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From Thread to Fabric to Art

Before the industrial era, much of the work of the creation of clothing was done at home or at small shops. Spinning was a daily activity. Depending on one’s culture, the production of thread and yarn might be entirely women’s work, or work done by the whole family.  In northern Europe, spinning was so closely […]

Agnes Vanderburg’s Outdoor School for Traditional Indian Ways

“A lot of things come out of my chest,” Agnes Vanderburg explained in 1979 when folklorist Kay Young asked about her reasons for starting a school to pass on her knowledge of Salish Indian traditions (recording at the link, go to 1:50 minutes). She had felt frustrated at carrying knowledge that was disappearing as Indians […]

The Importance of Capturing the Stories of Women Veterans

The Importance of Capturing the Stories of Women Veterans” is the second of three collaborative blog posts featuring authors from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Center for Women Veterans, the Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP) and a sailor whose story is preserved among the permanent collections of the Library of Congress. […]

Jean Ritchie, 1922-2015

Note: The whole AFC staff was saddened by the death of Jean Ritchie earlier this month.  We paid tribute to her immediately in a Facebook post, which you can see here, and the Chairman of our Board of Trustees, C. Kurt Dewhurst, made a moving statement about Jean at the Board’s June meeting.  However, I […]

Narratives of Women and Girls: the Center for Applied Linguistics Collection

For Women’s History Month, I thought it would be interesting to highlight some examples of interviews with women and girls in American English Dialects: The Center for Applied Linguistics Collection. This online collection is one of several dialect collections in the American Folklife Center archive. With a little digging, such collections can yield exciting examples of […]