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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 […]

Webcast of Cultural Heritage Archives Symposium Online

This is a guest blog post by folklife specialist Catherine Hiebert Kerst. The photos are by Stephen Winick for AFC. For anyone who missed the September, 2013 Cultural Heritage Archives: Networks, Innovation, & Collaboration Symposium hosted by the American Folklife Center, or anyone who wants to revisit it, the full webcast is online at the […]

Ask Us Anything: Our Most Frequently Asked Questions

October was American Archives Month, and last Thursday was Ask an Archivist Day. In honor of that event (although a little late), we decided to compile a list of Frequently Asked Questions that we often get– not necessarily reference questions, but those from our own friends and family or when we introduce ourselves as employees […]

Folklorists partner with archives to create ‘living archives’ of folk arts documentation

In April, Maryland Traditions, a program of the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), transferred its archives to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Sustainability of folklore fieldwork collections is a pressing issue for many state folk arts agencies throughout the United States. I recently had the opportunity to talk with state folklorist Clifford Murphy about […]

Creepypastas, Memes, Lolspeak & Boards: The Scope of a Digital Culture Web Archive

The following is a guest post from Trevor Owens, Digital Archivist in the Office of Strategic Initiatives. Trevor has been consulting with the American Folklife Center on born-digital collection development initiatives. I have recently had the pleasure of helping to develop and curate the American Folklife Center’s digital culture web archive. Nicki Saylor announced this […]

A Long-Term Endeavor: Digitizing Veterans History Project Collections

The following is a guest blog post by Andrew Cassidy-Amstutz, VHP Archivist.   One of the most common questions that the Veterans History Project (VHP) receives relating to our collections is “Why can’t I view my collection online yet?” While the answer to this question varies by individual collection, there are several cross-cutting issues that […]