Circumpolar Archives, Folklore, and Ethnography (CAFE)

Circumpolar Archives, Folklore, and Ethnography (CAFE)

CAFE is a thematic network for the University of the Arctic which focuses upon how archival collections, ethnographic fieldwork, and the study of folklore enrich the representation of and communication across the circumpolar region and its people.

The network will place an emphasis on how the digitization of manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings, and material objects is improving access to collections and making it possible to share collections with host communities. We will specifically examine the best practices of digital sharing and the ethical questions that these technologies pose.

The network is centered around the existing folklore, photographic, and ethnographic collections held by its founding members and will seek to involve community organizations, indigenous research institutes, local artists and media producers, and new academic partners to create a forum for discussing the role of these archives in cultural revival as well as collaborating to create innovative ways for archival materials to reach wider audiences.



  • Polar Libraries Colloquy


  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of the Highlands and Islands


  • UIT The Arctic University of Norway

Faroe Islands

  • University of the Faroe Islands

Russian Federation

  • Northern (Arctic) Federal University
  • Northeastern Federal University


  • University of Lapland
  • Turku University
  • Helsinki University


  • KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Umeå University


  • University of Iceland

United States of America

  • Berkeley College
  • University of Alaska - Fairbanks

If you are interested in joining the network, please send a paragraph describing your interests in circumpolar archival research, folklore, or ethnography, your address, and your email and website to the network co-ordinators.

Contact Details

Network Meetings

Turku Network meeting - 6 May 2018

At our first network meeting we discussed making a formal application to the UArctic to become a thematic network. We also identified future conferences and meetings where we could meet. Our application to the UArctic


Santiago de Compostela Network Meeting - 16 April 2019

Our 2019 meeting involved seven members of the network and discussed future funding initiatives and a plan to start a field school.  Minutes of meeting



Stockholm UArctic Council Meeting - 19 September 2019

On 19 September our network was approved officially at the UArctic Council Meeting in Stockholm.




UArctic Assembly, Portland Maine - 2 June 2023

After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, we held our first executive meeting in Portland


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