Jennifer Donaldson Milewski Collection of Filk Research Material

Identifier: MUSIC-029

Collection Overview

Content Description

This collection contains material related to the genre of "filk", a music culture characterized by songwriting based on science fiction, fantasy and horror themes. The collection includes Jennifer Donaldson Milewski's field recordings, convention programs, filk songbooks, notes, thesis drafts, correspondence, and interviews. Of particular note are Milewski's interviews with big-name filkers such as Joey Shoji, Kathy Mar, Leslie Fish and Cynthia McQuillen.


  • 1979 - 1993


2 Cubic Feet (8 boxes)

Biographical / Historical

Jennifer Donaldson Milewski's interest in filk began in the late 1980s and early 1990s. A science fiction fan and "filker", Milewski studied social anthropology, folklore and mythology at Harvard University. She did exploratory fieldwork relating to filk during her junior year. A Ford Foundation grant afforded Milewski the opportunity to conduct interviews and record concerts at various science fiction conventions. The contents of this collection come from this period in Milewski's college career.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Please note that audio cassettes must be digitized before use.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers using this collection assume full responsibility for conforming to the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright, and are responsible for securing permissions necessary for publication or reproduction.

Language of Materials



This collection is separated into 3 series: Filk Conventions and Events, Filk Songbooks, and Notes and Correspondence.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Jennifer Donaldson Milewski, 2020.
Guide to the Jennifer Donaldson Milewski Collection of Filk Research Materials
Compiled by Emily DiLeo and Frances Zengel
Language of description
Script of description