JSTOR just announced that they are rolling out a new program, Register & Read. The program will provide free full-text access to part of the JSTOR journal archive to individual scholars and researchers who aren’t affiliated with one of their participating institutions.
Many of the folklore papers that I blog about are from JSTOR (I have a tag for posts that mention those papers). I use them extensively when doing statistics and computer science research for my professional work. I know that Acid Free Pulp sometimes refers to JSTOR papers, too.
This follows on JSTOR’s recent decision to open up journal content published prior to 1923 in the United States, and prior to 1870 elsewhere. This period includes quite a lot of field studies and folklore collecting activity. The studies are subject to the bias of their time, of course, but if you are interested in folk belief or fairy tales to weave into your own fiction, this is still a rich source of inspiration.
I’m lucky enough to have JSTOR access through the San Francisco Public Library, and it’s been invaluable now that I’m not affiliated with a university or large research lab. So if I sound like a complete groupie, that’s because I am. If you ever have the need to access the scholarly literature, I can’t recommend them enough.