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VHP: An Open Collection

Periodically, the Veterans History Project (VHP) sets aside a day for Library of Congress employees to preserve the stories of the veterans in their lives on-site, using VHP’s recording equipment. Whenever we announce the opportunity to participate in this way, our colleagues enthusiastically respond and quickly make appointments to bring in their spouses, parents, siblings […]

Memories of Alan Jabbour in the Field: Visiting the Hammons Family

This recollection is in memory of the Center’s founding director, Alan Jabbour, who died on January 13, 2017, and whose career and contributions are described in this blog post.  Today’s text and photographs are by Carl Fleischhauer, a retired American Folklife Center staff member and a colleague of Alan’s for 46 years. Alan Jabbour and […]

Caught My Eye: Nagra Field Recorder

Note: This is a guest post by John Fenn.  John is the new head of the Research and Programs section of the American Folklife Center. My first weeks here at the American Folklife Center have been a whirlwind of meetings, trainings, and orientations to all aspects of the Library of Congress. As I’ve wandered through […]

Nearly 300,000 Lomax documents now accessible online

This is a guest post by the American Folklife Center’s Alan Lomax curator Todd Harvey. Fans of folk music fire up your browsers! The second—and largest—phase of the Lomax family papers has just gone online at this link. This set of manuscripts joins ca. 25,000 items that went online last fall. Researchers now have access to nearly […]

Alan Jabbour 1942 – 2017

On behalf of the American Folklife Center, I’m very sad to pass on the news of the death of our founding director, Alan Jabbour. Alan was a folklorist, fiddler, fieldworker, and friend of the highest caliber, and he will be missed at AFC and around the world. AFC’s current director, Betsy Peterson, expressed the feelings […]

Dr. King Remembered

In remembrance of the Reverend Martin Luther King’s birthday, the Library of Congress and other federal agencies, will be closed on Monday, January 16th (to be faithful to the facts, the Reverend’s actual birthday is January 15, 1929). To commemorate the occasion, this blog draws from the American Folklife Center’s documentary collections to present selected […]

Who’s Afraid of Friday the Thirteenth?

Friday the 13th may be considered an unlucky day in some parts of Europe and in North America.   For some, the day can cause great anxiety, called paraskevidekatriaphobia, meaning fear of Friday the 13th. The idea that Friday the 13th is unlucky is not very old. It seems to have arisen in the 19th century. […]

Geraldine Niva Johnson: In Memoriam

Note: the following is a guest post by Carl Fleischhauer, a former staff member who participated in many of AFC’s field projects in the 1970s and 1980s.  This blog celebrates the life of Geraldine Niva Johnson, who passed away on November 16, 2016. Gerri was a folklorist who specialized in women’s crafts, especially woven rag […]