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Caught My Eye: The Interesting Connection between VHP, 300-Year-Old House

As the National Security Agency’s (NSA) first female deputy director, Ann Caracristi was a trailblazer. I find it apropos that we pause to recognize her on this, the first day of Women’s History Month. That’s not the only reason Caracristi is on my mind today. Her name caught my eye in a Washington Post article […]

Collection Spotlight: George Washington Pearcy

The following is a guest post by Rachel Telford, archivist for the Veterans History Project. Some of the most harrowing stories the Veterans History Project holds are those of prisoners of war (POW). Illness, inhumane treatment, and lack of sufficient food were common, but as prisoners endured the seemingly unendurable, many recorded their experiences and […]

Ethiopian Christmas and the Ethiopian Calendar System

This is a guest blog post by Fentahun Tiruneh, Area Specialist for Ethiopia and Eritrea in the African and Middle Eastern Division at the Library of Congress. On January 7, 2016, Ethiopian Christians, particularly the followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox “Tewahedo” Church in Ethiopia, the United States, and elsewhere, celebrate Christmas. In Ethiopia, it is […]

Lomax Challenge Videos Part 2

Note: This post is part of series of blog posts celebrating the centennial of Alan Lomax’s birth, and also part of another series celebrating the 40th anniversary of AFC! In my last blog post, Jennifer Cutting and I explained the background to our Lomax Challenge showcase at last year’s Folk Alliance meeting. (We also presented the […]

Visual Art, Military History, and Sense of Place: Fort Ord and the Veterans History Project

A few days after his transfer from Fort Wolters, Texas to Fort Ord, California in 1943, Army Staff Sergeant Charles Otto Campbell wrote to his girlfriend, Phyllis, “This place is paradise, baby.” Campbell, known as Chuck to his friends and family, was awestruck by the “almost unbelievable weather” at Fort Ord, as well as by […]

Lomax Challenge Videos Part 1

Note: This post was co-written with AFC Folklife Specialist Jennifer Cutting. It is part of series of blog posts celebrating the centennial of Alan Lomax’s birth, and also part of another series celebrating the 40th anniversary of AFC!    Part Two of this series of posts is now available, featuring videos of contemporary artists performing French […]

Black History Personified: Alyce L. Dixon

She lived to be 108. That, alone, is awe-inspiring, but there was so much more to Alyce Lillian Dixon than just birthdays. Hers was a remarkable life—one most worthy of highlighting as we begin Black History Month. Though I had heard stories about the spry legend, born in Boston but living just a short distance […]

Hundreds of new terms added to the Ethnographic Thesaurus

This is a guest post by Catherine H. Kerst, an American Folklife Center cataloger who oversees the American Folklore Society Ethnographic Thesaurus. In January 2016, a new version (2.2) of the American Folklore Society Ethnographic Thesaurus was posted to the Library of Congress’s linked data site. With this update, we added hundreds of subject terms, and […]

Unpacking the collection of a ’60s New York City folk music stalwart

This is a guest post by Maya Lerman, processing archivist at the American Folklife Center. She will be writing occasional guest posts as she makes discoveries during the processing of the Izzy Young Collection. In November 2015 the American Folklife Center acquired Izzy Young’s collection, including its rich manuscripts, journals, scrapbooks, photographs, and recordings. Israel Goodman […]

Celebrate AFC’s 40th with Photos of “MyTradition”

Note: This is part of a series of blog posts about the 40th anniversary of the American Folklife Center. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the American Folklife Center and its congressional mandate to “preserve and present American folklife,” we’re inviting people to share photos of their own folklife traditions. Do you prepare a family […]