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A Boatload of Songs About Noah’s Ark

The tale of Noah and the ark is one of the Bible’s perennially  popular  stories.  Children’s books, novels, comics, TV shows, and even movie novelizations are forever emerging onto the scene, depicting the story of the great flood. There’s even a motion picture out right now, featuring a modern take on the story. It may not […]

Folklorist Harry Oster’s collection of 1950s-60s folk music ranges from English folksongs in Iowa to Delta country blues

During a recent trip to the University of Iowa at the invitation of the Digital Studio for Public Arts and Humanities, I took the opportunity to show off some of our recently digitized recordings made by folklorist Harry Oster (1923-2001), who was on the English faculty at Iowa for 30 years. The American Folklife Center […]

Narratives of Women and Girls: the Center for Applied Linguistics Collection

For Women’s History Month, I thought it would be interesting to highlight some examples of interviews with women and girls in American English Dialects: The Center for Applied Linguistics Collection. This online collection is one of several dialect collections in the American Folklife Center archive. With a little digging, such collections can yield exciting examples of […]

Collection highlight: Wisconsin recordings from the 1940s

Helene Stratman-Thomas (1896–1973) emerges from this cavalcade of (Wisconsin folk music) scholarship as neither the first, nor the most persistent, nor the most prolific, nor the most expert collector of Wisconsin’s musical folklore, but she is, and perhaps always will be, the most significant. — James Leary, The Wisconsin Patchwork: A Companion to the Radio […]

Celebrating Women’s History: Still Standing – The Story of Tammy Duckworth

The following is a guest post by Lisa A. Taylor, liaison specialist with the Veterans History Project. A version of this blog post ran on the Library of Congress Blog on March 13th. Disabled combat hero, veterans’ advocate, politician, woman. U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is many things, most strikingly, a person who has not […]

Highlighting Ozark Collections for a Distinguished Guest

This week, I had the distinct honor and pleasure of highlighting the American Folklife Center’s Ozark Mountain collections, especially those from the state of Missouri, in a lecture and audio-visual presentation in the Library’s Whittall Pavilion. It was a great opportunity to share our collections with an audience of interested folks who all have firsthand […]

Preserving America’s Voices: Who’s Listening?

Note: This blog post is reprinted from Library of Congress Magazine, for which it was written by Stephen Winick and edited by Audrey Fischer.  The full issue contains two more articles about the American Folklife Center’s oral-history collections.  You can download it here. Preserving America’s Voices: Who’s Listening? How Can We Use Oral-History Collections to […]

“The Fox”: A Song for Pete and Capitol Hill

Last month, there were several sightings of a fox on and around the grounds of the Capitol complex, where the Library of Congress is located.  Also, sadly, the wonderful American folksinger Pete Seeger died, and I wrote about him for this blog.  These two events both made me think of the old folksong often just […]

Serving the Armed Forces: The USO

The following is a guest post by Rachel Telford, Program Specialist for the Veterans History Project. Founded 73 years ago this month, the United Service Organizations (USO) was created at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide entertainment and recreation to members of the military. Six civilian service organizations – the Salvation Army, […]