Top of page

Category: Narratives

Female child care worker posing for photograph.

COVID Recollections: Interviewing Appalachian Child Care Workers for the COVID-19 American History Project

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

In 2023, the American Folklife Center contracted folklorist Nicole Musgrave to conduct interviews with Appalachian-based child care workers about their COVID-19 pandemic experiences for the COVID-19 American History Project. The post, guest authored by Musgrave, details her inspiration for the project, the initial findings from her interviews, and why documenting child care workers' pandemic experiences is important for understanding Americans' experiences with COVID-19. 

Dr. Melissa Cooper delivering a lecture as part of the American Folklife Center's Benjamin A. Botkin Lecture Series at the Whittall Pavilion at the Library of Congress.

Botkin Folklife Lectures Plus: Dr. Melissa Cooper, Scholar of Gullah Geechee Cultural History

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

On April 10, 2024, Dr. Melissa Cooper (Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University-Newark) presented a fascinating lecture on Gullah Geechee cultural history at the Library of Congress, as part of the American Folklife Center's Benjamin A. Botkin Lecture Series. In this post, we highlight the video recording of Cooper's lecture and an oral history interview with Cooper, conducted by American Folklife Center staff members.

Group of experts on longevity standing in courtyard.

Now Available: Webcast of Longevity Panel Discussion and New Responses to Audience Questions

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

In February 2024, the American Folklife Center and the Health Services Division organized a panel discussion on longevity with experts in public health and the traditional arts. This post provides a webcast of the event and provides responses to audience questions that were unanswered, due to time constraints, during the event.

Image of janitor Rubi Andazola, custodial lead at University of Colorado Boulder. Photograph by Cynthia Torres. 2021.

Custodians and Janitors: New Occupational Folklife Project Collection Launched!

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

In this post, Nancy Groce (Senior Folklife Specialist at the American Folklife Center) highlights "Custodians and Janitors in Colorado" -- a new collection available from the American Folklife Center's Occupational Folklife Project. The collection, documented by Cynthia Torres, features interviews about the occupational culture and experiences of custodians and janitorial workers in the state of Colorado. The post gives an overview of the collection and features an interview with Torres about her field research. Torres was awarded an Archie Green Fellowship by the American Folklife Center in 2021 to undertake research for this collection.

Two interviewers with interviewee, standing in the streets of New Orleans.

COVID Recollections: “People Make the World Move”- Pandemic Stories from New Orleans-Area Service and Hospitality Workers

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

In this post, guest authors Sara T. Bernstein and Elise Chatelain, members of Dismantle Media and Culture Alliance, describe their experiences documenting the COVID-19 experiences of service and hospitality workers in New Orleans as part of the American Folklife Center's COVID-19 American History Project. This post is the first in a new Folklife Today blog series titled, "COVID Recollections." The series features stories, dispatches, and reflections from the COVID-19 American History Project, a Congressionally funded initiative to create an archive of Americans' experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic at the American Folklife Center.

Leah Chase, owner of the renowned Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans being interviewed at her establishment.

Now Available: The Fifth Season of the America Works Podcast

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

Season 5 of America Works, a podcast from the American Folklife Center (AFC) celebrating the diversity, resilience, and creativity of American workers, is now available on loc.gov/podcasts. In this post, Nancy Groce, AFC Senior Folklife Specialist, explains what we will hear in Season 5, focused on African American workers.

a man in a camouflage uniform

Three Days

Posted by: Lisa Taylor

The following is a guest blog post by Travis Bickford, head of programs and communications at The Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP). On August 28, 2005, it was 111 degrees in Baghdad. That kind of heat makes you conspiratorial, like “nah, this ain’t real” kind of heat. I’d only been in country a …

2018 National Heritage Fellows on-stage at the Library of Congress

AFC Announces New Research Guide on the NEA’s National Heritage Fellowship

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

The American Folklife Center (AFC) is proud to announce a new research guide, which highlights AFC collections related to the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. The National Heritage Fellowship is the highest honor for the traditional arts in the United States. Since 1982, the award has recognized lifetime achievement among traditional artists and advocates for the traditional arts. On Friday, September 29, 2023, the American Folklife Center will be hosting a public ceremony to honor the 2023 recipients of the National Heritage Fellowship. Awardees of the 2020, 2021, and 2022 National Heritage Fellowship will also be celebrated, as the COVID-19 pandemic inhibited their in-person recognition. Find about about the new guide and the ceremony in this blog post!

One Way to Mitigate the Risk of Post-Traumatic Stress

Posted by: Kerry Ward

The following is a guest blog post by veteran and Veterans History Project participant Earl Porter III.  Porter’s VHP interview can be found on our website. On September 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I crested Mt. Katahdin in Maine, the start point for southbound Appalachian Trail (AT) “thru-hikers.” The AT is a 2,190+ …