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Archive: October 2020 (6 Posts)

Portrait of Bessie Jones

Halloween Songs and Stories on the Folklife Today Podcast AND in No Depression!

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Time is getting short before Halloween, so we’re combining two announcements in this one blog post! First of all, as our readers may remember, we’ve been working with No Depression, The Journal of Roots Music, which is published by the nonprofit Freshgrass Foundation. They’re publishing a column called Roots in the Archive, featuring content from the …

Postcard showing a creature made of harvest fruits, a devil, a witch, and a black cat walking in single file holding jack o'lanterns on the end of sticks.

Devil Songs for Halloween

Posted by: Stephen Winick

In his book The Folk Songs of North America, in an introduction to one of the American Folklife Center's finest songs about the Devil, Alan Lomax wrote: Early America saw the Devil as a real and living personage. Rocks in New England were scarred by his hoofprints, as he carried off maidens, screaming and howling, over the hills, or came after the men who had sold their souls to him in return for money or success. […] A mountain woman tells of the last moments of her mean old husband…’I knowed he war goin’, because all the dogs from fur and nigh come around and howled. Hit wur a dark night. But plain as day, comin’ down yon side the mountain, through the bresh so thickety a butcher knife couldn’t cut hit, I seen the Devil a-comin’. He war ridin’ a coal-black cart, drivin’ a coal-black oxen. The cart come down to the door and stopped. When it come, it come empty. But when it went away, hit had a big black ball in it that war Arzy’s soul. […] Lomax's passage serves as a fine and atmospheric introduction to our own Halloween exploration of the Devil in folksongs from the American Folklife Center archive!

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Veterans History Project Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Conversations and Song

Posted by: Kerry Ward

Because their stories are OUR stories ~ November 6 – 14, 2020 Join us in a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress with a series of panel discussions and musical performances. The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

New Occupational Folklife Project Interviews Go Online

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The following news comes to us from AFC senior folklife specialist Nancy Groce. The American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress is delighted to announce that five new Occupational Folklife Project collections are now available on the Library of Congress website. They are: “Boeing Aircraft Factory Workers,” “Trash Talk: Workers in Vermont’s Waste …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Creating Communities and Building Collections One Conversation at a Time

Posted by: John Fenn

In this guest post, Allina Migoni (Reference Librarian, American Folklife Center) and Talia Guzmán-González (Reference Librarian, Hispanic Division) describe a new initiative honoring Hispanic Heritage Month 2020. This initiative is a collaboration between the American Folklife Center, Hispanic Division, and StoryCorps. Have you ever sat down with family or friends to look at old photos? …