Office of the Registrar
General Information (2019/2020)
11.7 Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA)

  • Chair, Advisory Committee
  • Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences

An up-to-date personnel listing is available at

Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA) is Canada's foremost repository for recorded and collected items of Newfoundland and Labrador folklore, folklife, language, oral history and popular culture. Established in 1968, it is one of the oldest archives at Memorial University of Newfoundland. The Archive is an integral part of the teaching and research activities of the Department of Folklore at the graduate and undergraduate levels. It is a member of the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives, the Canadian Council of Archives, and the American Folklore Society.

The Archive contains diverse materials, donated by more than 12,000 contributors, covering topics such as custom and belief, childlore, material culture and work techniques, song, music, dance, tale, legend, personal experience narrative, poetry, riddles and conundrums, proverbs and foodways. Special holdings include the field notebooks of Maud Karpeles who compiled Folk Songs from Newfoundland (1971); E. R. Seary's collection of research materials on family names; the folklore collections of Herbert Halpert and John Widdowson; the extensive Newfoundland and Labrador song collections of Kenneth S. Goldstein and MacEdward Leach; Lawrence R. Smith's linguistic materials on Labrador Inuktitut and Southern Avalon dialect; 12,000 Canadian Broadcast Corporation recordings; the Lorne Russwurm international collection of country music; and Franco-NL materials from the Centre d'Études Franco-Terreneuviennes. Overall, the collection contains 40,000 audio tape recordings, 13,500 commercial recordings, 21,500 photographs, 2,000 printed documents, 16,000 manuscripts, 1000 video tape recordings, 96,000 Folklore survey cards, and 4500 questionnaire responses.

Further information can be obtained by writing Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive, Department of Folklore, ED-4038, G. A. Hickman Building, St. John's, NL Canada A1B 3X8, or by e-mail at, or by telephone at (709) 864-8401, or by fax at (709) 864-4718, or through the website at