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Category: AFC History

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Ukrainian Musicians Visit American Folklife Center

Posted by: Stephen Winick

On Wednesday, July 5, and Friday, July 7, 2023, the American Folklife Center (AFC) welcomed a delegation of Ukrainian and Ukrainian-American musicians to the Library of Congress. The musicians—Shchuka-Ryba, Bozhychi, Mariya Kvitka, Yaroslav Dzhus, Katya Chilly, and Ukrainian Village Voices—traveled to Washington, D.C. to perform at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Joining the groups were representatives from the Maidan Museum in Kyiv, Ukraine, the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative, and Dr. James Deutsch—a curator at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Find out about their visit, and about many of AFC's Ukrainian collections and programs, in this blog post!

A screen capture of the new AFC homepage

A New Look for the AFC Web Pages

Posted by: Stephen Winick

If you've visited the American Folklife Center's main page on the Library of Congress website in the last few days, you may have noticed a change. The pages have been converted to the Library of Congress's new standard format for Research Centers across the Library's divisions. Our legacy URL of will now redirect you to the new landing page. We're excited to share the new site with you, so this blog will guide you to some of its features and provide the link for you to explore.

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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.

Half-length portrait of a young man playing guitar

Ten Thousand Cattle for Our One Thousandth Post

Posted by: Stephen Winick

It's hard to believe, but this is the 1000th published post here at Folklife Today! To celebrate, we'll talk about one of the songs on the Archive's 1000th disc. It reveals a lot about the history of the archive, the methods of Alan Lomax, and the development of a well known cowboy song. It also introduces us to "Daca," a little-known folksinger active from the 1920s through the 1940s, whom we'll profile in a later post. This track is known as AFS 1000 B2, and is Alan Lomax, then Assistant-in-Charge of the archive, singing "Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle." In the blog you can hear the song, read about where Lomax learned it, find out about its roots in "The Virginian" by novelist Owen Wister, and examine the influence of Lomax's version on the song as it was later sung by cowboys.