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The American Folklife Center: 40 Years of Change

The following post 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! This year the Library’s American Folklife Center (AFC) turns 40. Detailed histories of AFC are available elsewhere [1], so we thought we’d do something different in this […]

Hundreds of new terms added to the Ethnographic Thesaurus

This is a guest post by Catherine H. Kerst, an American Folklife Center cataloger who oversees the American Folklore Society Ethnographic Thesaurus. In January 2016, a new version (2.2) of the American Folklore Society Ethnographic Thesaurus was posted to the Library of Congress’s linked data site. With this update, we added hundreds of subject terms, and […]

Unpacking the collection of a ’60s New York City folk music stalwart

This is a guest post by Maya Lerman, processing archivist at the American Folklife Center. She will be writing occasional guest posts as she makes discoveries during the processing of the Izzy Young Collection. In November 2015 the American Folklife Center acquired Izzy Young’s collection, including its rich manuscripts, journals, scrapbooks, photographs, and recordings. Israel Goodman […]

Descriptions of 10,000+ Brazilian Chapbooks at AFC now Online

This is a guest blog post by Margaret Kruesi, a folklorist and cataloger at the American Folklife Center. You have a new opportunity to discover 10,000 plus titles in the American Folklife Center’s Literatura de cordel Brazilian chapbook collection (AFC 1970/002)! The Library of Congress holds one of the world’s largest collections of literatura de […]

Acquiring at digital scale: Harvesting the StoryCorps.me collection

Thanks to The Great Thanksgiving Listen, the StoryCorps collection of interviews has doubled! Since the launch of StoryCorps.me mobile app in March, more than 68,000 interviews have been uploaded as of today—the vast majority of them in the few days following Thanksgiving. The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress is the archival home […]

New funds help Folklore Society make visible more folklore collections

The National Folklore Archives Initiative (NFAI), an effort by the American Folklore Society to document and provide access to folklore archival collections, recently received a second round of funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Earlier funding in 2011-2013 resulted in the creation of the Folklore Collections Database (FCD), a stable framework hosted […]

Moving Day and a Major Anniversary

This is a guest post by American Folklife Center’s Judith Gray, an ethnomusicologist who curates the largest body of early recordings of indigenous American songs and stories recorded in the United States. After all the identifying, rehousing, cataloging, labeling, barcoding, and databasing activity on the part of AFC staff over the past year, the actual […]

Preparing thousands of the earliest ethnographic recordings on wax cylinders for transfer to the National Audio-visual Conservation Center

Judith Gray, a specialist in Native American cultures, has been spending a lot of quality time down in the chilly decks of the Library’s Jefferson building lately. She curates the largest body of early recordings of indigenous American music and stories in the United States contained on nearly ten thousand wax cylinders. When not on […]