ISRAEL FOLKTALE ARCHIVES (IFA)

UNIVERSITY OF HAIFA

The Israel Folktale Archives (IFA) were established in 1955 by Prof. Dov Noy, under the auspices and framework of the Museum of Ethnology and Folklore of the Haifa Municipality.
As from 1983 the Archive is situated in the Faculty of Humanities, University of Haifa and Prof. Aliza Shenhar was its academic head. Since the beginning of 1995 Dr. Haya Bar-Itzhak is IFA's acting academic head.
IFA, which is the only archlve of its kind in Israel, serves as a center for knowledge and information and is open to researchers, students and the general public, concerned with the cultural heritage of the ethnic communities in Israel.
By the beginning of 1998, 21,000 folktales are preserved therein, which were narrated by story-tellers from various cummunities living in Israel - both Jewish (stemming from North Africa, Asia, Europe and America) and non-Jewish (Arabs: Moslems, Christians, Beduins, Druzes etc.).

Ethnic division

The followlng list includes only the 13 communities represented in IFA at the beginning of 1998, by more than 2% of the total material (21,000 folktales):

Poland 2,776
Morocco 2026
Israel, General 2025
Yemen 1,534
Iraq 1,384
Israel, Ashkenazi 914
Iran 788
Israel, Sephardi * 776
Tunisa 690
Iraqi Kurdistan 688
Ukraiane ** 739
Afghanistan 529
Roumania 532
*As a result of Prof. Dov Noy and Prof. Dan Ben-Amos's work on the Sephardi stories corpus, we divided the "Israel, Sephardi" stories into two different categories: stories whose origins are in the Ladino language culture (Israel, Sephardi- see) and stories whose origins are in the Arab Language culture (Israel, oriental- 275 stories).
**Following the break-up of the USSR, we also split, with Dr. Larisa Fialkova's help, the Ussr card into independent republics. Therefore Ukraine appears in 600 stories and Russia, which was left with only 280 stories, is not included in the list.

With the grough of the number of stories in the archive the concern for the preservation and protection of the material stored therein has increased. The computerization of the folktales, which is now under process, answers the need for their physical preservation as most of them are written in manuscript-form. It fulfills also the scientific research requirements; Speedy access and retrieval of the material.

For further informatlon you can look at http://research.haifa.ac.il/~folklore/ifa.htm
or call IFA's coordinator, Edna Hechal edna@asai.haifa.ac.il
Tel. +972-4-8240726
Fax. +972-4-8249721
University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 319O5, ISRAEL.

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