{ subscribe_url:'//blogs.loc.gov/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/folklife.php' }

Stories from the Stacks: VHP’s Newest Web Feature

Though it sounds a bit illogical, I consider myself lucky to have a job in which I am moved to tears on a regular basis. Working with Veterans History Project collections–whether they are made up of oral histories, manuscripts, or photographs–and the life stories they contain can sometimes elicit a strong visceral reaction.  Granted, it […]

Civil Rights Act of 1964 Exhibit Now Open

The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom opened at the Library of Congress on September 10th. This exhibit draws from collections across the library to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the act. It covers America’s long history of discrimination and segregation, the grassroots movement for civil rights, and the efforts of […]

Fandango: Convivial Sharing

The following is a guest post authored by Russell Rodríguez and Quetzal Flores of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts.  Rodríguez and Flores will visit the Library with three master musicians, three apprentices, and several guest musicians, on September 11, 2014, for the concert Son Jarocho Master Musicians (video, 1 hour). During the golden era […]

A Long-Term Endeavor: Digitizing Veterans History Project Collections

The following is a guest blog post by Andrew Cassidy-Amstutz, VHP Archivist.   One of the most common questions that the Veterans History Project (VHP) receives relating to our collections is “Why can’t I view my collection online yet?” While the answer to this question varies by individual collection, there are several cross-cutting issues that […]

Work Songs and Other Laborlore for Labor Day

With Labor Day approaching, I’d love to introduce you to some of our resources on the folklore and folklife of labor. This area of study has many names, from the more formal “occupational folk culture” to the more colloquial “laborlore.”  It also has many sub-areas, from the study of occupational folk speech, including jargon, to […]

Belief, Legend, and the Great Moon Hoax

During the week of August 25, 1835, the world was treated to a fantastic story of scientific discoveries by the famous British astronomer, Sir John Herschel. He had realized the speculations of his father, astronomer Sir William Herschel, as he discovered life on the moon.[1]  Or so the readers of The New York Sun were […]

The Two First “Folk-Lore” Columns

This post presents two primary source documents, both in the public domain, which are difficult to find online. Both relate to my previous post on William John Thoms. They are the first two columns in Thoms’ series “Folk-Lore,” which ran in the journal The Athenæum from 1846 to 1849, and in Notes & Queries from […]

“He Coined the Word ‘Folk-Lore'”: The “Old Folk-Lorist” William John Thoms

August 22 is an important date to folklore fans.  It is, in fact, the anniversary of the first appearance of the (originally hyphenated) word “Folk-Lore” in print. The medium was a letter to the editor of the Athenæum, a scholarly journal, and the author was William John Thoms, although he wrote the letter under his […]