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Collection Spotlight: Children’s Songs from the Virgin Islands

Between 1976 and 1978 Karen S. Ellis recorded the playground songs of elementary school students on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. She was teaching at the Ricardo Richards School and many of the children she recorded were her students. This work culminated in a book and recording, Domino, a resource for children and teachers, published […]

Don’t Worry, Turkey on Thanksgiving is Historically Accurate!

Each year, as Thanksgiving Day rolls around, the blogosphere is bombarded with articles telling us that everything we know about Thanksgiving is wrong. In particular, these articles focus on the three-day event in autumn 1621, during which English colonists at Plymouth, Massachusetts, hosted 90 members of the Wampanoag tribe for a feast. Skeptical articles revisiting […]

Thanksgiving Road Trip

The following is the fourth in a series relating to the Medal of Honor. Thanksgiving, with millions of Americans on the road, is one of the busiest travel seasons of the year.  If you’re doing the traveling this year, I implore you to try a new travel game: find the Medal of Honor landmarks/monuments across America, and the recipients […]

Pic of the Week: Ghost Pirate!

If you follow our blog, you may know that the American Folklife Center has joined other Library of Congress divisions in creating LOC Halloween: Chambers of Mystery, an exhibition of our scariest collection items. Today we had the congressional and press preview of the exhibit, and Library staff member Joon Yi shot a few photos of […]

The Hair-Raising Tale of “The Witch Who Kept a Hotel”

As we get closer and closer to Halloween, the Library of Congress feels spookier and spookier! Just look at the black cat in our Halloween graphic above! In fact, the Library has just released a new web guide to Halloween resources, which can be found here. The new web page will act as your guide through our rich […]

Ghost Stories in Song for Halloween

Halloween is on its way, and this year the Library of Congress has decided to make it extra-special, with a pop-up exhibition of our best spooky treasures. The event is called LOC Halloween: Chambers of Mystery, and we hope you’ll visit us for the scary fun. As part of the effort, I’ve been looking through AFC’s […]

Bessie Jones Tells a Spooky Story: “Married to the Devil”

With Halloween just around the corner, the Library of Congress is gearing up for an exhibition of our best spooky treasures. The event is called LOC Halloween: Chambers of Mystery, and it’s sure to add both cheer and chills to your All Hallows season. As part of the effort, I’ve been looking through AFC’s collections for […]

LOC Halloween: Enter the Chambers of Mystery!

As our readers know, Folklife Today is particularly fond of Halloween. We launched the blog just before Halloween 2013 with a post updating Jack Santino’s Halloween article. We’ve had special posts for Halloween every year thereafter. So we’re especially happy to announce that the Library of Congress will be hosting a special pop-up exhibition for Halloween […]

A Few Examples of Dads’ Traditions

A celebration of fathers and fatherhood took a long time to be established as a nation-wide observance.  Mother’s Day was being locally observed as it was being promoted in the 19th and early 20th century, and became a regular holiday in May in 1914 by presidential proclamation. Father’s Day was locally celebrated around the country […]