All About the Frank & Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center


The Frank & Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center is a museum and educational building designed to display the region’s history and provide an intellectual way to study human culture and traditional concepts. The Center houses the folklore archives, the Phyllis W. Moore West Virginia Authors archives, and the Patty Looman collection. The award-winning, repurposed historic barn is located on Fairmont State’s campus along Squibb Wilson Boulevard. The Mission Statement: The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on the campus of Fairmont State University is dedicated to the identification, preservation, and perpetuation of our region’s rich cultural heritage through academic studies, educational programs, festivals and performances, and publications.

The Frank & Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center is a section of the College of Liberal Arts. It also houses Fairmont State University’s undergraduate folklore and museum studies programs. Two minors are offered through the Folklife Center: Folklore Studies and Museum Studies. The Folklore Studies minor focuses on the tradition and history of various cultures. In the context of higher education, folklore here is considered the study of human expression handed down through the generations. The Museum Studies minor prepares students for many aspects of museum management, like collection management, exhibit construction, and being able to share knowledge regarding the displays. Some of the classes offered here include Regional Cultural Geography and History, The Art of Storytelling, Museum Education and Interpretation, and many other options.

The staff and organizers also take great pleasure in serving the University and the broader community through scholarship, publications, workshops, exhibitions, and outreach events. “Events preserve and showcase the traditions and cultures of our region,” says Dr. Lydia Warren, Director of the Folklife Center. Despite its name, the Folklife Center is more than just a historical preservation building. Students, staff, and the community can host meetings or events in the classrooms and presentation spaces, like the Y’all Means All event hosted by Falcons with Pride and Fairmont PFLAG on Tuesday, April 4th. Research assistance is also available with anything related to the archives, and resources like the costume closet and the cassette collection are open for study. Students can acquire work-study opportunities and seek the representation of their culture. The Folklife staff work hard to ensure all the cultures of Fairmont State University are represented so that all students and staff can feel at home on campus. “The Frank & Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center is a spot of personality on campus,” says Dr. Warren, “A distinct reminder of who we are and a display of the inclusivity of Fairmont State University.”

The Folklife Center is open from 10 am to 4 pm Monday through Thursday and open for appointments and reservations Friday through Sunday. Call (304) 367-4403 or email [email protected] to contact a representative. Follow them on Facebook at