American Folklife Center Annual Report for 2005
Peggy A. Bulger, Director
Arrearage Reduction and Processing
During FY05, the American Folklife Center’s (AFC) Archive of Folk
Culture had 5 FTEs while the Veterans History Project (VHP) had 8.5 FTEs,
to process collections. The Center’s permanent processing staff expanded
responsibilities to include not only the physical and intellectual processing
of collection materials but also the preparation of manuscript, audio and
video holdings for scanning and/or digitization, to be accomplished in-house
or by outside vendors and by other LC divisions. In addition, the AFC received
the StoryCorps Collection, its first “born-digital” collection.
The AFC Collections Manual, an ongoing project, incorporated significant
revisions on such issues as acquiring and processing small collections;
updating guidelines on titles and subject headings for collections; designing
finding aid templates, reviewing, applying and converting collection finding
aids using Encoded Archival Description (EAD); and clarifying and reporting
arrearage reductions. Other processing improvements included collaborating
with the LC Conservation staff on treatment of materials, supplies requests,
and the MDEP projects to plan the eventual transfer of collections to Ft.
Meade. The VHP continued to report large acquisition numbers as collections
were received and items were processed.
Below are two lists of collections which (1) were completely processed
and (2) were partially processed during Fiscal Year 2005. Completely processed
collections have MARC records in the LC Online Catalog.
1. Completed Processing FY05 (64 Collections):
- 1995 Neptune Plaza Concert Series Collection AFC 1995/00
Studies Collection AFC 1973/010
- Alabama State Council on the Arts Collection
on Gandy Dancers AFC 1989/004
- American Folk Blues Festival Photograph
Collection, 1962-1965 AFC 2003/050
- Anthony G. Barrand Concert and Lecture
Collection AFC 2003/032
- Blind Boys of Alabama Concert Collection AFC
- Campbell Brothers and Katie Jackson Concert and Interview
Collection AFC 2002/015
- Carl Lindahl Collection of Tales and Narratives
- Cellicion Traditional Zuni Dancers Concert Collection AFC
- Chang Yu-Cheng Chinese Opera Video Collection AFC 2005/003
Concert and Interview Collection AFC 2003/044 (Judy Ng)
- Chicago Ethnic
Arts Project Collection - Exhibition Material AFC 1981/004
Rod-Puppetry Performance and Interview Collection AFC 2002/011
Brown Concert Collection AFC 2002/014
- Chuna McIntyre and the Nunamta
Yup’ik Eskimo Dancers Collection
- Coal River Folklife Project
- David Dunaway/Pete Seeger Interviews Collection AFC
- Don Conoscenti Collection AFC 2003/052
- Eddie Pennington Concert and
Interview Collection AFC 2002/010
- Eleanor Jean Bonar Collection of Songs
from Iowa and Kentucky AFC 1971/001
- Four Masters of Chinese Storytelling
Collection AFC 2004/021
- Ganga Concert Collection AFC 2003/040
- Gary Le Gallant Collection of “Sugar
in the Gourd” Television
Programs AFC 2005/002
o nâ Maolipua: Hawaiian
Mele Hula AFC 2003/043
T. Glasser Collection of
Carnegie Ceilidh and Kingston
Ceilidh Ephemera AFC 1970/011
- Isabel Gordon Carter Collection AFC 2005/004
- Jacob Evanson Collection
of Folksongs for Pittsburgh School Students AFC 1948/007
- James Madison
Carpenter Collection AFC 1972/001
- Jason Baird Jackson and Victoria
Lindsay-Levine Collection of Yuchi Dance Music AFC 2001/009
- Joe Derrane
and Friends Concert and Interview Collection AFC 2003/042
- Julie McCullough/Folklore
Society of Greater Washington Collection AFC 2002/003
- Karl and the
Country Dutchmen Concert and Interview Collection AFC 2002/013
- Lands’ End
All-American Quilt Collection AFC 1997/011
- Leo Sarkisian and the
Voice of America's “Music Time in Africa” /
Paul Gwamna (Thesis, PhD) AFC 1997/014
- Les Gilliam Collection AFC 1999/009
- Lew Green American Banjo Fraternity
Collection AFC 1985/021
- Mariachi Los Amigos Concert Collection AFC
- Marynell Young "Vintage Fiddling in Eastern Kentucky" Collection
- Michael Chyet Lecture AFC 2003/034
- Mingo Saldivar Concert and Interview
Collection AFC 2002/017
- Minnesota Scandinavian Ensemble and Becky Weis
Concert and Interview Collection
