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Collections documenting cultures in Brazil, the Sudan region, New Mexico and California are now richly described online

A handful of recently published online finding aids describing American Folklife Center collections provide detailed windows into collections documenting a range of traditions, from New Mexican Midwinter Masquerades to traditional music from the Sudan region. The following round-up draws heavily on descriptions created by the archivists who processed these amazing collections. Roxane Connick Carlisle Collection, […]

Q & A with Peter Winne, independent radio producer

Peter Winne is an independent radio producer based in Connecticut. Earlier this year he released an audio documentary on PRX that explores the fascinating history of a well-known American gospel song called, “Children, Go Where I Send Thee.” Peter’s research for the program drew him into the orbit of the American Folklife Center at the […]

Explore Your Community: A Poster for Teachers and Students, Part 3

This is part three of a three-part series presenting the lesson suggestions on the Explore Your Community Poster (PDF), designed for middle school and high school classrooms. Read Part One. Read Part Two. Mapping Your World All communities—whether urban, suburban, or rural—have their own cultural heritage. Did you ever explain your neighborhood to someone visiting […]

Explore Your Community: A Poster for Teachers and Students, Part 1

This is part one of a three-part series presenting the lesson suggestions on the Explore Your Community Poster (PDF), designed for middle school and high school classrooms. Read Part Two. Read Part Three. The American Folklife Center and the the Rural School and Community Trust collaborated on an educational poster designed for middle and high school […]

Folklife at the International Level: The Roots of Intangible Cultural Heritage Part I

Exploring how legal measures, particularly intellectual property (IP) protections, can be used to safeguard living cultural traditions, practices, and expressions has been a longstanding aim of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), as discussed so far in this series. Yet, there exists another international organization that has for several decades taken on similar questions of […]

American Folklife Center Announces 2018 Fellowships & Awards Recipients

The American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress is pleased to announce the 2018 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 Henry Reed Fund Award. This year, these three competitive awards went to nine researchers […]

“The Mermaid”: the Fascinating Tail Behind an Ancient Ballad

Mermaids are among folklore’s most beloved magical creatures, especially among children. Usually depicted as beautiful women with long, fishy tails, they’ve captured the imagination of many kids, and a few adults too. Most youngsters, and most parents, are aware of the sympathetic character from the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale The Little Mermaid, and its […]