This paper focuses on the recruitment of Alan Dundes to the University of California, Berkeley, and his work with William Bascom in founding the Folklore Program. Using primarily the William Bascom Papers and the Alan Dundes Papers housed in the Bancroft Library, the paper stresses the personal voice in the history of folklore, which draws on the spoken word of the participants in the making of academic history. Here, the term “spoken word” is used broadly to encompass correspondence, interviews, and personal reflections. The goal is to present the immediacy and the excitement of the participants who created this program in folklore.

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