million volumes that are in the public domain (representing about 19% of the collection as a whole.) [More on using the in-copyright volumes later.]

Find a volume of relevance to you and try out the folklore studies offerings of Hathi Trust, made possible by our friends at the Indiana University Bloomington libraries, the librarians of the CIC, Google Books, and the other Hathi Trust partners.

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. John Anderson #

    It’s great that y’all are trying to gather all of these materials under one roof (banner), but when you say that much of the collection has been digitized, does that mean there are common standards/procedures of cataloging and tagging the material with information such as publication data? Or was it only digitization of (searchable) text? Thanks and keep going…!

    August 26, 2010
    • Jennifer Laherty #

      Yes, besides straight digitization resulting in fully searchable text, the materials adhere to metadata standard practices. In HathiTrust, the materials are still largely digitized collections of physical materials held by libraries which means they largely conform to the MARC cataloging standard that you see when looking at records in library catalogs. As for the materials in IUScholarWorks, we conform to the Dublin Core metadata standard which also looks very similar to the bibliographic citation information you find in library catalogs. One advantage of adhering to metadata standard practices is that we provide a range of search options, included field searches for authors, titles, etc. which allow for a more targeted search in some respects on an object than does searching on its complete text. Both search options, fielded and full-text, offer users good avenues for discovery.

      August 26, 2010
  2. Hi John. I hope that Jennifer’s answer provides some reassurance about metadata. We are fortunate that Jennifer and her colleagues at the IUB Libraries (and at Hathi Trust Digital Library) are at the center of our effort. Thanks for your question and your enthusiastic support.

    August 27, 2010

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 5 suggestions for the Open Folklore project | Archivology
  2. What can the Open Folklore project help me do now? [2] « Jason Baird Jackson
  3. Open Folklore, Open Access, and the Future of Scholarly Publishing | Archivology
  4. What can the Open Folklore project help me do now? [3] (The Community Arts Network Edition) « Jason Baird Jackson

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