Introducing the Idaho Folklife Collection
BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – The Folk and Traditional Arts program at the Idaho Commission on the Arts has partnered with Special Collections and Archives at Boise State University’s Albertsons Library to create the Idaho Folklife Collection.
Generated through over 40 years of folklore fieldwork and programs conducted by the Arts Commission, the Idaho Folklife Collection gathers audio recordings, transcriptions, photo and video documentation, ephemera, and related material objects that document the traditional culture, beliefs, occupational skills, and expressive traditions of people across Idaho, from long-settled to new immigrant communities. Over time, the collection will be inventoried and moved to Boise State.Albertsons Library’s Special Collections and Archives will serve as the ongoing repository for the collection.
The goal of the partnership between Albertsons Library’s Special Collections and Archives and the Arts Commission’s Traditional Arts program is to create a publicly accessible archive of past, current, and future Idaho folk arts and heritage. The Folklife Collection will be available to anyone from the public interested in viewing or studying the collection.
According to Cheryl Oestreicher, Head of Special Collections and Archives/Associate Professor at Albertsons Library, “Archives are for the public, and we are excited that together we can help make more of Idaho's rich heritage available to anyone interested in learning more about Idaho’s communities and traditions.”
Fieldwork material associated with Rosalie Sorrels, and work for the publication of the book Way Out in Idaho (Idaho Commission on the Arts, 1990), will be the first collection to be digitized, organized, and made publicly-accessible. Materials include sound recordings, photographs, notes, and other ephemera related to her time spent roaming Idaho, documenting folklife practitioners and songs related to the state.
“Our collaboration with Boise State’s Special Collection and Archives is contributing to a thriving arts community. I’m enthusiastic to return four decades of folklife documentation to the public – where it originated. Idaho is full of everyday people doing extraordinary things on behalf of their families, communities, occupations, and expressive interests. All the material in the Idaho Folklife Collection is a testament to that. It’s a major milestone that these historic and living traditions are now accessible,” shares Steven Hatcher, Folk and Traditional Arts Director at the Idaho Commission on the Arts.