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Collection of contemporary legends

Identifier: FA 07

Scope and Contents

Contains accounts of modern or urban legends. Items were collected by students in folklore classes at Brigham Young University, Utah State University, and the University of Utah from 1960 to 2020.

Digital collections (2015-2021) can be accessed at Most of the items are typewritten, but a few of the older items are handwritten. Many of the items contain a description of how, when, and where they were collected as well as explanations of social and cultural contexts.


  • 1960-2021

Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Wilson Folklore Archives must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.


3 boxes (1.5 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged in fourteen series: 1. Collection of automobile legends, 1966-2005. 2. Collection of animal legends, 1970-2005. 3. Collection of horror legends, 1965-2017. 4. Collection of accident legends, 1981-2007. 5. Collection of sex and scandal legends, 1982-2005. 6. Collection of crime legends, 1960-2007. 7. Collection of business and professional legends, 1978-2016. 8. Collection of government legends, 2004. 9. Collection of celebrity rumors and legends, 1965-2005. 10. Collection of academic legends, 1971-2005. 11. Collection of household legends, 1979-2005. 12. Collection of missionary legends, 1965-2017. 13. Collection of sacrament meeting legends, 1994-2005. 14. Collection of legends about missing swimmers, 1999-2005. 15. Collection of miscellaneous contemporary legends, 1983-2016.

Digital collections (2015-2021) can be accessed at Digital collections are organized at collection rather than series level.

Custodial History

Personal narratives in the collection were generally collected from informants by students in Brigham Young University folklore classes. These narratives were submitted for class, then submitted to the William A. Wilson Folklore Archives at Brigham Young University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; various folklore students; 1960-2017.


The folklore of university students, families, religious life, Polynesia and the Intermountain West (William A. Wilson Folklore Archives collection development policy IV.a.i.4, October 2009.)

Processing Information

Updated; Jayna Gottenbos for Ryan Lee, curator; 2018.

Register of the Collection of contemporary legends
In Progress
Jayna Gottenbos
2018 August 9
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States