The Institut für Volkskunde der Kommission für bayerische Landesgeschichte bei der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
Research at the Institut für Volkskunde (Institute for European Ethnology) focuses on the everyday culture of the Bavarian population at large with a historical as well as a contemporary perspective and with a regional emphasis. The institute as well as the present Bayerische Landesverein für Heimatpflege (Bavarian Association for Cultural Heritage) originated with the "Verein für Volkskunst und Volkskunde" (Association for Folk Art and Folkloristics). The latter was founded in 1902 in Munich and has been part of the Kommission für bayerische Landesgeschichte bei der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (Commission for Bavarian History at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities) since 1962. In Bavaria, it is the only extra-university research institution for European Ethnology.
The collections at the institute include material documenting historical folk culture in Bavaria. A wide range of topics connected to everyday life is attested by region-wide polls dating to the early twentieth century, such as the "Rundfrage des Vereins für Volkskunst und Volkskunde 1908" (Survey of the Association for Folk Art and Folkloristics) and the "Atlas der deutschen Volkskunde" (Atlas of German Folklore) dating to the 1920s and 30s. Substantial holdings of photos and slides as well as a card index on image sources span several subject matters. The "Kartei zur historischen Volkskultur" (Index of historical folk culture in Bavaria) consists of transcripts from council and court records regarding the everyday life during the early modern period in Altbayern (the former Electorate of Bavaria) and Franconia. In addition, there are special collections such as the "Archiv für Hausforschung" (Archive for Ethologically Oriented Rural Building Research), which contains plans and drawings, photos and complementary documents concerning rural architecture in Bavaria from the early modern period onwards. The "Volksmusikarchiv" (Collection of Folk Song and Traditional Music) holds manuscripts of songs and scores as well as prints from the late eighteenth century onwards, sound recording devices and other documents regarding popular musical culture. Somewhat less extensive records exist on votive tablets and pilgrimage traditions. In the decedent estates of scholars may be found records of topics such as itinerant workers, servants' labour markets, communal ovens, Mothering Sunday, Faschingshochzeiten (carnival weddings) or Trachtenerneuerung (renewal of traditional costumes).
One of the current research projects is the edition of the "Stubenberger Handschriften" (owned by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, i.e. the Bavarian State Library), the most substantial compilation of song lyrics and other texts originating in Altbayern during the late eighteenth century. The publication (starting in 2012) is fundamental for further studies concerning interdisciplinary popular culture, in particular for the ethnological research regarding folksongs and folk piety. Additional analyses focus on the rural consumer culture of the nineteenth century, using the case study of Oberammergau, as well as on the transformation of traditional culture.
The Institut für Volkskunde maintains a special library the contents of which are well recorded and open to the public. The institute has also published, beyond exemplary studies and sources, the "Bayerische Jahrbuch für Volkskunde" (Bavarian Yearbook for European Ethnology) since 1950, which constitutes a forum for publications of contributions to historical and contemporary research in popular culture as well as for methodological and theoretical discussions. The yearbook also includes the most comprehensive review section of all German-language scholarly trade journals and is, therefore, of central discursive importance for the field of cultural anthropology / European Ethnology.
The Institut für Volkskunde is subordinate to the Kommission für bayerische Landesgeschichte bei der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (Commission for Bavarian History at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities).
The Archiv für Hausforschung
- Everyday Culture in Bavaria in the early twentieth century: The “survey” of the Bayerischer Verein für Volkskunst und Volkskunde, 1908/09
- Inheriting Culture. Bavaria’s intangible cultural heritage list
Institut für Volkskunde
der Kommission für bayerische Landesgeschichte
bei der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
Barer Straße 13
Telephone: +49 (0)89/515561-3
Fax: +49 (0)89/515561-41