- Nancy-Jean Seigel Collection of Helen Hartness Flanders Material
- Old New England Concert and Interview Collection AFC 2002/019
Perkins Concert Collection AFC 2002/020
- Rhythms of Flamenco Lecture
and Dance Demonstration AFC 2003/035
- Robert M. Fleck Collection AFC
- Robert Sonkin Alabama and New Jersey Collection AFC 1941/018
Turner and the Silver Heart Gospel Singers Concert Collection
- Roberto and Lorenzo Martinez Interview Collection AFC 2003/047
Hiteshew Collection AFC 1998/013
- Sam Eskin Collection AFC 1999/004
- Santiago Jimenez Concert Collection
- Seldom Scene Concert and Interview Collection AFC 2003/036
- Selma Jacobson
Swedish-American Songbook and Humor Collection AFC 1979/009
Vallenata con Gustavo Nieto Concert Collection AFC
- September 11, 2001, Documentary Project Collection AFC 2001/015
Zhirkevich Photograph Collection AFC 2000/026
- Svetilen Concert and
Lecture Collection AFC 2003/031
- Tatiana Sarbinska Concert Collection
- Tom Paxton Concert and Interview Collection AFC 2002/016
- Warner Williams
and Jay Summerour Concert and Interview Collection AFC
- Working in Paterson Project Collection AFC 1995/028
- Wylie and the Wild
West Concert and Interview Collection AFC 2003/048
- YAR International
Russian Folk Concert Collection AFC 2000/013
2. Partially Processed FY05 (40 Collections)
- Aaron Ziegelman Foundation Collection AFC 2003/002
- Alan Lomax Collection
- Artifacts and Gifts Collection AFC 9999/003
- Barry Lee Pearson Collection
of Rev. O.C. Matthews Recordings AFC 1980/005
- Black Banjo Songsters,
Volume 2 Digitization Project AFC 9999/004
- Captain Pearl R. Nye Collection
- Don Yoder Collection of Tape Recordings AFC 2003/051
- Don Yoder Collection
of Wire Recordings AFC 1970/004
- Edward Bell Collection of Ruth Mae Gasper
Bell and Margot Mayo Recordings AFC 2004/022
- Eleanor Dickinson Collection
- Eloise Hubbard Linscott Collection AFC 1942/002
- Frances Densmore Collection
of Visual Materials AFC 1944/002
- George Korson Collection AFC 2003/011
- Herbert Halpert Collection AFC
- International Storytelling Collection AFC 2001/008
- Irish Folklore Commission
Wax Cylinder Collection AFC 2004/002
- Italian Americans in the West
Collection AFC 1989/022
- Jean Thomas Scrapbook Collection AFC 1954/001
- Jens Lund Ohio River
Valley Collection AFC 2004/023
- Jens Lund Collection of Folklife Center
of Ohio Valley Recordings AFC 2004/025
- Joel M. Halpern Colletion AFC
- Joseph S. Hall Great Smoky Mountains Original Recordings Collection
- Ken Lindsay Collection of
Woody Guthrie Correspondence AFC 2005/006
- Literatura de Cordel Brazilian
Chapbook Collection AFC 1970/002
- Local Legacies Collection AFC 2000/001
- National Council for the Traditional
Arts (NCTA) Collection AFC 2001/019
- Neil V. Rosenberg Bluegrass Music
Collection AFC 2002/009
- New Mexican Midwinter Masquerades AFC 2005/005
- Nora Yeh Kemeny Family
Collection AFC 2000/018
- Pete and Toshi Seeger Film Collection AFC 2003/027
- OzarksWatch Video
Magazine Collection AFC 2000/027
- Sidney Robertson Cowell WPA California
Folk Music Project Collection AFC 1940/001
- Steve Green Collection of
Home Disc Recordings AFC 1997/031
- StoryCorps Collection AFC 2004/001
- Ted Grame and Kathy Monahan Recordings
- Veteran’s History Project AFC 2001/002
- Vida Chenoweth Collection
- Voices of Civil Rights Project Collection AFC 2005/013
- W. Dean Edwards
Collection (Fun Finders) AFC 1995/015
- Zuni Pueblo Storytelling Collection
Collection of Woody Guthrie Letters: AFC purchased an important collection
of twenty-nine unpublished letters by and to Woody Guthrie (1912-1967),
the American writer, singer and composer of hundreds of highly influential “people’s
songs,” including “This Land is Your Land.” Guthrie was
a seminal figure in the folk music revival of the 1940s and his songs and
philosophy have had a profound impact, inspiring countless people, including
such contemporary musicians as Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Also included
in the collection are letters by Marjorie Mazia (Guthrie’s second
wife) and Anneke Van Kirk (Guthrie’s third wife). The letters in
the collection discuss Guthrie’s work, reveal dramatic circumstances
of his personal life and provide rare insight into his remarkable life.
