This is the fifth in a series of six posts presenting AFC’s new traveling exhibit Treasures of the American Folklife Center Archive.
The exhibit takes the form of lightweight, colorful vinyl banners containing information about AFC, the Library of Congress, and (as the title suggests) some of the treasures found in our archive. Originally conceived of as part of our celebration of the Alan Lomax centennial, the banners were edited by Nancy Groce and me and designed by Stanley Bandong in the Library’s graphics unit. The fabrication was coordinated by Theadocia Austen.
We’re happy to say that these banners have toured with John Cohen and the Down Hill Strugglers to some wonderful venues, including the Newport Folk Festival and Brooklyn College. It’s another great way we can get the message out about the archival treasures here at the Library of Congress.
We’ll be putting the banners online, both so our blog readers can see them, and to go on the record with full credit for all the images, which didn’t fit in the banner format. Here, we’re pleased to present the fifth of the original six banners. To see what the banner itself looks like, see the picture to the right; just click to enlarge.
As before, we’re also providing the banner’s content, in a format that’s easier to see, below. The main text of the blog post is the text on the banner. The photo captions are additional information just for this blog.
American Folklife Center:
The World’s Largest Ethnographic Archive
The American Folklife Center (AFC) contains more than 3,000 collections consisting of more than 3,000,000 items. Approximately 150,000 of these are sound recordings, dating from 1890 to the present. Some collections are well known. Others contain yet-to-be discovered treasures! AFC is adding exciting new collections all the time.
Only a fraction of AFC’s vast holdings are available online. The staff is working to increase this amount, but privacy and copyright concerns mean that some material will never be available online. You can always contact AFC staff for information or visit us in Washington, D.C.
The AFC archive continues to document contemporary cultural traditions. The Occupational Folklife Project collects oral histories of workers in previously under-documented trades and occupations. AFC’s first “born digital” field project, it accepts submissions via an innovative online cataloging and digital file transfer system.
Judith Gray, AFC’s Native American specialist, rehouses fragile wax cylinders from the Frances Densmore Collection:
AFC Archive head Nicole Saylor does research in the stacks:
Recent Occupational Folklife Projects have documented “Iron Workers in the Upper Midwest”…
…and “Hairdressers and Beauty Shop Culture in America.”
Henrietta Yurchenco Collection
Yurchenco (1916-2007) was an American ethnomusicologist, folklorist, college professor, radio producer, and media host, and an indefatigable collector. She documented traditional music in Mexico, Ireland, Morocco, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, and the Georgia Sea Islands, creating a large and varied collection of ?eld recordings, papers, and photographs. A New Yorker, she was also a central figure in the Greenwich Village folk music revival.
Yurchenco in Mexico, 1942:
Yurchenco conducting fieldwork in Puerto Rico, 1969:
This exhibit was made possible by donations to the American Folklife Center Fund.