Mission and Objectives

The Pennsylvania Center for Folklore is committed to studying, documenting, and interpreting historical and contemporary cultural traditions and communities, especially in Pennsylvania, in order to promote greater knowledge of the diverse range of folklore and folklife across the commonwealth, region, and nation.


  • Serve as a focal point for folklore and folklife research, teaching, and educational programming at Penn State University.
  • Sustain diverse, interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty from Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Humanities, as well as from across the campus and University.
  • Conduct and manage research projects on folklore and folklife.
  • Provide interested students with hands-on experience in archival management and qualitative field research.
  • Engage the public with folklore and local historical source materials held or managed by the Center.
  • Coordinate programs, collaborations, and exchanges with regional, national, and international organizations, scholars, and programs devoted to the study of folklore and folk cultures.