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Website Redesign Makes VHP Easier Than Ever

How are you planning to commemorate this Veterans Day? There are many ways to show gratitude for the veterans in your life.  Can you guess the one I would suggest? Show appreciation to the veteran in your life by helping them collect and preserve their military memories so that they may be accessible through the […]

AFC’s Homegrown Foodways Film Premiere: Multigenerational Ukrainian Foodways with Roman Kovbasniuk

As part of the AFC’s Homegrown Foodways in Central New Jersey film series, this blog premieres the film “Multigenerational Ukrainian Foodways with Roman Kovbasniuk,” which honors New Jersey’s vibrant Ukrainian communities and their rich foodways traditions. Watch it in this blog post, or on the Library’s YouTube channel!

Live! At the Library: Honor Veterans’ Stories with Modern Warrior Live

The following is a guest blog post by liaison specialist Owen Rogers. On November 10, 2022, the eve of Veterans Day, join the Library of Congress Veterans History Project for a performance of Modern Warrior Live, a powerful jazz and spoken word performance chronicling the journey from combat to catharsis. The Cleveland-based organization is a […]

AFC’s Community Collections Grants: Documenting Lao New Year in Iberia Parish, Louisiana

Below is an excerpt of a guest post on the Library’s Of the People blog comprised of notes, observations, and an interview by Sami Haggood (Project Assistant Director) with Phanat Xanamane (Project Director) on their project, the Louisiana Lao New Year Archive, as part of a blog series featuring the 2022 awardees of the AFC’s Community […]

AFC’s Homegrown Foodways Film Premiere: Afghan Food and Women’s Empowerment with Nasrin Rafiq

The following is a guest post by folklorist Sally Van de Water, Folklife Programs Manager, Division of Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Arts Institute of Middlesex County, New Jersey. The AFC’s Homegrown Foodways in Central New Jersey film series is a collaboration with Van de Water and colleagues at the Division of Folklife and […]

John Jackson Tells a Ghost Story for Halloween

John Jackson (1924-2002) was a fantastic singer and guitarist; he was one of the most significant Black Appalachian musicians to begin his professional career in the 1960s. Less well known than his musical prowess was John Jackson’s talent as a storyteller. Although he occasionally worked tales into his concert performances, he particularly loved stories about the supernatural, which he mostly told privately. Luckily, some of these ghost stories were recorded and the tapes are in the AFC archive. In this blog, you’ll hear (and read) his version of a story about two preachers who attempt to spend the night in a haunted house. He called it “The Preachers and the Spooks.”

Spooky Stories for Halloween 2022 on the Folklife Today Podcast

It’s October, so it’s time for a new season of the Folklife Today podcast, and a new Halloween episode!  In this Season 5 opener, John Fenn and Stephen Winick talk about the new updated Halloween and Dia de Muertos Research Guide. Then we introduce some of our favorite spooky stories: a witch story told by singer and activist Aunt Molly Jackson from Kentucky, a ghost story told by songster and blues musician John Jackson from Virginia, and the story of Jack O Lantern told by folklorist and International Man of Mystery Jack Santino. And of course we included the stories! Sound good? Very well then…Get your podcast here!

Announcing the AFC’s 2022 Homegrown Foodways in Central New Jersey Film Series

The following is a guest post by folklorist Sally Van de Water, Folklife Programs Manager, Division of Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Arts Institute of Middlesex County, New Jersey. The post introduces AFC’s Homegrown Foodways in Central New Jersey film series, a collaboration with Van de Water and colleagues at the Division of Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Arts Institute of Middlesex County.

Halloween and Día de Muertos Research Guide Expanded and Updated

Get ready for two upcoming holidays with the expanded and updated research guide on Halloween and Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) from the Library of Congress! “Halloween & Dia de Muertos Resources” highlights collections from across the Library, including the American Folklife Center, Prints and Photographs, the Hispanic section, Rare Books, Manuscripts, and the National Audio Visual Conservation Center (NAVCC). Items we’ve added for this year’s Halloween season include a player where you can listen to Jack Santino’s classic Halloween lecture discussing the deep history of the holiday as well as folktales and other Halloween lore. We’ve also added: links to notable books to get you started in your Halloween reading; a player to watch the first film version of Frankenstein from 1910; a gallery of classic Dia de Los Muertos posters from the Mission Grafica/La Raza Graphics collection; and links to lots of new content like the witch tales from Aunt Molly Jackson that I blogged about just last week. Find it all at the link in this blog post!

Aunt Molly Jackson Tells Witch Tales for Halloween Season

This is the 10th Halloween we have celebrated at Folklife Today with stories and songs about ghosts, witches, spirits, death, and the Devil. As usual, this year we’ll feature several Halloween posts leading up to the big day. We’re starting with this one, presenting some fascinating belief stories about witches from early 20th century Kentucky. The speaker is Mary Magdalen Garland Stewart Jackson Stamos, known by the professional name Aunt Molly Jackson. In the post, you’ll find embedded audio of Jackson telling the stories, along with complete transcriptions of the texts. Happy Halloween!