Included with some of the letters are song lyrics written by Guthrie. The
letters and lyrics complement other Guthrie materials already in AFC collections.
Four Masters of Chinese Storytelling Collection: This collection consists
of 360 CDs containing field recordings of traditional storytellers from
Yangzhou Shi, China. The recordings were made by Vibeke Børdahl,
senior researcher at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Copenhagen.
Børdahl is the leading expert on the subject and is the author of
Four Masters of Chinese Storytelling, Eternal Storyteller: Oral Literature
in Modern China, and Chinese Storytellers: Life and Art in the Yangzhou
Chang Yu-Chen Collection: Consisting of 757 VHS and Beta videotapes, this
collection documents the performance of traditional Chinese opera by master
artists and opera companies in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C.,
and other cities in the United States over the course of the past thirty
years. The collection is especially significant because it includes unique
documentation of performances by revered master performers, and has been
used by Chinese opera groups in the United States to help them maintain
the highest artistic standards of the tradition. This large, well-organized
collection was created by the late Chang Yu-Chen, a respected Chinese opera
performer and teacher, and it came to AFC as a donation by her husband,
Vincent Y. S. Wong, of Louisville, Kentucky. This is believed to be the
premier collection of its kind in the United States.
Vida Chenoweth Collection: Ethnomusicologist Vida Chenoweth, of Enid,
Oklahoma, donated an increment to the Vida Chenoweth Collection that consists
of original sound recordings, photographs, manuscripts and other materials
that document the music, languages and other aspects of the cultures of
the Sentani, the Kosarek and the Marirasi of Indonesia; the Kol, the Baining,
the Mangseng, the Blablanga and the Halia of Papua New Guinea; and various
groups in Mexico.
Curtis Cook Zuni Pueblo Storytelling Collection: This collection consists
of numerous original audio recordings, manuscripts and published works
that document the Zuni language and traditional Zuni narratives, along
with associated photographs and other materials, created by the donor,
Curtis D. Cook, of Goodyear, Arizona, during the 1960s and 70s.
StoryCorps Collection: AFC received the first increment of the StoryCorps
Collection, a born-digital collection comprising oral history interviews
and family stories collected at Grand Central Terminal, New York City,
since the establishment of the StoryCorps project in 2004. These recordings
document the lives of ordinary Americans, and form an oral historical record
of life at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The project was inspired
by the interviews done during the 1930s by the Federal Writers’ Project
of the WPA. AFC staff helped develop the themes and database used by StoryCorps.
The StoryCorps Project is ongoing, with future narratives generated not
only at the original StoryCorps site, but also at “Ground Zero” in
New York City, and by two mobile recording studios that are visiting towns
and cities throughout the United States.
All members of the AFC’s staff with training in folklore, ethnomusicology,
or audiovisual archiving took shifts on the Folklife reading room reference
desk, assisting Library patrons in person and by telephone. The four persons
designated as “Folklife Specialists (Reference)” handled the
bulk of the Folklife Center’s mail and email reference correspondence,
and referred questions as needed to other AFC staff as well as to Library
of Congress and professional colleagues around the world. All AFC staff,
however – particularly those with known subject expertise – received
and handled inquiries that came to them directly.
