Skip to main content

Oregon Folklife Program records

Identifier: Coll 378

Scope and Contents

Collection comprises 108 record storage cartons of media materials, administrative files and additional media, and exhibit materials created by the Oregon Folklife Program from 1988 to 2009. These materials have received minimal physical processing.

The collection is described in a legacy collection guide and box list; a legacy database of the OFP media archives; and a folder or item level inventory of administrative files and additional media. These guides are available in Special Collections & University Archives.

This guide presents the contents of the collection in three groups: project and program records, media archives and additional media, and administrative files.

Series 1. Program Records and Media includes media materials and administrative files associated with each program or project. The programs and projects are arranged in chronological order. The materials under each program or project are generally arranged by format, for example photographs, sound recordings, administrative files.

Series 2. Media Archives and Additional Media, includes subseries for all field audio recordings, all field video recordings, and all commercial recordings that were entered in the OFP media archives database. Items within these series that are related to programs and projects are also listed under the program in Series 1. Program Records and Media. This series also includes subseries for additional media, identified in the folder level inventory, that was not part of the OFP media archives and could not be associated with an OFP program or project. Exhibit materials includes additional exhibit panels and texts that could not be associated with an OFP program or project.

Series 3. Administrative Files, includes artist files, research files, subject files, accounting files, and computer data that was identified in the folder level inventory. Important subseries include Artist Files, which contains profiles of traditional artists and program application materials; and Tape Logs and Transcripts, which contains transcripts of interviews and logs of sound and video recordings.

The series descriptions below provide an overview of the scope and content of collection materials:

Oregon Folk Arts Program, Early Years, 1988-1992, contains primarily slides and negatives created or collected by professional folklorists Joanne Mulcahy, Janet Gilmour, Melinda Hoder, Marjorie Edens, and Nancy Nusz in the course of research, surveys of folk arts, and exhibitions. Mulcahy documented tamale making, Ghanaian music (Obo Addy), Laotian music and dance (Lao Deum), wax flower making (Eva Castellanoz), Southeast Asian silver work, wooden toys, graffiti, the Siletz pow wow, carving, and sausage making. Gilmore documented maritime culture in Coos Bay and general folklife North Bend, contributing pictures of canning, model boats, knot tying, and rug braiding. Hoder documented folklife in Lane and Lincoln Counties and her photos include wood carvings, figurines, lace work, pysanky (Ukrainian egg decoration). Edens photographed wood figurines carved by Myrtle Ivy Bums Krouse of Grants Pass. Mrs. Nusz documented Klamath Indian cradleboards and other works of master artists of the early Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (TAAP). An additional series of slides document: folklife in the eastern Oregon communities of Imnaha, Enterprise, Wallowa Lake, Elgin, Baker, Haines, and Sumpter in 1989. Another series comprises copies of slides from the University of Oregon's Archives of Northwest Folklore and includes images of the Russian Old Believers from Woodburn and were taken in the late 1970s early 1980s.

Traditional Arts Apprenticeships Program, 1989-2008, contains color photographs, sound recordings of interviews with master traditional artists, commercial sound recordings, artifacts and print materials documenting 110 master artists and 130 apprentices representing Native American, African, Asian/Pacific, European, Latino, South American, Mid-Eastern, South Asian, Slavic and other traditions.

Three Underserved Communities, 1992-1994, contains photographs, student magazines, and videos documenting Lincoln County's maritime community and Hermiston's Mexican American community. The documentation was created by community researchers and used to create two community-based exhibits: "Maritime Folklife of Lincoln County" and "Celebrating Traditions, Strengthening Community: Mexican American Folklife of Hermiston." Students from two school districts produced video documentaries, "I Feel Mexican Even Though I Was Born Here: Hermiston's Mexican American Traditional Arts and Culture" (10:50 mins) and "Lincoln County's Maritime Folklife" (17:07 mins).

Folk Arts in Education, 1992-2008, includes color slides, B&W and color photographs, two student magazines, two learning units, program notes and artifacts created by the Folk Arts in Education Project, which included fieldwork in designated communities, development of curriculum materials, and placement of artists in schools to enhance folk arts education. This collection begins with materials gathered by project coordinator Leila Childs between 1997 and 1998 to create student magazines and learning units for grades 3-6: Lao Traditions of Oregon; and Chinese Traditions of Oregon. Learning units include table-top exhibits with Oregon folk arts, magazines for students, audiovisual materials, and a Teacher's Guide.

Regional Arts Council Survey, 1993-1994, contains color slides, B&W and color prints/negatives, fieldnotes, a folklife festival feasibility study, newspaper clippings, program flyers and other ephemera collected during an eight-month folk arts survey in nine Oregon counties. Six regional arts councils assisted in identifying folk artists in their regions and developing folk arts programming. The binders are organized by the regional arts councils - Arts Council of Southern Oregon (ACSO) and Umpqua Valley Arts Association (UVAA); Lane Arts Council (LAC); and Linn-Benton Arts Council (LBAC) and Mid-Valley A(RACOCO). Images feature folk artists, artifacts, festivals, community events, and occupational arts from timbering communities. Chainsaw carving, blade painting, a variety wood carving and whittling, doll making, and musical performances. Folk arts of Linn and Benton Counties.

