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Category: AFC History

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AFC Is Acquiring the Archival Collections of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The NAMES Project Foundation (NPF) today announced that the National AIDS Memorial will become the new caretaker of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and NAMES Project programs.  As part of the transition, the NAMES Project and the National AIDS Memorial have agreed to jointly gift care and stewardship of The Quilt’s archival collections to the prestigious American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, making this collection available through the world’s largest public library.

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Snapshots of AFC Women in the Field: Celebrating Our Own

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The following is a guest post by Jennifer Cutting. Continuing on the momentum set by the American Folklife Center’s symposium Women Documenting the World: Women as Folklorists, Ethnomusicologists & Fieldworkers (September 26, 2019), we’d like to showcase some women ethnographers who are very close to home. This blog post takes a scrapbook-style look at photographs …

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Thanking Senator Cochran, a Friend of Folklife

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The following is a guest post from Tom Rankin, a member of the AFC Board of Trustees.  A folklorist and photographer, Tom is Director of Duke University’s MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts, and was formerly the Director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke.  Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who held his seat from …

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Alan Jabbour and the American Folklife Center

Posted by: Stephen Winick

This is a guest blog post by Carl Fleischhauer.  It presents a version of the talk he gave at our Alan Jabbour tribute event earlier this year. It has been edited for presentation in this blog. These remarks are about Alan Jabbour as founding director of the American Folklife Center: his thinking, activities at the …

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Photos From AFC’s Alan Jabbour Legacy Event

Posted by: Stephen Winick

  On January 18, 2018, AFC sponsored a special event in our Benjamin Botkin Folklife Lecture Series.  Alan Jabbour, 1942 – 2017: His Legacy in Folklife and Traditional Music brought together speakers who worked closely with Alan to examine the contributions he made during his career to cultural documentation, the promotion of traditional music, and …

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Memories of Peter Bartis

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Note: the following is a guest post by our colleague Kate Stewart, former AFC archivist and former Folklife Today blogger. If you have a memory of Peter to share, please do so in the comments on the blog post at this link. In the spring of 2011, I had just begun learning the ropes of working at …

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Peter Bartis April 26, 1949-December 25, 2017

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The American Folklife Center is very sad to report the death of our longtime staff member, Peter Bartis. Peter died on December 25, 2017, from cancer. He had been in hospice for several days, with his spouse Ben, his brother Jim, and several AFC staff members visiting him daily. At the time of his retirement …

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From “Mule-een” to New Orleans: Just What Was Lead Belly Saying?

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Introduction The great American songster Lead Belly, first recorded by John A. and Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress in 1933, is a towering figure in global popular music. In some cases, his influence can be clouded, or hard to understand, because of his own enigmatic personality and because of the fragmentary nature of …

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Billy Bragg, Skiffle Historian and Singer, Visits the Library July 21

Posted by: Stephen Winick

This blog post about the singer-songwriter Billy Bragg is part of a series called “Hidden Folklorists,” which examines the folklore work of surprising people, including people better known for other pursuits. Billy Bragg will be here for a book talk, July 21 at 7:00 pm in the Mumford Room of the James Madison Memorial Building. …