Pic of the Week: AFC Celebrates 40

Nakotah LaRance gives a hoop dance performance during AFC's 40th anniversary celebration. Photo by Amanda Reynolds.

Nakotah LaRance gives a hoop dance performance during AFC’s 40th anniversary celebration. Photo by Amanda Reynolds.

The American Folklife Center (AFC) hosted a reception in celebration of its 40th anniversary last Wednesday. Special guests giving remarks were David Mao, acting Librarian of Congress; Kurt Dewhurst, chairman of AFC’s board of trustees; Betsy Peterson, AFC’s current director; and David Isay, founder of StoryCorps.

The reception included a special performance by Nakotah LaRance, the 2015 and 2016 World Hoop Dance Champion. LaRance comes from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, New Mexico. He is well known as an actor for roles in Steven Spielberg’s “Into the West” miniseries, HBO’s “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” and AMC’s “Longmire.” He was also a principal dancer in the Cirque Du Soleil show “Totem” and is currently the master instructor for the Pueblo of Pojoaque Youth Hoop Dancers.

The American Folklife Center was created by Public Law 94-201, The American Folklife Preservation Act, which was signed into law by President Gerald Ford on Jan. 2, 1976. The law placed AFC at the Library of Congress to “preserve and present American Folklife” through programs of research, documentation, archival preservation, reference service, live performance, exhibition, public programs and training. The center includes the American Folklife Center Archive of Folk Culture, which was established in 1928 and has become one of the largest collections of ethnographic material from the U.S. and around the world. The archive includes about 6 million sound recordings, manuscripts, photographs and other items — 5 million of which have been acquired in the last 40 years.

More information on AFC’s 40th anniversary programming and plans can be found here.

America’s Public Libraries

(The following is the cover story from the May/June 2016 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM, written by Yvonne Dooley, reference librarian in the Science, Technology and Business Division and president of the D.C. Library Association. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) More popular than ever, public libraries are changing to meet […]

Pic of the Week: Music Makers

On Tuesday, the Library hosted the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation for its annual “We Write the Songs” concert, featuring the songwriters performing and telling the stories behind their own music. Featured performances were by Brian McKnight, Monica, Brett James, MoZella, Priscilla Renea, Randy Goodrum, Desmond Child and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon.   […]

Pic of the Week: American Artists View WWI

On Saturday, the Library of Congress opened the new exhibition, “World War I: American Artists View the Great War,” highlighting how American artists galvanized public interest in World War I. Drawn from the Library’s Prints and Photographs Collections, the works on display reflect the focus of wartime art on patriotic and propaganda messages—by government-supported as well as independent […]

Happy 180th Birthday to Col. Nathan W. Daniels

(The following is written by Michelle Krowl, a historian in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division.) On May 10, 1867 Colonel Nathan W. Daniels celebrated his 31st birthday. He noted in his diary, “Learned to day that I had been recommended and nominated by Chief Justice Chase as Register under the Bankrupt Act for the […]

Trending: The Mother of Mother’s Day

(The following article by Audrey Fischer is from the May/June 2016 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM, soon to be available here. In the meantime, make sure to catch up on all our editions!) One West Virginia daughter succeeded in memorializing mothers everywhere. Greeting cards, flowers, candy, dining out—Mother’s Day is big business. Sales […]

New Online: Walt Whitman, Heritage Months & Blogs

(The following is a guest post by William Kellum, manager in the Library’s Web Services Division.) DIGITIZED COLLECTIONS New online this month are two manuscript collections featuring the poet Walt Whitman. The Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of Walt Whitman papers consists of approximately 3,000 items spanning the period 1842-1937. Most of the items date from 1855, […]

Library in the News: April 2016 Edition

April headlines covered a wide range of stories about the Library of Congress. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera continues to make the news, especially with the April announcement of his returning for a second term. Herrera told Sara Catania of Reuters that poetry fans provided an “inspiration tsunami” during his first year in which he […]