Photo by Phillip Mello
The American Folklife Center (AFC) is excited to be featuring “Working on the Waterfront,” a documentary display of photographs created by the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (NBFHC) in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The display, which is located in Room LJ-G53 on the ground floor of the Library of Congress’s Thomas Jefferson Building, is open to the public through October, 2019.
In 2016, the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center received a prestigious Archie Green Fellowship from the American Folklife Center to document workers on the New Bedford waterfront for AFC’s Occupational Folklife Project (OFP). The OFP is an ongoing research initiative to record the lives, careers, and experiences of contemporary workers in a wide range of trades and occupations throughout the United States.
Photo by Phillip Mello
Under the direction of NBFHC Executive Director Laura Orleans, funds from the competitive fellowship were used to hire researchers to record oral histories and photograph almost 60 workers involved in diverse fishing-related trades and occupations on the New Bedford waterfront. The resulting interviews and accompanying photographs have been added to the American Folklife Center archive, where they will be available to current and future researchers. Both interviews and photographs also will be available online through the Library’s website in the near future.
New Bedford photographer Phillip Mello worked with Ms. Orleans and her team to photograph the workers interviewed for the project, and the quality and beauty of his photographic portraits inspired the American Folklife Center to remount the display which was originally featured at the NBFHC in 2018. Mr. Mello, a respected photographer who was also interviewed about his job as general manager at Bergie’s Seafood, has been taking photographs of his fellow waterfront workers since 1975.
Self Portrait by Phillip Mello
The American Folklife Center is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The display is ADA accessible and free to the public.
In the Homegrown Plus series, we present Homegrown concerts that also had accompanying oral history interviews, placing both together in an easy-to-find blog post. (Find the whole series here!) We’re continuing the series with a concert and oral history with Grupo Rebolú Grupo Rebolú is an Afro-Colombian musical ensemble that includes some of the finest Colombian […]
Here at the AFC we are proud and excited to welcome a new round of summer interns! Two of them are supported through the American Folklife Center Internship Fund, made possible with a generous gift from the late Peter Bartis, while the third comes to us through a program at Utah State University. Our connection […]
In Part VI, we examined UNESCO’s 1972 World Heritage Convention and some of its underlying notions and approaches that have influenced the development of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) framework of today. In particular, I singled out its use of listing – namely, the World Heritage List – as a mechanism for preservation by drawing […]
Episode eight of the Folklife Today Podcast is ready for listening! Find it at this page on the Library’s website, or on iTunes, or with your usual podcatcher. Get your podcast here! In this episode. John Fenn and I discuss the work of Agnes Vanderburg, a Salish elder from Montana who began an outdoor school […]
June 6, 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the Allies’ famed invasion of the beaches of Normandy. In honor of this momentous occasion, the Veterans History Project (VHP) is publishing a special series of blog posts revealing hidden facets of D-Day illuminated within VHP’s collections. This post, a guest post by Library Technician Sam […]
The American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress is pleased to announce the 2019 recipients of its three competitive annual fellowships and awards programs: the Archie Green Fellowships; the Gerald E. and Corinne L. Parsons Fund Award; and the Blanton Owen Award. This year, these three awards went to eleven projects throughout the […]
June 6, 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the Allies’ famed invasion of the beaches of Normandy. In honor of this momentous occasion, the Veterans History Project (VHP) is publishing a special series of blog posts revealing hidden facets of D-Day illuminated within VHP’S collections. A point of view that is not represented in our […]
As we rejoice in the splendor of a three-day weekend, it is imperative that we acknowledge the true purpose of Memorial Day: to remember our national history and guiding principles through paying homage to those who laid down their lives for the ideals we hold dear. It’s a day to get to know these individuals, to […]
This week, AFC staff conducted a brief fieldwork session for our podcast, also called Folklife Today. Although the episode we’re working on in this photo won’t be ready for a while, you can listen to previous episodes at this link! On the podcast, we often create audio versions of our most popular blog posts, and […]