The Southwest Folklore Center was founded in 1979 upon the dissolution of the University of Arizona Folklore Committee. Since then it has served as an archive for folklore material. Its activities include actively researching and collecting information about Arizona's folk communities, generating outreach programs, and coordinating folk activities throughout the state.
The collection consists of the administrative records, financial records and correspondence of the Southwest Folklore Center and its coordinator, James S. Griffith. The collection also includes some administrative files of the University of Arizona Folklore Committee, the Southwest Folklore Center's predecessor body. Records include correspondence with other folklore agencies in Arizona and other states, as well as correspondence with foundations, endowments and other grant-funding agencies. Information acquired by Griffith concerning other folklore and folklife agencies and programs throughout the United States and Mexico are also included in the collection.