The Folklore Library & Archive is delighted to announce a new partnership with Devon Libraries in order to provide a physical site for its important reference library and document archives at Crediton Library.
Formed earlier this year, The Folklore Library & Archive has a remit to collect and preserve for future generations material related to folklore – our traditions, customs and beliefs. The organisation is purely volunteer-led and relies on donations for its operation but already holds many collections of international significance. Recent fundraising was undertaken through a day of online talks which had speakers from institutions such as the British Museum and the British Library.
These collections include the document archives of the late Anglo-American folklorist Venetia Newall, whose unique collection of decorated eggs of which she was a world expert is housed at the British Museum, digitised copies of the only surviving handwritten notebooks of Charlotte Sophia Burne, the first female president of The Folklore Society, and the UKs largest archive of material related to ghostly black dogs – the legend that inspired ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’.
The Patron of The Folklore Library & Archive is the popular British children’s writer Michael Rosen, who has an interest in the subject through his own heritage, and the curator is folklore author and researcher Mark Norman. The project started from the success of Mark’s internet programme ‘The Folklore Podcast’ which has been running for six seasons now and is in the top 1% of podcasts in its genre around the world, with over 1.3 million downloads.
Mark says, “This exciting partnership with Devon Libraries allows us to provide a proper physical base for our important collections, allowing researchers to come and work with the material in a conducive library environment. Many of our collections are slowly becoming available in digital form on our website, but there is much more which can only be handled in person and now researchers will be able to come to Crediton to do just that.
We are also looking forward to being able to run projects with the local community to collect more valuable information in this area. We are able to digitise video material and audio recordings and can also scan people’s photos for the collection. We will be looking in the future to work with local groups to allow them to record interviews and other material in the community as part of reminiscence projects also. There are many great collaborative opportunities to be had through this partnership.”
Crediton Library supervisor Sue Lee added: “We are very pleased at the opportunity to collaborate with the Folklore Library & Archive on this fascinating project. There is a lot of interest in our Local History collection and monthly Local History talks so this new collection will be a great extension of these. We look forward to the Folklore Library & Archive expanding and to welcoming everyone who wishes to look at this reference collection in the library.”
The Folklore Library & Archive would love to hear from anyone who would like to be involved with this project, for which there are volunteering opportunities, and also from anyone who has materials that they think might be of interest which can be added to the collection – either physically or through digitisation. You can enquire in Crediton Library or email the Folklore Library & Archive at [email protected]
The Folklore Library & Archive website can be found at www.folklorelibrary.com
The transition of material onto the shelves at Crediton Library is ongoing and the website is being constantly updated.