110 Kroeber Hall
University of California Berkeley, CA 94720

TBD & by appointment 

(510) 643-7934

Leah Simon

U.C. Berkeley's Folklore Archive contains more than 600,000 items of folklore from around the world, organized in alphabetical order by country or geographical area, and then catalogued according to genre. The Archive houses items from almost two hundred countries, though the bulk of material is Anglo-American. Genres include blason populaire, counting-out rhymes, jokes, folk beliefs, dance, drama, folkspeech, games, legends, mnemonic devices, songs and song parodies. Special classifications include religious lore, family lore, and scout lore.

For each item of folklore, the name, age, occupation, and ethnic background of the informant are listed with a brief exegesis including the context in which the item is used, the circumstances of collection, the informant's explanation of the item and its meaning, and interpretation and analysis by the collector.

This is a non-circulating archive. Researchers are welcome to work on the premises during regular hours or by appointment.

Procedure for Use

Refer to the archive index to find the file number of the material needed. An archivist will pull the file for you. Please ask for assistance.

To Contribute

All non-English items should be presented both in the original script (if applicable) and in romanized transliteration. Word-by-word translation is crucial and should precede a translation written to correspond to English syntax. A clear explication of meaning, contextual information, and details about informants are extremely important as well. Please ask for collecting guidelines and sample entries.