Four Communities Survey, 1994

Artquake, 1994

Events Grant, 1994-1995

Neighborhood Arts Program / Art in Libraries, 1994-2003

Masters of Ceremony, 1995-1996

Willamette Valley Project, 1999

Memory and Mourning, 1997

Traditional Arts of the Oregon Country, 1998-1999

Portland Oregon Visitors Association, 1999-2000

Voices of the Oregon Country, 1999-2000

Las Artes Tradicionales en La Communidad, 2000-2001

Community Events, circa 1991-2000

4-H Project / Portraits of Oregon, 2002-2003

Rural Libraries Project, 2002-2004

Multnomah County Portraits, 2004-2005

Asian Art Exhibit, 1996-1997

Florence Oral History, 1975-1977

Wintering In, 2996-2002

Oregon Tribes Project, 2005-2007

Creative Links, 1994


  • Creation: 1979-2009, (Bulk 1998-2009)
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1998 - 2009


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Oregon Historical Society. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.


135 linear feet (108 containers)

Language of Materials



The Oregon Folklife Program provided statewide services supporting folklife, traditional arts and artists, and folk arts in education in Oregon from 1988 to 2009, first at Lewis and Clark College, 1988-1993, and then the Oregon Historical Society, 1993-2009. This collection comprises the Oregon Folklife Program’s records, 1988-2009, including folklore fieldwork documentation in the form of photographs, sound recordings, and video recordings of cultural events and traditional arts and artists in urban and rural Oregon communities; program materials, including exhibitions and table-top exhibits, learning units for grades 3-6, radio and video productions on folklife in Oregon; and administrative files, including artist files, accounting files, research files, and digital files. Oregon Folklife Program programs and projects included apprenticeship programs for traditional arts, exhibits and community events, educational units and instructional materials, regional folk arts surveys, youth community documentation projects, and radio and video productions on folklife in Oregon. The collections include rich visual documentation of traditional arts and artists in cultural, occupational, and religious communities in Oregon, including refugee communities, immigrant communities, rural communities, and Native American communities.


Collection is organized into the following series: Series 1: Program Records and Media Subseries: Oregon Folk Arts Program, Early Years, 1988-1992Subseries: Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (TAAP), 1989-2001Subseries: Three Underserved Communities, 1992-1994Subseries: Folk Arts in Education, 1992-1998Subseries: Regional Arts Council Survey, 1993-1994Subseries: Four Communities Survey, 1994Subseries: Events Grant, 1994-1995Subseries: Neighborhood Arts Program, 1994-2003Subseries: Masters of Ceremony, 1995-1996Subseries: Willamette Valley Project, 1999Subseries: Memory and Mourning, 1997Subseries: Neighborhood Arts Program / Art in Libraries, 1994-2003Subseries: Traditional Arts of the Oregon Country, 1998-1999Subseries: Portland Oregon Visitors Association, 1999-2000Subseries: Voices of the Oregon Country, 1999-2000Subseries: Las Artes Tradicionales en La Communidad, 2000-2001Subseries: Creative Links, 1994Subseries: Rural Libraries Project, 2002-2004Subseries: Multnomah County Portraits, 2004-2005Subseries: Asian Art Exhibit, 1996-1997Subseries: Florence Oral History, 1975-1977Subseries: Wintering In, 1996-2002Subseries: Oregon Tribes Project, 2005-2007Subseries: Creative Links, 1994 Series 2: Media Archives and Additional Media Subseries: Field Sound RecordingsSubseries: Field Video RecordingsSubseries: Commercial RecordingsSubseries: Additional PhotographsSubseries: Additional Sound RecordingsSubseries: Additional Video RecordingsSubseries: Additional CD-R, DVD-RSubseries: Additional Exhibit Materials Series 3: Administarative Files and Data Subseries: Artits FilesSubseries: Tape Logs and TranscriptsSubseries: Artist Promotional MaterialsSubseries: Additional Administrative FilesSubseries: Additional DiskettesSubseries: Maps

Other Finding Aids

Printed inventories of media and records in Oregon Folklife Program collections are available in Special Collections & University Archives.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection is on loan from the Oregon Historical Society to University of Oregon Libraries Special Collections & University Archives.

Existence and Location of Copies

Selected photographs in this collection are available as digital image files in the archives and in the Northwest Folklife Digital Collection.

Guide to the Oregon Folklife Program Records 1979-2009
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by the Archives of Northwest Folklore.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
Publication of this finding aid was supported in whole or part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by Oregon State Library.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA