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2016 Mummers Play Video

The cast after the performance of the 2016 American Folklife Center Mummers at the Library of Congress Holiday Party in the Great Hall of the Jefferson Building. Front row: Captain Acquisition (David Brunton), Doctor Dover (Thea Austen), Processing Pro (Hope O’Keefe), Linear Feet (Valda Morris), and Curly Toes (Jennifer Cutting). Second row: Guitarist (Maya Lerman), Processing Saint George (Sarah Lerner), and Bishop (Stephanie Hall). In the back: Arrearage Squid (George Thuronyi), Metro Manager (Alicia Bartlett), and Father Christmas (Stephen Winick). Not in the photograph: Fiddler (Cathy Kerst).

The cast after the performance of the 2016 American Folklife Center Mummers at the Library of Congress Holiday Party in the Great Hall of the Jefferson Building. Front row: Captain Acquisition (David Brunton), Doctor Dover (Thea Austen), Processing Pro (Hope O’Keeffe), Linear Feet (Valda Morris), and Curly Toes (Jennifer Cutting). Second row: Guitarist (Maya Lerman), Processing Saint George (Sarah Lerner), and Bishop (Stephanie Hall). In the back: Arrearage Squid (George Thuronyi), Metro Manager (Alicia Bartlett), and Father Christmas (Stephen Winick). Not in the photograph: Fiddler (Cathy Kerst).

In our last post, we presented the text and photos of our 2016 mummers play, St. George and the Arrearage Monster: A Mumming in Process.  Below, see a video of the play, shot on AFC’s trusty tablet by Jonathan Gold, our audio engineer.  The acoustics in the Library’s Great Hall make it rather difficult to hear, but you can follow along with the text by opening our last post in another tab at this link!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the American Folklife Center!

St. George and the Arrearage Monster: A Mumming in Process

Note: Every year, in the week of the Library’s holiday party, staff members of the American Folklife Center put our research and performance skills into play, bringing collections to life in a dramatic performance that tours the halls of the Library of Congress.  Dressed in costumes that range from striking to silly, we sing, act, […]

Jon B. Lovelace Fellowship for the Study of the Alan Lomax Collection

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress invites qualified scholars to apply for a post-doctoral fellowship for advanced research based on the Alan Lomax Collection. The Lovelace Fellowship, established in 2015 for the study of the Alan Lomax Collection, pays tribute to the 60-year friendship between philanthropist Jon B. Lovelace and James […]

Finding aid to Eleanor Dickinson fieldwork collection now online

The following is a guest post from AFC processing archivist Marcia Segal. The remarkable audio and video recordings in the Eleanor Dickinson collection (AFC 1970/001), recorded circa 1969-1980, capture a moment in time in the years before the Internet and other technological developments changed the way people communicate. The immediacy of religious services, (uninterrupted by […]

Kentucky Bourbon, Millennial Tastes, and the Language of Folklore

The following is a guest blog post by Sarah Lerner, who is currently an intern at AFC. For the past forty years the American Folklife Center has devoted countless hours to the documentation and preservation of our nation’s traditional arts, cultural expressions, and oral histories. Our work is supported and presented though a vocabulary defined […]

AFC on The Thistle & Shamrock!

For the last two weekends of November, 2016, AFC was honored to be featured on The Thistle & Shamrock, the long-running and popular Celtic music show produced and hosted by Fiona Ritchie and distributed by NPR. If you want to hear the shows, follow the links to part 1 here and part 2 here. The […]

The Library of Congress Mannequin Challenge and Emerging Traditions

The Library of Congress has created its own Mannequin Challenge video featuring many staff members and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. The American Folklife Center’s Jennifer Cutting, Valda Morris, and Kelly Revak were among the participants. Here it is (it can also be found on Library of Congress YouTube at the link). The Mannequin Challenge […]

“Trench Blues”: An African American Song of World War I

This post is also featured on the Library of Congress Blog  as “World War I: ‘Trench Blues’ — An African American Song of the War.” Head over there to find more WWI stories from the Library’s collections honoring the centennial (2017-2018). In 1934, folklorist John Lomax and his nineteen-year-old son Alan went to southern Louisiana […]

Agnes Vanderburg’s Outdoor School for Traditional Indian Ways

“A lot of things come out of my chest,” Agnes Vanderburg explained in 1981 when folklorist Kay Young asked about her reasons for starting a school to pass on her knowledge of Salish Indian traditions (recording at the link, go to 1:50 minutes). She had felt frustrated at carrying knowledge that was disappearing as Indians […]

Vietnam War: Air Power

The following is a guest post by Andrew Huber, Liaison Specialist for the Veterans History Project (VHP). Operation Rolling Thunder, a sustained bombing campaign conducted by the United States and the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War, ended in November 1968. Beginning in 1965, the operation involved over 300,000 sorties conducted by the U.S. […]