Top of page

Archive: 2024 (56 Posts)

What’s That Smell? Highlighting Cabbage in the Archives

Posted by: John Fenn

This guest post is from Meg Nicholas, as Folklife Specialist on the staff of the American Folklife Center. National Cabbage Day is this Saturday, February 17th. The oft-maligned and overlooked cabbage is loaded in important nutrients, comes in a variety of shapes and colors (did you know there is a purple Napa cabbage?) and aids …

Head and Shoulders portrait of a man

Botkin Folklife Lectures Plus: Barry Jean Ancelet on Theory and Practice of Folklore in Cajun and Creole Louisiana

Posted by: Stephen Winick

In this post, we'll feature a Botkin Lecture classic: Barry Jean Ancelet, Professor Emeritus at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, speaking on Theory and Practice of Folklore in Cajun & Creole Louisiana. As usual, this blog features videos of both the lecture and an interview with Barry Jean Ancelet. As you'll hear John Fenn say in introducing our speaker, we have presented many eminent colleagues in the Botkin series, but few of them have made as significant an impact on the documentation, public awareness, and revitalization of their chosen areas of interest as Professor Ancelet has for Cajun and Creole culture in Louisiana. Even fewer of them have been officially knighted by the government of France for their efforts. Those are just a few of the reasons we're delighted to present his lecture in our series.

Three men on a stage. Pete Seeger smiles at Andy Wallace. Wallace and Mike Rivers play guitars.

Announcing the Artists in Resonance Fellowship

Posted by: Stephen Winick

We’re very happy to invite applications for our brand new Artist in Resonance Fellowships at the AFC to support artists in creating new musical works inspired by and sourced from collection materials in the American Folklife Center Archives. One Fellowship of $10,000 will be awarded annually by the American Folklife Center. The deadline for the first Artists in Resonance award is April 5, 2024. In this blog post you'll find links to help you apply, as well as the story of the founding of the fellowship with the help of the late Mike Rivers.

Leah Chase, owner of the renowned Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans being interviewed at her establishment.

Now Available: The Fifth Season of the America Works Podcast

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

Season 5 of America Works, a podcast from the American Folklife Center (AFC) celebrating the diversity, resilience, and creativity of American workers, is now available on In this post, Nancy Groce, AFC Senior Folklife Specialist, explains what we will hear in Season 5, focused on African American workers.

Alejandro Brittes Quartet performing at Library of Congress

Homegrown Plus: Alejandro Brittes Quartet, Masters of Chamamé

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

In this post, AFC Folklife Specialist Douglas D. Peach spotlights a recent concert and oral history interview with masters of chamamé music, the Alejandro Brittes Quartet, held at the Library of Congress in September 2023. The interview and oral history interview are now available for online viewing.

Elderly woman sitting next to three children in the shade of several trees.

This Is Your Brain on Folklife: Upcoming Event Featuring Connections Between Longevity and Traditional Culture

Posted by: John Fenn

On Wednesday, February 7, the American Folklife Center will be co-hosting an event that explores some of the science and perspectives on longevity, working with our colleagues in the Library’s Health Services Division and an external partner, the Longevity Science Foundation. A panel will discuss issues informing work on longevity, including ethics, neural health, and …

Woman stands on stage of auditorium speaking to crowd with a hand held microphone.

Staff Spotlight: Melanie Zeck On Collaborating with National Philharmonic

Posted by: John Fenn

This guest post is by Melanie Zeck, one of our Reference Specialists at the American Folklife Center. As the stage door opened, blindingly bright lights struck my eyes.  I strode over to the piano, sensing that the audience was following my every move.  At that moment, I   realized that no one—not even the orchestra members …

The Burgess Hall String Band on the Wheeling Jamboree: A Family Connection

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Filed away in the archives of the American Folklife Center is a little piece of radio history in the form of an oral history interview and eleven black and white photographs. The subject of the interview is Burgess Hall, who began playing music with his siblings around the age of eight. In the 1930s, Burgess and several of his friends began performing music at shows in West Virginia and Kentucky. During their three-year stint as the Burgess Hall String Band, they were invited to play several shows in Wheeling, West Virginia, including radio shows "Wheeling Jamboree" and "It's Wheeling Steel." In this guest blog post, AFC folklife specialist Meg Nicholas describes the collection, shows us some of the photos, and reveals a touching connection to her own family.