By: Molly Gullet
Work on The South West Ohio Folklore Collection has been underway for a little over two months now, and the organization of the collection is developing well. What began as five somewhat disheveled boxes filled with folkloric writings, pictures, cartoons and cassette tapes has finally been organized by genre.
The first step in the process of organizing the collection was sifting through what we now know to be over six hundred folklore papers and almost ninety audio materials. The papers were sorted according to the following 15 categories: Miscellaneous Proverbs, Miscellaneous Stories, Urban Legends, Ethnic, Specific Topic, Literary Analysis, Humor, Children’s Lore, Graffiti, Local Festivals and Events, Songs and Ballads, Uncanny, Food Lore and Remedies, Female and Gaming lore. The collected pieces were written as assignments given by professor emeritus Edgar Slotkin who is also the donor of the collection and because of this, common themes are found throughout.
Next, the pieces were categorized by genre and every paper and audio material was logged alphabetically by author’s name, title of the piece and date. In order to make research as simple as possible for future patrons, each paper was given a corresponding number (1 to 15) which correlates to the genre to which it belongs. Also, every paper was filed alphabetically and according to genre.
The next step of the creation of a web exhibit is now underway. It will feature various papers and illustrations from the collection as well as present explanations of what folklorists study and how they collect their information. I have already learned a great deal about what folklore is, how it manifests itself in everyday life and how scholars work to record and analyze the topic. I look forward to the upcoming months in which I’m sure I will expand my knowledge on the topic and uncover more interesting pieces to share from this diverse collection.
Featured is one paper with an amalgamation of various herb and flower lore.