January 2002

This is the first of a series of 'Transmissions' to affiliates of the Australian Folklore Network (AFN) and other interested parties. In it we are pleased to announce the formation of the AFN, in accordance with the aims and activities outlined below, and to invite recipients of this communication who have not already done so to affiliate.

What is the Australian Folklore Network?

The origins of the AFN lie in the ongoing concerns of Australian folklore collectors, researchers and performers about the continued absence of a formal institution for the collection, study and dissemination of Australian folklore, in all its many varieties. Australia's failure to develop such official institutions makes it almost unique in the world (New Zealand appears to be the only other country without such a facility). Consequently, a primary aim of the AFN is the establishment of a national folklore centre.

While pursuing this goal we aim to utilise new technology to help us keep in touch with each other, share ideas, information and news, maintain the National Register of Folklore Collections and generally promote Australian folklore throughout the community.

In this first Transmissions you will find information about the aims and activities of the AFN and also information on how to affiliate if you have not already done so.

Future issues will bring news of events, projects and progress of interest to affiliates and also feature the folklore activities of affiliated individuals and organisations.

Graham Seal - AFN Convenor

AFN Aims

Inaugural AFN Forum

The inaugural AFN Forum will be held at the National Folk Festival, Canberra, at Easter, 2002. Those attending will have the opportunity to discuss issues, initiatives and activities relating to Australian folklore. A report will be published in the following Transmissions.

National Register of Folklore Collections

Folklore is a broad and diverse field of human activity and expression. Many individuals and organisations in Australia have collected folklore, contributing to the preservation and understanding of our traditional culture. However, these collections are scattered across the country, sometimes in publicly accessible archives and libraries, sometimes in private hands, sometimes - who knows where?

The National Register of Folklore Collections builds on work begun in the early 1980s through the Australian Folk Trust's publication Australian Folk Resources and attempts to identify and locate major collections of Australian folklore. The idea is to develop an online register of these to enable researchers, performers, teachers, etc. to locate collections and to make contact with the individuals or organisations who hold them.

If you possess or know the whereabouts of any folklore collections, you can fill in and e-mail or mail the form included at the end of this Transmissions.

The Register is an initiative of the AFN and is maintained at the Australian Folklore Research Unit (AFRU) at Curtin University, Perth.

Affiliate With the AFN

A number of individuals and institutions have affiliated with the AFN including: WA Folklore Archive, Rob Willis, Graham Seal, Gwenda Davey, June Factor, Warren Fahey, Mark Gregory, Phyl Lobl

Individuals and organisations with an involvement or interest in these activities are invited to affiliate with the AFN. (See form at end of this newsletter).

Affiliation is no-charge and obligation-free, entitling the affiliate to receive the newsletter and take part in AFN activities and projects, including the Forum at the National Folk Festival, the National Register of Folklore Collections, any internet discussion groups and, optionally, have an URL included on the AFN website.

The AFN is convened and coordinated through the Folklore Australia Research Unit at Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA.