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What We Do

The Maine Folklife Center’s (MFC) mission is to research, teach about, preserve, publish, provide public programming, and engage communities in the vernacular arts and culture of Maine, New England, and the Maritime Provinces.



The Maine Folklife Center staff conducts research that documents Maine traditional culture and provides research opportunities for researchers and the public.  The Center is a platform from which field studies are launched—usually with the aid of outside funding from grants.  Much work has been done over the years in many small and large oral history and folklore fieldwork projects.

Public Folklore

The Maine Folklife Center conducted research and public programming with the annual American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront.  Specifically, the center produced the Folk and Traditional Arts area of the festival.  Check out the website of the American Folk Festival to learn more.

Community Engagement

The Center is a facility for students, scholars, and the general public.  The Maine Folklife Center continues to provide expertise to communities that aid communities for promotional and economic development activities.  The center also maintains the Maine Song and Story Sampler, creates digital exhibits, is active in promoting folklife events via facebook, and is always preparing for future public programming.


The Maine Folklife Center offers courses in folklore and oral history, Native American folklore, folklore of Maine and regional folklore. See the link “Folklore Minor” above for more details.


The Center publishes the Maine Folklife Newsletter which is sent to members twice a year.  They also publish Northeast Folklore, an annual monograph series that is sent to members and also sold to the public through the Center’s online marketplace, book sellers and other retailers.  The Center occasionally publishes other publications as well, such as British Ballads From Maine and Northeast Folklore: Essays in Honor of Edward D. Ives.