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AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus now available as linked data

This is a guest post by American Folklife Center Folklife Specialist Catherine H. Kerst, a subject cataloger who has led the project since it was established. The American Folklife Center is delighted to announce that the American Folklore Society Ethnographic Thesaurus (AFSET) has been released through the Library of Congress Linked Data Service at //id.loc.gov/vocabulary/ethnographicTerms.The thesaurus […]

Photographs of the Southern Freedom Movement in the Alan Lomax Collection

Ever since the Civil Rights History Project Act was passed in 2009, archivists at the American Folklife Center have kept their eyes and ears open for items related to the Southern Freedom Movement as they process collections. Todd Harvey, curator of the Alan Lomax Collection (AFC 2004/004), recently noticed a folder of twenty-one photographs in […]

A Sampler of Caribbean American Recordings

Caribbean American Heritage Month is a relatively new commemorative month, first created in June, 2006. The American Folklife Center has many collections that document aspects of Caribbean cultures and some of these are available online. This essay can only touch on a few examples, but I hope it will provide ideas on how to explore […]

AFC acquires the papers of folk arts pioneer Bess Lomax Hawes

The following is a guest post from Todd Harvey, the curator of the Alan Lomax Collection at the American Folklife Center archives, Library of Congress. The American Folklife Center is delighted to announce donation of the Bess Lomax Hawes Collection (AFC 2014/008) to the Center’s archive. The collection contains manuscripts, sound recordings, photographs, and moving […]

Songs of the Abundant Ocean

June eighth is World Oceans Day, and an opportunity to look at a few examples of folksongs that relate to the interconnection between humans and the sea from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. In this recording, available via the link, James H. Gibbs of Nantucket, Massachusetts sings an untitled song about sperm whaling, […]

Vintage Researcher Photo: George Takei

In honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, we present this vintage AFC researcher photo. (And by “vintage,” I mean “prior to the existence of Folklife Today.”) This photo shows the stage, film, and television actor George Takei, best known as Mr. Sulu from the original Star Trek, who visited the AFC Reading Room on April […]

New collection documents issue related to wild horses in the Great Basin

The latest collection of oral histories and related documentation acquired by the American Folklife Center explores the significance and impact of wild horses, which remain deeply connected to the culture, economy and mythology of the West. Two companion collections include more than 1,000 images and more than 70 recorded interviews with those whose lives are impacted by the horses. Also […]