The truly great news that we have this issue is that two new folklore projects have been funded, both of which have relevance to play scholars. Julia Bishop has succeeded in obtaining a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Board to produce an on-line catalogue of the James Madison Carpenter Collection in the Library of Congress. Julia is to be congratulated for raising what is an undoubtedly significant sum of money for folklore research. The second project is for research into Irish mumming plays. This is a joint project whose partners are the Department of Irish Folkore, University College Dublin and the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. The project was launched at a lecture given by Alan Gailey in Enniskillen last December during the annual mumming festival. We hope to bring you further details of each of these projects in later issues.
The National Centre for English Cultural Tradition (NATCECT) at the University of Sheffield has a new Director, Joan Beal. Dr Beal, a dialectologist, will take-over from Professor John Widdowson in April. Despite the fact that the university chose a non-folklorist for the post, we understand that it remains committed to the teaching of folkore at NATCECT which will also continue to provide research opportunities for MA and PhD students.