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Dance!

Note: This is part of a series of blog posts about the 40th Anniversary Year of the American Folklife Center. Visit this link to see them all! April 29 is International Dance Day, established by the International Dance Council (CID) in 1982 to call attention to the importance of dance worldwide.  So get your dances […]

African American Women’s Life Stories in the Center for Applied Linguistics Collection

Note: This is part of a series of blog posts about the 40th Anniversary Year of the American Folklife Center. Visit this link to see them all! The American Folklife Center was established in 1976. Two years later, in 1978, the folk music and song collections housed in the Music Division as the Archive of […]

Veteran Spotlight: Richard Overton

The following is a guest post by Christy Chason, liaison specialist for the Veterans History Project (VHP). When our friends at the American Red Cross of Greater Texas told me they were sending us the interview of Richard Arvine Overton, who is thought to be the oldest living American war veteran, I got very excited, […]

World Storytelling Day: Stories of Strong Women

March 20 is World Storytelling Day.  Tying storytelling with the equinox in March is thought to have originated in Sweden as Alla berättares dag (all storytellers day) in 1991 or 1992. Other countries joined to celebrate storytelling on the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere and the first day of autumn in the […]

Ethiopian Christmas and the Ethiopian Calendar System

This is a guest blog post by Fentahun Tiruneh, Area Specialist for Ethiopia and Eritrea in the African and Middle Eastern Division at the Library of Congress. On January 7, 2016, Ethiopian Christians, particularly the followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Church in Ethiopia, the USA, and elsewhere, celebrate Christmas. In Ethiopia, it is usual […]

Black History Personified: Alyce L. Dixon

She lived to be 108. That, alone, is awe-inspiring, but there was so much more to Alyce Lillian Dixon than just birthdays. Hers was a remarkable life—one most worthy of highlighting as we begin Black History Month. Though I had heard stories about the spry legend, born in Boston but living just a short distance […]

Happy 15th Birthday, VHP!

Happy 15th birthday to the Veterans History Project! On October 27, 2000, the 106th Congress signed Public Law 106-380, an act “to direct the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress to establish a program to collect video and audio recordings of personal histories and testimonials of American war veterans, and for other purposes.” […]

Rediscovering Lomax: Joshua Clegg Caffery and “I Wanna Sing Right”

During the centennial year of the great folklorist Alan Lomax (1915-2002), we at AFC have been celebrating his legacy in all kinds of ways: digitizing collections, sponsoring performances, encouraging publications, creating web content, designing exhibits…even writing blog posts! One of the things we most loved about Alan was his concern that the field recordings he […]

The Folklore and Folksong of Trains in America, Part Two

This is the second part of a two-part article on the folklore of trains. Part one, focusing on the development of railroads in the United States and related songs and lore can be found here. Part Two: Trains and American Culture The coming of the railroads made profound changes in life and culture in the […]