What can the Open Folklore project help me do now? 
While one way to think about Open Folklore is as a website or as a scholarly portal (that will live at http://www.openfolklore.org/ ) 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.
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.