{ subscribe_url:'//blogs.loc.gov/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/folklife.php' }

Former Latvian president sings music from an AFC fieldwork collection

Man holding songbook and singing.

Guntis Ulmanis, former president of Latvia, sings from the 1975 West Coast Latvian Song Festival book in the American Folklife Center collections.

Guntis Ulmanis, former president of Latvia, brought to life a song from his home country during a recent visit to the Library of Congress. Mr. Ulmanis was at the Library on January 16 to view Latvian treasures from the Library’s collections. He viewed a number of historic maps of Latvia and several books regarding his country (some of them books that he himself wrote).

Ann Hoog from the American Folklife Center showed him some materials from the 1975 West Coast Latvian Song Festival , photographs from the Ethnic Heritage and Language Schools collection of a Latvian school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a number of booklets and brochures from the Center’s subject files regarding Latvian-American organizations and traditions. You can find out about these and other collections of Latvian materials in the AFC’s archive by visiting our Latvia Collections Guide at this link.

Woman showing artifact to a man and a woman.

AFC folklorist Ann Hoog shows Guntis Ulmanis, former president of Latvia, and Liana Eglītis, the public liaison at the Embassy of Latvia, Latvian materials from the collection during his visit in January.

Included in the January 16 display was a songbook from the 1975 Latvian folk song festival held in Seattle, Washington. While flipping through the book, Mr. Ulmanis stopped on one particular piece, Tumša nakte, zaļa zāle. He paused for a moment and announced, “I’m going to sing for you. I have not sung this in 20 years.” Right away, he broke into song and delighted the staff with his singing. He was clearly touched to see all the materials on display and thoroughly enjoyed his visit to the Library. We hope he visits us again soon … we’ll have the songbook ready!

 

So you want to donate your documentary collection to an archives?

At the American Folklife Center, we regularly get questions from fieldworkers about how to find an archival home for their collections. This post aims to consolidate some of that information in one place, and benefits from thoughtful feedback from several staff members. Disclaimer: This is general guidance and does not necessarily reflect the Library’s acquisitions policies. You or […]

The Archivesque: Reframing Folklore Collecting in a Popular Culture World

This post is an adaptation of my keynote address to the American Folklore Society’s pre-conference on folklore archiving, “Adventures in Folklore Archiving,” Oct. 16, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN. I was out at a DC party recently and was asked the classic DC party question: “What do you do for a living?” My answer was that I […]

AFC accelerates its efforts to preserve analog media

This is a guest post by American Folklife Center archivist Maya Lerman. Staff in the American Folklife Center archive finished a project that will improve our efficiency in preserving and making accessible AFC’s rich audiovisual collections. Like audiovisual archives everywhere, AFC is working to prepare for a time when obsolescence and degradation of physical media will greatly hinder preservation efforts. We […]

Films in AFC’s Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian Collection Include Unreleased Footage of Allen Ginsberg and William Kunstler

This is a guest post by AFC intern Adam Schutzman, who worked at the Center in the late summer. Over the course of my summer internship at the American Folklife Center, I had the pleasure of working on a large collection of 16mm films and videos found within the Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian Collection […]

The First Sound Recording of a Joke?

This is a guest post by American Folklife Center archivist Kelly Revak. I’ve recently joined the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress as an archivist. One of my first tasks was to catalog Jesse Walter Fewkes’s Passamaquoddy recordings as a part of the Ancestral Voices project team. Made in 1890, these recordings are […]

South-Central Georgia Folklife Project Is Now Online

This is a guest post by AFC folklorist Ann Hoog, who has been the division coordinator for a mass digitization and access project to reformat and make accessible online a large body of American Folklife Center field projects from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s. The American Folklife Center is pleased to announce a new online presentation of the South-Central […]