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Gigging it in the shire: information practices of Renaissance faire performers and artisans

Vikki C. Terrile (Kurt R. Schmeller Library, Queensborough Community College, Bayside, New York, USA)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 28 November 2022




The purpose of this study was to explore the information behaviors (IBs) of performers and artisan/vendors in American Renaissance faires. This research is exploratory in nature and seeks to discover how existing IB theories, including embodied information practices, can explain the information seeking and use of performers and artisan vendors working in American Renaissance faires.


This study used semi-structured qualitative interviews with three artisan/vendors and 12 performers at Renaissance faires to explore their IBs around the roles at the festivals. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed and analyzed from an exploratory framework, looking for how existing IB theories might explain the findings.


Although the participants in this study described information practices that were embodied and corporeal, they shared more experiences around the complex and fraught nature of information sharing within the Renaissance faire community. Information sharing prohibitions were related to power dynamics and the participants' roles as gig or contingent workers.


This was the first study to explore the IBs of Renaissance faire performers and artisan/vendors and as such, was exploratory in nature. The findings point to several areas for additional research.



Funding: Support for this project was provided by a PSC-CUNY Award, jointly funded by The Professional Staff Congress and The City University of New York.


Terrile, V.C. (2022), "Gigging it in the shire: information practices of Renaissance faire performers and artisans", Journal of Documentation, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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