The reference staff had primary responsibility for maintaining the AFC’s
in-house Collections Database, as well as for the inventories of the AFC’s
various categories of vertical files. This year’s AFC website redesign
made it possible for the reference staff to correct and update online cross-collection
finding aids. In addition, AFC placed online a list with summary information
on approximately 60% of the collections.
The physical relocation of the Reading Room in 2004 required many decisions
regarding where materials (such as the 35,000+ subject files) should be
located for easiest use by staff and patrons, as well as what equipment
was required at which analog and digital workstations for optimum playback
The growing number of digitized audio, video, and image (photo as well
as manuscript) collections led to new questions about mechanisms for supplying
access and for handling photo- and phono-duplication requests. Digital
formats broadened the AFC’s service while requiring the development
of new policies for use of digital cameras and scanning.
Reference Team Acquisitions Work: The AFC reference staff handled the
serial publications and many small collections that came directly to the
AFC. During the year, AFC added more than 2400 items of ephemera to the
subject files and over 500 serial issues. It also recommended the acquisition
and routing of hundreds of published items to other parts of the Library.
Meetings and Visitors
In FY05, the AFC hosted visitors and assisted researchers from the following
countries: Albania, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Canada,
Czech Republic, Egypt, England (UK), Germany, Hungary, Iceland, India,
Italy, Jordan, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Northern Ireland (UK), Norway, Oman,
Palestine, People’s Republic of China, Poland, Republic of Ireland,
Romania, Russia, Scotland (UK), Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan (China),
Tunisia, Wales (UK). AFC Staff also hosted or visited members of several
Native American nations, including Zuni and Cherokee peoples.
AFC staff met with, visited, or provided services to the following domestic
educational institutions: Bell Multicultural High School, Brandeis University,
Brevard College, Brigham Young University, Cleveland State University,
Colorado College, Cornell University, Folger Institute, Harvard University,
Indiana University, Johns Hopkins University, Little Priest College, Louisiana
Technical University, Middle Tennessee State University, Norwood School,
Oglala Lakota University, Purdue University, Salisbury University, Sitting
Bull College, University of Alabama , University of Chicago, University
of Maryland, University of Missouri, University of South Dakota, University
of Utah, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
AFC staff aided or worked with the following domestic government agencies,
museums, and non-profit organizations: The American Society of Human Genetics,
Archive of the City of New Orleans, Arizona Historical Society Museum,
Arizona State Museum, Army Corps of
Engineers, Association for Cultural Equity, California Council for the
Humanities, Center for Southern Folklore, Cleveland Public Art, Florida
Florida Folklife Council, Florida House, Florida Trust for Historic Preservation,
Indigenous Language Institute, Institute of Noetic Sciences, International
Storytelling Foundation, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts,
Maryland Cultural and Historical Trust, Maryland State Arts Council, Mid
Atlantic Arts Council, Modern Archives Institute,The Museum of the Cherokee
Indian, National Council for the Traditional Arts, National Endowment for
the Arts, National Endowment
the Humanities, National Geographic Society, National Humanities Alliance,
National Museum of the American Indian, National Park Service, National
Public Radio, National Visionary Leadership Project, Organization of American
States, Recording Academy, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Sharlot Hall Historical
Society (Arizona), Smithsonian Institution, Society for American Archivists,
South Carolina Traditional Arts Network, StoryCorps, Traditional Arts Indiana,
US State Department, Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, Voice of America.
Selected Meetings and Visitors:
October 26: Michael Taft hosted archiving planners from the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame to advise on the establishment of an archive for their institution.
November 10: Guha Shankar met with four scholars from Bangladesh visiting
AFC as part of the State Department sponsored Visitors Exchange Program.
December 8: Michael Taft described AFC operations to a delegation that
included the head of the Albanian National Library and the Albanian Minister
December 9-10: Michael Taft visited The Museum of the Cherokee Indian,
NC, to discuss archival practices with local archivists, librarians, and
January 6: Peggy Bulger and David Taylor met with cultural attachés
at the Norwegian embassy to discuss partnerships to showcase Norwegian
February 25: Michael Taft hosted a visit by Thorleifur Jónsson,
head of the National Department, National and University Library of Iceland,
and described AFC operations.
