Jukka Talve

03.12.2004 11:39


The TKU Archives

The Archive of Folklore and Comparative Religion at the University of Turku (TKU) is maintained by the Department of Folkloristics, together with the Department of Comparative Religion and it was founded in 1964. The TKU Archive is characteristically an audio-visual research and teaching archive. Whereas the Folklore Archive of the Finnish Literature Society at Helsinki is the largest folklore archive in Finland and responsible of general collecting, The TKU Archive is the second largest tradition archive in the country, with valuable problem-oriented collections in several fields of folklore and religion.

The collections include material on religious traditions and folklore for example from Ingria (an area close to St. Petersburg, Russia) and India (mainly the Kerala area), the ethnomedicine of the Peruvian Amazon, the laments of the Baltic Finns and village projects in Lapland. Since early 1970's, information on religious groups in the Turku area has also been systematically collected. Due to the fieldwork-oriented production of research data, the majority of our students and researchers frequently utilise and add to the collections.

The collections consist of written material (copied material, manuscripts, transcriptions of taper recordings and various field notes), tape-recorded material (tapes, c-cassettes, minidisks) and visual material (videotapes, photographs, slides). The material has been filed annually in chronological accession order. The TKU Archive's extensive audio-visual materials have been catalogued using the means provided by data-base techniques. The system of computerised archiving is based on COLLCARD filing and a TRIP data retrieval program (TKU database), which are both developed by scholars at the Department and also for international training-course purposes. Database system has been used in an modified form by our foreign partners, such as the Regional Resources Centre for Folk Performing Arts at the M.G.M. College in Udupi, Karnataka, India.

Since 1989 all of the material is catalogued in TKU database and older material is catalogued in card-file. The project material mentioned before is also arranged by using the projects own classification system.

The TKU Archive serves mainly scholars and students. Material can also be copied for scientific use with a prior agreement. Archive also borrows technical equipment for the fieldwork purposes. There are cassette recorders, minidisk recorders, video-cameras, still-cameras and memo-scribers for transcription. In Studio scholars and students can study archived material and in Computer Room it is possible to write texts and use email or internet.