The Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives (BMUFA) in the Kule Folklore Centre is the largest North American repository of Ukrainian and Canadian-Ukrainian folklore materials. It is open to students, scholars, and the general public. It is used in teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses related to degree programs in Ukrainian Folklore. It is also used by outside researchers for studies related to Ukrainian and Canadian folklore, and as a resource for continuing community outreach projects and publications.
The Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives studies, documents, acquires, and preserves Ukrainian folklore in Ukraine, Canada, and around the world as it changes over time, and makes it available to researchers and the public.
The Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives strives to become the premier resource that documents cultural experiences of Ukrainians in Ukraine, Canada and other diaspora communities, accessible to all and integral to the understanding of Ukrainian diaspora culture in general, and the history and culture of the Prairie Provinces and Canada in particular.
The BMUFA is part of the Peter and Doris Kule Centre for Ukrainian and Canadian Folklore (Kule Folklore Centre) at the Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta.
What is Folklore?
Folklore is understood to be “expressive culture in small group settings.” Alternatively, it can be described as “vernacular culture” (local lived experience, with some distance from official elite culture and commercial pop culture) in past and particularly in contemporary contexts. Traditional folklore materials concentrate on peasant culture (low technology rural family-based farming in Ukrainian territories).
Folkloristics in Europe has tended to engage with issues of national/cultural identity. Particularly in its North American tradition, the scope of “folklore” has expanded in the past century to include the traditions of any (sub)community or societal stratum.
Folklorists tend to engage in “fieldwork,” engaging directly with people who live(d) the culture in question. Folklorists tend to work in the tradition of ethnography, and value archival collections.