March 10-11: Peggy Bulger and David Taylor visited Pete and Toshi Seeger
at their home in Beacon, New York. The purpose of the visit was to present
the Seegers with DVD "donor copies" of selected films in the
large collection they donated to the Center last year, and to discuss the
donation of their papers sometime in the future.
March 15: Peggy Bulger met with Bendik Rugaas of the Embassy of Norway
to discuss possible collaborations.
March 15: Professor Michael Alcorn, director of the Sonic Arts Research
Centre at Queen’s University, Belfast, and Anne Hanafin of the Northern
Ireland Bureau met with AFC staff Guha Shankar, Matt Barton, Ilana Harlow
and Stephen Winick.
March 24-25: The American Folklife Center Board of Trustees met at the
LOC for its spring meeting. On March 24, many members of the staff conducted
presentations and discussions.
March 30: David Taylor, Peggy Bulger and Michael Taft extensively briefed
the Librarian of Congress on AFC acquisitions, describing recently acquired
collections and well as major prospective collections that are being pursued.
April 6-7: Peggy Bulger spoke to the combined meeting of the Florida Arts
Council, the Florida Folklife Council, and the Florida Trust for Historic
Preservation Board in Tallahassee. While there she attended the induction
of Stetson Kennedy into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.
April 8-9: Maggie Kruesi and Guha Shankar gave presentations at a conference
in Madrid, Spain, sponsored by the Spanish Council for Scientific Research.
April 15-16: Peggy Bulger delivered the keynote address to the “Future
of Folk” conference in Madison, WI, and met with the Midwest Folklorists
June 10: David Taylor and Michael Taft gave Madison Council members Jack
and Charlotte Kessler a presentation on the AFC.
July 1: Michael Taft hosted a delegation from Bhutan--Mr. Dorji Tshering,
Director, National Library; Mr. Thinley Gyamtsho, Principal, Royal Academy
of Performing Arts; Ms Dorji Yangki, Division for Conservation and Architectural
July 6: Michael Taft hosted Mr. Pedrag Malbaša, Deputy Minister for
Cultural and Natural Heritage for the Republic of Montenegro.
July 13: Snehalata Gupta (India), one of a group of international teachers
of English, paid a visit to the AFC, where she was given an overview of
AFC's heritage and other education projects by Guha Shankar.
July 14: Dance scholar and collector Anthony G. Barrand visited from Brattleboro,
Vermont in order to deliver the first half of his collection of documentary
materials on Morris, sword, and clog dancing and mumming, which he donated
August 4-7: Stephen Winick, Cathy Kerst and Jonathan Gold accompanied
and supported the Librarian of Congress at the one hundredth consecutive
reunion of the Roberts, Borders, Mauney, Howell, Briggs and related families
in Charlotte, NC. They explained the mission of the AFC for family members,
documented the reunion, and met and spoke with Congressman Melvin Watt.
They conducted twenty-eight oral history interviews, documented ten hours
of speeches, performances and family events, and acquired eight important
documents of family history.
September 12: Blues musician B.B. King visited the Library to receive
the Living Legend Award from Dr. Billington. He was interviewed by Peggy
Bulger for the AFC collections.
September 16: Marcia Segal was contacted by Dr. John Lonnquest, Director
of the Army Corps of Engineers oral history program, requesting guidance
on CD-R media. She provided advice and links to web sites with detailed
Programs, Projects, and Public Events
Field School for Cultural Documentation. The AFC’s Field School
for Cultural Documentation was held for the second year in a row at Brigham
Young University in Provo, Utah. From July 16 to August 7, Guha Shankar
and Ilana Harlow served as faculty at the Field School in Provo, while
David Taylor was the field school’s co-director. The student participants
conducted research on the intersection of nature and recreational culture
in one of Provo's landmarks, Provo Canyon. This was the eighth field school
that AFC has sponsored since 1994. BYU is considering establishing its
own annual field school on the AFC model, which would be the first such
program at sparked by the AFC field school.
