The Indiana State University Folklore Archives is the largest accessible university-based folklore repository in the Midwest, and scholars from ISU and other universities—including Indiana University, Penn State University, the University of Georgia, and the University of Wisconsin—have used it for research on books and articles, as well as for sustaining a personal interest in Indiana’s folk culture.
Established in 1967 by Ronald Baker, professor emeritus of English and former chairperson of the Department of English, the ISU Folklore Archives contains thousands of examples of folklore, such as local legends, folk beliefs, customs, jokes, riddles, and campus ghost stories. Most of the material was collected by ISU students, and much of it is very high quality.
The English Department is working with the Department of History and the Cunningham Memorial Library to make the printed and visual materials housed in the ISU Folklore Archives accessible to patrons anytime, anywhere in the world. The Archives staff acquired a professional-quality scanner through a generous contribution from the Research Center for Local History and Culture, funded by the Lilly Foundation and administered by the Department of History. Training, support, and a website large enough to house the scanned materials are being provided through Wabash Valley Visions and Voices: A Digital Memory Project, sponsored by the Cunningham Memorial Library. The Archives Assistant is a Department of English intern, and the Department of English has hired four undergraduate students as Scanning Project Technicians through the ISU work-study program.