The Lithuanian Folklore Archives of the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore are the largest and the oldest Lithuanian folklore repository both in Lithuania and globally. It contains collections of the Lithuanian Science Society (working in 1907–1940 in Vilnius) and Lithuanian Folklore Archives (working in 1935–1939 in Kaunas), as well as materials from other sources. Folklore materials collected in the course of over two centuries are stored there. Currently, these include over 2 million manuscript folklore texts, 400 000 files of sound and video recordings, 50 000 photographs and negatives. Documents from the interwar Lithuanian Folklore Archives, personal manuscripts written by folklore collectors and researchers, and collection by dr. Jonas Balys (received from ALKA, Putnam, USA) are also kept here.
The beginning of the Folklore Archives is related to the activity of the Lithuanian Science Society (Lietuvių mokslo draugija – LMD in Lithuanian). The chairman of the Society dr. Jonas Basanavičius and other members encouraged people to gather folklore materials and tried to amass collections to be stored in one place. During the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century the Lithuanian Science Society collected 1269 manuscripts, including those compiled by famous Lithuanian writers and cultural figures, e.g. Jonas Basanavičius, Simonas Daukantas, Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė, Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas, Laurynas Ivinskis, Matas Slančiauskas, Jurgis Elisonas, Petras Vaičiūnas, Julius Janonis, etc.
In 2007, in order to make the manuscripts of the Lithuanian Science Society available for public use, the creation of the Lithuanian Folklore Archives’ Database was launched. In 2007-2009, this project was supported by the National Science and Studies Foundation. The structure of the database follows the requirements of the bibliographical systems and international standards of description of the archival data. The data is organized according to the requirements of the information system of the Lithuanian archival funds (LAFSIS). The major part of the manuscripts from the Lithuanian Science Society was digitalised in 2010–2012, in the course of the project „Lithuanian Folklore Archives: From Handwriting to Digital Broadcasting“, supported by the Research Council of Lithuania. In this database, one can see digitalized manuscripts and their descriptions. Through the links with the Database of Folklore Audio Recordings it is possible to hear the recordings from 1935–1939 made with phonograph.
While continuing the digitalisation of the folklore collections, sponsored by the European structural funds, more materials, including manuscripts from the Archives (LTR), sound recordings (magnetic tapes and cassettes – LTRF) and video (LTRV) recordings as well as photos of Jurgis Dovydaitis are added to this database. Most recently, the collection of Partisan Songs’ Audio Recordings was created.