Arizona Heritage Project (AHP). On November 19 and 20, Guha Shankar met
with educators and students at the Arizona Historical Society Museum in
Tempe, Arizona to review the progress reports presented by the five partner
schools in this year's AHP, now headquartered at the Sharlot Hall Historical
Society (SHHS) in Prescott. On February 2, Dan Shilling, Executive Director
of the AHP, Richard Sims, Director of the SHHS, and Kelley Cabral, the
SHHS Business Officer, met with AFC staff members Peggy Bulger, Guha Shankar,
David Taylor and Maggie Kruesi in order to formally launch the next stage
of the AHP, which includes expansion into other areas of the state. From
June 22 to 25, Guha Shankar participated as A faculty member in the third
annual AHP Summer Teaching Institute, held at SHHS. Shankar provided participants
with an introduction to the American Folklife Center's work and to the
Library's online educational resources. He also conducted workshops on
the principles and research methods of heritage-in-education projects.
Montana Heritage Project (MHP). On December 21, Guha Shankar and Jonathan
Gold videotaped interviews with AFC Director Peggy Bulger, Peter Bartis
(VHP), and former AFC director Alan Jabbour on the significant accomplishments
of the MHP on the eve of the MHP’s tenth anniversary. On April 4
and 5, Guha Shankar attended the tenth anniversary MHP youth festival in
Helena, Montana. He gave the opening remarks for the festival. On May 4,
student ambassadors from the MHP paid their annual visit to the Library.
The students presented their yearlong research findings to the Librarian
of Congress, Dr. James H. Billington, and Associate Librarian for Library
Services, Deanna Marcum. On September 12 to 14, Peggy Bulger attended the
executive board meeting of the Montana Heritage Project in Helena.
State Department Tours: American Folklife Center staff members Peggy Bulger,
Michael Taft and Todd Harvey traveled to seven U.S. embassies in Europe
during February and March, presenting materials from the Alan Lomax Collection
at the AFC, at the request of the U.S. State Department. The presentations,
titled African-American Heritage and the Legacy of Alan Lomax, were given
in celebration of African-American History Month. Public presentations
were made in the following countries: Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia, Austria,
Northern Ireland, Sweden, Hungary, England and Poland. Each program included
two speakers, one from the AFC and one from the Association for Cultural
Equity (ACE), an organization established by Alan Lomax in the 1980s to
promote access to his collections and equitable representation of the cultures
they represent. In addition, AFC staff members presented descriptive materials
and CDs at each venue to describe the work of the AFC and the Library of
Zuni Pueblo: AFC continued to pursue a relationship with the community
of Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico. Discussions with community members centered
on the Archive’s two significant Zuni collections: the Doris Duke
Zuni Storytelling Collection and the Curtis Cook Zuni Pueblo Storytelling
Collection. On October 14, Guha Shankar met with University of Utah archivists
to undertake a preliminary survey of research materials in their collection
that promise to significantly expand knowledge of the cultural and historical
context of the Duke recordings. On February 14, ethnolinguist Curtis Cook
met with AFC staff to deliver a presentation on his recently donated collection.
On May 11, Shankar, Michael Taft and David Taylor held a conference call
with Dan MacCool, Director, American West Center at the University of Utah
to discuss the possible exchange of copies of materials pertaining to the
Duke Collection. The University collection includes manuscripts, correspondence,
and graphic materials from the collecting trip. On May 12, Shankar, Taft,
Taylor and Judith Gray met with Richard Yarnall, Head of the Anglo-American
Acquisitions division of the Library to discuss the repatriation of digital
copies of the Doris Duke Zuni Storytelling Collections to the tribe. On
September 23, Guha Shankar arranged for a visit to the Center by approximately
30 students and teachers from the Zuni Indian community of Zuni Pueblo.
They were accompanied by Councilman Arden Kucate of the Zuni Tribal Council.
Alan Lomax Symposium: The AFC began planning for a major symposium entitled
The Lomax Legacy: Folklore in a Globalizing Century, which will be held
at the Library of Congress from January 18 through 20, 2006. A diverse
group of scholars, cultural workers, and media producers will gather to
reflect on the life work of preeminent song collector, musical anthropologist,
and cultural activist, Alan Lomax (1915-2002). The symposium will consist
of two days of panel presentations, film screenings, and an evening concert.
