In summer 2018, the AFC at the Library of Congress launched a paid internship opportunity as part of a program established through a generous gift from the late AFC staff member Peter Bartis (1949 – 2017). These positions introduced interns to the research collections at the AFC and the Library; helped develop critical skills related […]
Episode Fifteen of the Folklife Today Podcast (or Season 2, Episode 3) is ready for listening! Find it at this page on the Library’s website, or on iTunes, or with your usual podcatcher. Get your podcast here! In the episode, John Fenn, Thea Austen, and I look at classic songs about winter. In the podcast, we […]
When I was writing my blog on “Great Lakes Ships and Shipping” in 2018, I naturally wanted to look at the field notes Alan Lomax wrote when he was collecting these songs. But this was no easy task. His field notes were online, but only as page image scans. The notes were handwritten and they […]
At the start of this month we announced a “challenge” for the Lomax crowdsourcing campaign on the Library’s By the People platform. To refresh your memory, the campaign is focused on transcribing about 9000 pages of handwritten and typed Alan Lomax manuscripts. The ultimate goal is to create machine-readable electronic text versions of Lomax’s materials so […]
Back in September, the American Folklife Center helped launch a crowdsourcing campaign focused on transcribing about 9000 pages of handwritten and typed Alan Lomax manuscripts. This campaign is running on By the People, the crowdsourcing platform developed by the Library of Congress. The ultimate goal is to create machine-readable electronic text versions of Lomax’s materials […]
A few years ago, my esteemed colleague Ellen Terrell wrote an excellent blog post at Inside Adams, examining from a business perspective the firm of Scrooge and Marley, the fictional business at the center of Charles Dickens’s classic work of Christmas literature, A Christmas Carol. I thought I would see what an ethnographic perspective could […]
Read the text and see the photos of the American Folklife Center’s holiday play! It’s 1814 and the U.S. Capitol has been burned by the British. President James Madison throws Library of Congress collections in a sleigh and seeks help from Father Christmas and the preservation specialists at the North Pole Library! The latest version of our play, which tours the halls of the Library of Congress. Each year, dressed in costumes that range from striking to silly, we sing, act, rhyme, and dance for other Library staff members and for members of the public. Our performances are based on the ancient tradition of mumming, which has come down to our archive in the form of play scripts, songs, photos, and other items collected in the early twentieth century.
The American Folklife Center Mummers will present their annual mummers’ ; play in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, December 11. It’s open to the public, so come on in and see us perform! This year’s play is called AFC Mums While Washington Burns: A Conservation Mumming. It’s 1814 and the Capitol has just been burned by the British, so James Madison throws Library collections in a dogsled and heads for the conservators at the North Pole Library.
I wish I knew how It would feel to be free I wish I could break All the chains holding me I wish I could say All the things that I should say Say ’em loud, say ’em clear For the whole round world to hear Nina Simone, I Wish I Knew How It Would […]
At this time of year we gather to give thanks, for many things that have been important to us during the year, but a common theme is thanks for our food. The holiday falls in the time of the harvest. Different cultural groups around the world also celebrate the harvest with a variety of customs […]