The American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress is inviting Americans participating in holidays at the end of October and early November – Halloween, All Souls Day, All Saints Day, Dia de los Muertos – to photograph hayrides, haunted houses, parades, trick-or-treating and other celebratory and commemorative activities to contribute to a new collection documenting contemporary folklife.
Between Oct. 22 and Nov. 5, AFC invites people to document in photographs how holiday celebrations are experienced by friends, family and community, then post photos to the photo-sharing site Flickr under a creative commons license with the tag #FolklifeHalloween2014.
AFC will explore the stream of photographs shared on Flickr and pick a selection of images to be archived. Of particular interest are images that capture the diversity of practices, people and places that are distinctive in their association with these holidays.
Selected images accessioned by the Library will be shared via the blog Folklife Today in a series of blog posts beginning in November 2014. Depending on the response to this project, AFC may continue using this method to collect documentation of other holidays and other topics.
The Library’s collections are full of documentarians and folklorists including Alan Lomax, Sidney Robertson Cowell and Dorothea Lange, whose work and contributions have inspired this project.
You can read more about this project in a recent blog post from the folklife center, which includes submission guidelines and some example photographs.