The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.


Collection Description

Folklore is an interdisciplinary field that touches upon many subjects taught at Penn and once was its own department. As it has evolved as its own discipline, it has moved from focusing on the study of objects, broadly defined, to an ethnological phenomenological approach. Materials with a literary orientation, written or oral tend to be collected in Van Pelt. Folk Art are in the Fine Arts Library. Ethnographic works are in the Museum Library.

Special Collections

The Folklore archive of the Department of Folklore and Folklife was transferred to the University Museum Archive when the department was disbanded. It is especially strong in music from the Caribbean and the Canadian Maritime.


Doing Research

Folklore/Folklife is ruthlessly interdisciplinary. As such it requires familiarity not only with the methods of several disciplines but also with their resources.