Edward D. “Sandy” Ives (1925–2009), was a renowned pioneer in the field of American Folklore and Oral History. He founded and served as Director of the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History (NAFOH) and the Northeast Folklore Society. In 1991, Dr. Ives combined these entities, creating the Maine Folklife Center.
Dr. Ives began collecting folksongs and folktales about Maine and the Maritimes shortly after joining the faculty of the University of Maine in 1955. During his 44-year career at UMaine, Dr. Ives utilized an experiential learning pedagogy, providing opportunities for students to conduct fieldwork in folklore and oral history. Student fieldwork, as well as Dr. Ives own research, comprise a majority of NAFOH holdings described as “perhaps the finest regional archive of its kind,” by the Council of Library and Information Resources in Alexandria, Virginia.
In 2011, original NAFOH materials were sold by the University of Maine to the Library of Congress for long-term preservation. Backup and digital copies of these materials, in addition to materials accessioned by Maine Folklife Center after 2011 were transferred to Fogler Library Special Collections in 2016. Work to provide online access to the digitized collection is ongoing.