The mission of the ISSOT is to create and maintain an open, democratic network for studying the world’s oral traditions. The Society is essentially a virtual network, operating within the “cloud” and offering free-of-charge access, membership, and interactive exchange to everyone, regardless of physical location or affiliation. It is sponsored by the Center for Studies in Oral Tradition at the University of Missouri in the United States. To take advantage of the ISSOT platform, all that is necessary is an Internet connection and a browser.


To join the ISSOT, please complete a questionnaire. Your profile will be entered into a data-base to facilitate contact among members with related interests. We aim to foster individual collaborations as well as (web-connected) working groups.

Discussion platform

As each new issue of our journal Oral Tradition is published, we will install a link leading to an ISSOT discussion associated with the contents of that particular issue.


The ISSOT will offer online storage and informal publication of primary and secondary materials related to the study of oral traditions. For fieldworkers, this will amount to secondary, backup storage of audio, video, photographic, and other items; the sole requirement will be the fieldworker’s willingness to contribute a short contextual explanation and to allow open access for pedagogical and research-linked purposes. Secondary materials, such as unpublished conference papers or working documents, may also be uploaded to the eArchive under the same agreement.

Special features

The ISSOT will sponsor occasional Internet conferences and “webinars” on subjects of interest to the membership. These events will be eligible for video capture and archiving.

Easy access to CSOT projects

The site will also offer easy, direct access to several CSOT initiatives:

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