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Archive: 2020 (119 Posts)

The Royal Exchange in London, mid-19th century

The Legend of Monsieur Omnès

Posted by: Stephen Winick

This post examines the history of buses and of the word "bus," looking closely at a legend about a man named Omnes who was important in the naming of the "omnibus."

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

News Coverage of Folklife Research for African American History Month

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The American Folklife Center has recently received some coverage for our efforts to research and recognize African American history which we'd like to tell you about. Last weekend the Atlanta Journal Constitution published this article about the spiritual "Kumbaya." In the article, Shelia M. Poole interviews AFC staff members John Fenn and Stephen Winick (hey, that's me) and even call me "the folklorist version of Sherlock Holmes" for locating what we believe to be the first sound recording of "Kumbaya" some years ago. She also interviews Griffin Lotson, who did research here and in Georgia, and who helped get the song declared the first State Historical Song of Georgia. We wrote about that research here on the blog. We also did a podcast about it, at this link. And we've previously  been covered and interviewed by the New York Times, which you can find here.

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

Intern reflection: Claire Denny

Posted by: John Fenn

This is a guest post by our Fall 2019 volunteer intern, Claire Denny. She is currently in her second term as a Master’s degree student in the Folklore Program at George Mason University. When I received a phone call this past summer from the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center (AFC), I had to compose …

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

Folklife at the International Level: Intangible Cultural Heritage Defined

Posted by: Michelle Stefano

If this series is a mountain, I am pleased to say that we are now climbing up to its peak: an examination of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It is through the 2003 Convention that the concept and category …

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

Lomax Birthday Challenge!

Posted by: John Fenn

This guest post from Todd Harvey, AFC reference staff member and Alan Lomax collection curator, is part of a short series related to the Library’s crowdsource platform and the campaign we helped launch in September 2019 focused on the extensive holdings AFC has of Lomax manuscript materials. The American Folklife Center wishes a happy birthday …

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

Summer 2020 paid internships at the AFC!

Posted by: John Fenn

In summer 2018, the AFC at the Library of Congress launched a paid internship opportunity as part of a program established through a generous gift from the late AFC staff member Peter Bartis (1949 – 2017). These positions introduced interns to the research collections at the AFC and the Library; helped develop critical skills related …

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

Help Folklife Research by Reviewing Lomax Transcripts!

Posted by: Stephanie Hall

When I was writing my blog on “Great Lakes Ships and Shipping” in 2018, I naturally wanted to look at the field notes Alan Lomax wrote when he was collecting these songs. But this was no easy task. His field notes were online, but only as page image scans. The notes were handwritten and they …