The archives at the Pennsylvania Center for Folklore manages more than ten distinct collections that include documents, photographs, sound and video recordings, and material objects, mainly pertaining to the folklore, folklife, and history of Pennsylvania. Some of these collections can be accessed on-site, while others are housed in different locations. Our core collections include:

Three decorated Easter eggs

The Pennsylvania Folk Arts Collection

A significant collection of written materials, audio/video media, slides, prints, computer files, and material objects that document traditional arts surveys, folk arts apprenticeships, and folklore exhibitions managed by the Pennsylvania Heritage Affairs Commission (1983-1995), the Institute for Cultural Partnerships (1995-2010), and Jump Street Harrisburg.

The Archive of Pennsylvania Folklore and Ethnography

Several thousand manuscripts, recordings, and photographs documenting field-collected folk traditions and cultural behavior; arranged by project and genre and cross-referenced for location, ethnicity, religion, tradition-bearer, and occupation.

Decorative piece woven from wheat  The Mac E. Barrick Collection of Folklore and Regional History

Manuscripts, documents, recordings, and photographs on central Pennsylvania folklore, local history, folk art, and architecture compiled by Dr. Mac Barrick (1933-1991), professor at Shippensburg University and other colleges, and author of German-American Folklore. Includes indexes for folk proverbs, beliefs, narratives, and speech.

Sue Samuelson Papers

Research and field notes of Dr. Sue Samuelson (1956-1991)—professor at Penn State Harrisburg, University of California-Berkeley, and Rutgers—relating to Pennsylvania foodways and festivals.

John Yetter Collection of Steelton Historical Material

Over 2,000 photographs and hundreds of publications on Steelton, Pennsylvania, an ethnic-industrial community in Dauphin County known for the first mill in the United States built expressly for the manufacture of steel. Compiled by John Yetter, Steelton resident, and author of Steelton, Pennsylvania: Stop, Look, Listen.

Edna Silberman Holocaust Oral History Project of the Greater Harrisburg Jewish Community

This collection consists of audio and video recordings of interviews with Holocaust survivors in the Harrisburg Jewish community. While copies of many of the video recordings are available in the Penn State Harrisburg Archives’ Center for Holocaust and Jewish Studies Collection or online through the United States Holocaust Museum (with additional materials here and a collection description here), the PACF maintains DVD copies of the video interviews as well as original audio tapes, transcripts, and other materials related to this project.

Bookshelf and various books from the center

  Folklore Book and Journal Collection

 The PACF has also maintains a small collection of books and journals useful to  folklore students and scholars. These titles are available for use in the Center, but are not available for loan.

 Records of the Penn State Folklore Studies Program (1972-1986)

 These records are not controlled by the PACF, but are held by the Eberly Family   Special Collections Library at University Park. More information for accessing them is available here.

The Center Archives are open to the public at the following times in the Fall 2019 term:

Opens Closes
Mon. 9 a.m. 3 p.m.
Tues. 9 a.m. 12 p.m.
Wed. 9 a.m. 12 p.m.
Thurs. 9 a.m. 12 p.m.
Fri. 9 a.m. 12 p.m.
Sat.- Sun. Closed

These hours continue until the week of December 13. The archives are closed on the following days: September 2 and November 24-30, 2019. The archives are also closed on any days of campus closure due to inclement weather. Before visiting the archives, please consult our Archive Use Policy and Agreement. For more information, contact the archivist.

For driving directions, click on the Church Hall pin in the interactive map below to view in Google Maps.


Pennsylvania Center for Folklore, 205 Church Hall, Penn State Harrisburg