This research guide provides an overview of state-sponsored traditional arts and folklife activity and materials in the Maryland Traditions Archives (MTA).
Housed in Special Collections at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery, the MTA is the repository of Maryland Traditions, the state folklife program administered by the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC). MTA collections are administered using a “shared stewardship” model, in which MTA staff collaborate with members of the communities represented within the collections (“source communities”) to share curatorial authority for the collections.
These collections are open to the public. MTA collections contain institutional records from the Maryland Folklife Program (1976-2000) and Maryland Traditions (2000-present), folklorist papers, and materials documenting and/or donated by practitioners of living cultural traditions. Materials are in a variety of paper, analog media, and digital formats.
Folklore is commonly defined as the body of material, in a variety of forms, that expresses a particular group's cultural traditions handed down by example or word of mouth. Those traditional expressions can include music, dance, oral history, legends, proverbs, superstitions, jokes, material culture, foodways, occupational culture, and more. The people who study folklore and folklife are folklorists. For more information, visit the American Folklore Society's Folklife Wiki.
Unprocessed collections without finding aids: Ashley Minner collection, Kathleen Beauchesne collection.