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Archive: 2024 (39 Posts)

Items left in front of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial: a red rose sits on top of a worn pair of brown boots, with flags and letters positioned on either side.

VHP’s Newest Online Exhibit: In Memoriam

Posted by: Megan Harris

Today, the Veterans History Project (VHP) launches a new online exhibit titled “In Memoriam: Honoring the Fallen,” featuring the stories of 15 servicemembers who died during their time in the military. For many, Memorial Day may feel like nothing more than a day off from work, a holiday that serves to mark the start of …

Three women standing together, half-length portrait

Celebrating the Online Launch of the Fiftieth Occupational Folklife Project – And How It Got There!

Posted by: Stephen Winick

In mid-April, the American Folklife Center posted another noteworthy Occupational Folklife Project (OFP) collection to the Library’s website. We are excited to point out that it was the 50th collection of oral history interviews with contemporary American workers to be made available online. In this post we celebrate the milestone and highlight the contributions of Steve Berkley and Matthew Smith, two of the many hardworking AFC staff members who do the complicated behind-the-scenes work of processing Archie Green Fellows’ fieldwork projects, accessioning them, and making them available to online patrons.

Dr. Melissa Cooper delivering a lecture as part of the American Folklife Center's Benjamin A. Botkin Lecture Series at the Whittall Pavilion at the Library of Congress.

Botkin Folklife Lectures Plus: Dr. Melissa Cooper, Scholar of Gullah Geechee Cultural History

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

On April 10, 2024, Dr. Melissa Cooper (Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University-Newark) presented a fascinating lecture on Gullah Geechee cultural history at the Library of Congress, as part of the American Folklife Center's Benjamin A. Botkin Lecture Series. In this post, we highlight the video recording of Cooper's lecture and an oral history interview with Cooper, conducted by American Folklife Center staff members.

Attendee badge from Super MAGfest 2024.

Folklife, Videogames, Cosplay, and More

Posted by: John Fenn

In January 2024, John Fenn (Head of Research and Programs, American Folklife Center) participated in a panel discussion about video games, folklife, and culture at the Super MAGfest convention with colleagues from Folkwise, a multimedia outreach project focused on folklore and the celebration of everyday culture we experience online. This post describes the event, the context for the panel, and several LOC resources related to video games.

Five people outdoors holding musical instruments

Homegrown Plus: The Berntsons, Andrea Hoag, and Loretta Kelley

Posted by: Stephen Winick

We're continuing the Homegrown Plus series with a couple of classic concerts of Scandinavian music.  Way back in 2009 we presented the Berntsons, a Norwegian American band who learned their music in rural Wisconsin before moving to Virginia. The Berntsons were joined onstage by the trio of Andrea Hoag, Loretta Kelley, and Charlie Pilzer. Among them they played pump organ, fiddle, Hardanger fiddle, six-string and twelve-string guitars, and double bass. Six years later, Hoag and Kelley returned with their fiddles for a program we called "A Tour of Norwegian and Swedish Fiddle Styles." Among them, the Berntsons, Hoag, Kelley, and Pilzer have earned Grammy awards and nominations, they've played on concert stages and at folk festivals nationwide, and, most importantly, they are preserving a living tradition of Nordic folk music for us to enjoy. Back in those days, we were recording interviews primarily on audio, but we did ask for extended essays on the performers. So in this post, you'll find both concert videos along with those essays provided by the musicians. 

A man sits in an office with many books

New Occupational Folklife Project Documents African American Nurses and the Chi Eta Phi Sorority

Posted by: Stephen Winick

On April 12th, the American Folklife Center posted another Occupational Folklife Project (OFP) collection to the Library’s website. The collection features 15 in-depth interviews documenting the careers and work culture of African American nurses who are members of the Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Incorporated, a renowned historically Black national professional nursing organization founded in 1932. (We are excited to note this was the 50th OFP to be processed and made available to the public – but more on that in an upcoming blog.) To mark the occasion, AFC staff folklorist Nancy Groce interviewed the collection’s creator, Carmen Vaughn-Hewitt, a nurse, oral historian, and Chi Eta Phi member who was awarded a 2021 Archie Green Fellowship from AFC for this research project. Find the interview over at Folklife Today!