Awarded: August 16, 2007
(June 29, 1917 - March 22, 2009)
Beginning in the post-war years, Archie Green was a pioneer in documenting the expressive cultural traditions of working people-miners, tinsmiths, textile workers, railroad workers, coal miners and cowboys-and influenced a generation of scholarship on occupational culture and working life. He is a noted labor historian, carpenter, union organizer, shipwright and also emeritus university professor of folklore and English. Believing that the federal government had a vital role to play in documenting, supporting, revitalizing and disseminating America’s grassroots knowledge and arts, Green spent 10 years lobbying Congress to establish a national center that would preserve and present American folklife. His efforts prevailed, and on Jan. 2, 1976, President Gerald R. Ford signed into law the American Folklife Preservation Act, authorizing an American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.