The Father of American Folklore

The Father of American Folklore

IU Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology

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Dr. Richard Dorson, often cited as the father of American folklore, founded the IU Folklore Institute in 1963. Your gift to the Richard Dorson Memorial Fund ensures the study of folklore continues as Dorson intended.

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Richard Dorson came to Bloomington in 1956 to take charge of the emerging Folklore Institute. An Americanist steeped in historical approaches, he channeled his vast store of energy and savvy to establish the Folklore Institute, in 1965, as an academic department granting Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate degrees.

Today the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology consists of both the Folklore Institute and the Ethnomusicology Institute, which carry out the teaching mission at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and the Special Projects unit, which promotes and organizes a variety of research and outreach activities.

The Richard Dorson Memorial Fund endowment was established to honor Dr. Dorson's legacy at Indiana University and in the field of folklore research. Your gift to this endowment will allow the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology to continue its historic study of folklore.

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The Indiana University Foundation solicits tax-deductible private contributions for the benefit of Indiana University and is registered to solicit charitable contributions in all states requiring registration. For our full disclosure statement, see

Gifts will be administered by the Indiana University Foundation, which represents Indiana University, including the IU School of Medicine. This is not a gift to Indiana University Health, and the Indiana University Health Foundation will not play a role in administering these accounts.