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Archive: May 2024 (10 Posts)

Three men stand in front of a memorial stone, with a large tree and parking lot behind them. The man on the far left is wearing a gray sweatshirt, and is holding a gray shopping bag. The man in the center is wearing blue jeans, a pattered orange shirt, and a baseball cap. The man on the far right is wearing a black vest, black baseball cap, and red shirt.

“A Couple of Guys and an Idea”: Preserving Japanese American Veteran Voices in Los Angeles

Posted by: Megan Harris

The following is a guest blog post by Don Bannai and George Wada, Veterans History Project interviewers with the Asian American Community Media Project. Two years ago a couple of guys, George Wada and Don Bannai, had an idea. Japanese American veterans of the Vietnam era deserved to have their oral histories recorded to recognize …

Homegrown Plus: Blues with Phil Wiggins (1954-2024)

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The passing of harmonica virtuoso and blues master Phil Wiggins on May 7, 2024, was a sad event for the music world, and particularly for the American Folklife Center. Phil was one of the most celebrated musicians in the blues nationwide, and one of the most important roots musicians of any kind in the Washington area. For those reasons among others, AFC has featured Phil in concerts probably more often than any other musician during the last few decades. In this post, we'll bring together most of Phil's appearances that were shot on video, show you some never-before-seen photos of Phil, and pay tribute to a longtime friend of the Center.

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.