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Archive: June 2023 (9 Posts)

Modesta Yangmog of Asor Island, Ulithi Atoll interviewing master lavalava weaver Conchita Leyangrow of Lamotrek Atoll in Talguw on Yap Island

Applications Open for AFC’s Community Collections Grants!

Posted by: Michelle Stefano

The Library of Congress and the American Folklife Center are thrilled to announce the opening of applications for the third round of Community Collections Grants, with a deadline of August 18, 2023 at 2:00PM Eastern Time. These grants will support individuals or non-profit organizations in producing cultural documentation–photographs, interviews, audio or video recordings about their …

Print shows the president's box at Ford's Theater with John Wilkes Booth, on the right, shooting President Lincoln who is seated at the front of the box; on the left are Mary Todd Lincoln seated in the front, Major Henry Rathbone rising to stop Booth, and Clara Harris standing behind Mrs. Lincoln

Caught My Ear: Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s “Booth Killed Lincoln”

Posted by: Stephen Winick

For many years, the song "Booth" or "Booth Killed Lincoln" has been considered a prime example of a traditional ballad about a historical event. Telling in remarkable detail the story of John Wilkes Booth's assassination of President Lincoln in 1865, the ballad seems ripped from contemporary headlines. Bascom Lamar Lunsford, who sang the song for the Library of Congress in 1949, has been credited as the song's collector, and many sources indicate a date of about 1890 as the latest possible origin for the song, since Lunsford said he heard his father sing "some of the stanzas" to the fiddle tune "Booth." But is there another possible explanation of the song's origins? In this post, we'll look more closely at Lunsford's various recordings of "Booth," as well as unpublished primary-source and secondary-source evidence in the AFC archive, to try to piece together the birth of "Booth."

A woman outdoors holds a bunch of fresh flowers

AFC’s Occupational Folklife Project Continues to Expand

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The number of engaging, publicly-accessible interviews with American workers in the AFC’s Occupational Folklife Project (OFP) collection continues to expand and diversify. To date, AFC-funded fieldworkers across the United States have recorded almost 1,800 audio and audiovisual oral history interviews with workers in scores of trades, industries, crafts, and professions. More than 850 of these OFP interviews are now available online to researchers and members of the public --and more are being added each month! This blog highlights some of the newest OFP collections to be made available on the LOC website.

One Way to Mitigate the Risk of Post-Traumatic Stress

Posted by: Kerry Ward

The following is a guest blog post by veteran and Veterans History Project participant Earl Porter III.  Porter’s VHP interview can be found on our website. On September 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I crested Mt. Katahdin in Maine, the start point for southbound Appalachian Trail (AT) “thru-hikers.” The AT is a 2,190+ …

Text of image says Library of Congress, Folklife

New Faces at AFC: Staff and Interns

Posted by: John Fenn

Over the past several months we’ve become quite familiar with on-boarding new people here at the Center, as a steady flow of incoming staff and interns have arrived since April. It’s an exciting time for us, and we wanted to share a bit of information about the five wonderful team members who have joined us. …

AAPI hosts wokshop and itneriews with VHP Los Angeles, CA, May 2023.

Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month with VHP interviews in Los Angeles

Posted by: Lisa Taylor

The following is a guest blog post by Andrew Huber, a liaison specialist for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP). The idea of an event focusing on collecting stories from Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) veterans all stemmed from a simple question asked during a VHP workshop in 2020. I was teaching …

World War II era photo of Lewis Finkelstein standing on a rocky shoreline. He wears a white sailor hat tilted to the left and a thick jacket buttoned up to his chin.

D-Day and Me: The Importance of Preserving Veterans’ Stories

Posted by: Megan Harris

The following is a guest post by Elaina Finkelstein, a public affairs Specialist in the Library’s Office of Communication.  Today is June 6—a seemingly ordinary Tuesday for some, but for my family, a day spent remembering the harrowing service of my grandfather, Lewis Finkelstein, on the beaches of Normandy, France, in 1944. Through an oral …

A group of women watch a woman who stands next to a monitor on which a photo is displayed

Swedish Women’s Education Association Visit Swedish Treasures from Library of Congress Collections

Posted by: Stephen Winick

This blog post details a visit by members of the the Swedish Women's Education Association of DC (SWEA DC) to the Library of Congress. Curators from the European Reading Room, the Manuscript Division, and the American Folklife Center presented treasures related to Swedish and Swedish American history, literature and folklore. In the post you can read more about these treasures, and follow links to view many of them for yourself.