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“Roll On, Columbia”: Newly-discovered Woody Guthrie discs acquired by AFC

This is a guest post by AFC acquisitions coordinator, Todd Harvey. “Big things come in small packages,” they say. I coordinate acquisitions for the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and I can attest to the wisdom of this adage. Our archive accessions about a quarter-million items annually and they range from the […]

Collection Spotlight: William H. Dillard Wins Olympic Gold

London, summer, 1948. All eyes were on the first Olympic Games held since 1936. After years of war, representatives from around the world met in venues like the track field stadium, the swimming pool and the boxing ring, instead of on the battlefield. At Wembley Stadium, six runners crouched on the track for the finals […]

Frederick Douglass: “I Am A Man”

This blog post is the second of two about the abolitionist Frederick Douglass (celebrating his 200th birthday) and part of a series called “Hidden Folklorists,” which examines the folklore work of surprising people, including people better known for other pursuits. The first post, “Frederick Douglass: Free Folklorist,” is available at this link. The 1850s brought new […]

Take Note! Court Reporters and Captioners Transcribe Interviews for Veterans History Project

The following is a guest blog post by April Weiner, Foundation Manager at National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF). Veterans History Project (VHP) is very grateful for the long-time participation of the National Court Reporters Association and Foundation in their work to conduct and transcribe interviews.  While VHP does not require interviews to be transcribed, the […]

Edward Avery McIlhenny: Spicy Folklorist

This blog post about the naturalist, ornithologist, and hot sauce innovator E. A. McIlhenny is part of a series called “Hidden Folklorists,” which examines the folklore work of surprising people, including people better known for other pursuits. In preparing this post, I was greatly aided by Shane K. Bernard, the archivist at Avery Island in Louisiana. Edward Avery […]

Kumbaya: History of an Old Song

In honor of African American History Month, we thought we’d present a classic article from Folklife Center News. This one concerns the early history of the African American spiritual “Kumbaya,” also known by other titles such as “Kum Ba Yah,” “Come By Yuh,” and “Come By Here.”  In the years since this article was first published, […]

Frederick Douglass: Free Folklorist

This blog post about the abolitionist Frederick Douglass is part of a series called “Hidden Folklorists,” which examines the folklore work of surprising people, including people better known for other pursuits. This is part one of a two-part article, part two, “Frederick Douglass: ‘I Am a Man,’” can be found at the link. I have often […]

Botkin Lectures to Go!

The following is a guest post from AFC Folklife Specialist Nancy Groce. Botkin Lectures to Go! Learn More About Folklife, Ethnomusicology, and Oral History through the American Folklife Center’s Online Resources Have you always wanted to know more about folklore? Do you regret not taking that ethnomusicology course in college? Does finding out more about […]