Alan Dundes (September 8, 1934-March 30, 2005) was a professor of folklore at the University of California, Berkeley. His scholarship and passion for the field played a significant role in establishing the study of folklore as an academic discipline. He wrote 12 books, both academic and popular, and edited or co-wrote two dozen more.
As an undergraduate Alan Dundes studied English at Yale University. He attended Indiana University for his graduate work, where he received a doctorate in folklore. Dundes began his academic career at the University of Kansas before moving west to assume a position in the anthropology department at UC Berkeley. Dundes taught folklore at UC Berkeley for 42 years, where is remained an active scholar and teacher until his death.
Alan Dundes was a passionate book collector. During his career he amassed a multi-lingual collection of over 9,000 items broadly covering the field of folklore, including among other topics folk tales, jokes, anthropology, Freudian psychology, and cultural studies. In 2011 Alan Dundes’ family donated his extensive book collection to the University of Southern California. The book collection is now named The Alan Dundes Folkloristics Collection. As part of this donation, the library received rare folklore publications along with copies of articles written by Alan Dundes. These materials, now housed in USC Libraries Special Collections, provide a resource to USC students and faculty who wish to learn about Dr. Dundes and his contributions to folklore scholarship.