Participants will discuss their own research, publications, productions,
and advocacy work in light of Lomax's pioneering initiatives in these same
areas. The gathering highlights the AFC's 2004 acquisition of the Alan
Lomax Collection. Lomax's career began at the Library's Archive of American
Folk Song in 1933. In FY05, speakers and events were arranged and scheduled,
and registration began.
Website Redesign/Updates: On January 24, the "September 11, 2001,
Documentary Project" was released on the American Memory website.
The redesigned AFC website was put online on April 28. The AFC web redesign
team (Stephanie Hall, Michael Taft, Gene Berry, Peggy Bulger, Judith Gray,
Cathy Kerst, Guha Shankar, Ann Hoog, John Barton, Sarah Bradley Leighton
and Stephen Winick) worked with Julianne Mangin and Elizabeth Miller from
the Library Services Technology Policy Office during most of FY05 to redesign
and edit the 650 pages of the AFC website including navigational pages.
During FY05, Stephanie Hall added the following online collections guides:
The David Dunaway/Pete Seeger Interviews Collection; The Fletcher Collins,
Jr. Collection; and The Sam Eskin Collection. Jennifer Cutting’s
webcast Bringing in the May went live on the Library’s website on
May 3 as part of the Journeys & Crossings series. On July 19, Ann Hoog
added a “List of Collections” to the AFC website. On September
8, a finding aid to collections from the state of Rhode Island was made
available on the website.
Card Catalog Conversion: AFC undertook the first steps of converting the
AFC’s card catalog to a database. Several boxes of cards were digitized
to image files, and await OCR and keying to convert them to database entries.
AFC Staff, including Michael Taft, John Barton, Guha Shankar, Jennifer
Cutting, Cathy Kerst and Maggie Kruesi, met with staff members in various
Library offices including the Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI), Automation
Planning and Liaison Office (APLO), and the Cataloging Policy and Support
Office (CPSO), all of whom are interested in the progress of the AFC’s
catalog conversion. External financial support for the project came from
Rich Nevins, founder of Shanachie Entertainment, inc.
AFC Poetry Book: Stephen Winick completed a proposal for a book of poetry
on folklife themes, tentatively entitled How to make Rhubarb Wine: American
Heritage in Poetry. The proposal was in response to a letter from Ted Kooser,
the U.S. Poet Laureate. It has met with the Poet Laureate’s approval,
and will be used to find a publisher for the book.
Ethnographic Thesaurus: The AFC continued to work in partnership with
the American Folklore Society (AFS) to complete the development of an Ethnographic
Thesaurus (ET) for the benefit of ethnographic archives worldwide. The
project is funded by a $484,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
From April 1 to 3, Michael Taft and Cathy Kerst attended and co-hosted
the ET Board and Team meeting in Washington, DC. The Board meeting on April
2 was also attended by Maggie Kruesi of the ET advisory board. On August
24, Cathy Kerst and Michael Taft, co-chairs of the ET Project, with Maggie
Kruesi, AFC cataloger; Kristin Rainey, database manager; and David Batty,
lexicographer for the Project, attended an LC CATS Group (Categorization,
Taxonomies, Thesauri, Controlled Vocabularies, Classification, and Automated
Metadata Generation) meeting.
Genetic Health Family History Project. The Health Resources and Services
Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services awarded $400,000
for a collaborative project among the AFC, Institute for Cultural Partnerships,
American Society of Human Genetics and the Genetic Alliance for the "Healthy
Choices Through Family History Awareness Project." The project uses
ethnographic fieldwork to elicit health-related narratives, assisting health
professionals and families in the identification of risk factors that should
help determine best medical care. The first draft of the tool, entitled "Does
it Run in the Family," has been completed. On August 30, Ilana Harlow
participated in a meeting at the Association for the Study of Human Genetics
to review and improve the first draft and to ready it for publication and
StoryCorps: On February 16, the AFC announced the acquisition of the first
increment of StoryCorps interviews. The StoryCorps project, a national
initiative to instruct and inspire Americans to record one another's stories,
was conceived by MacArthur Fellow David Isay of Sound Portraits Productions.
Isay was inspired by the WPA oral history recordings that are held at the
LC. The StoryCorps interviews provide a contemporary corollary to these
documentary recordings from the 1930s, and they are the AFC's first "born
digital" collection. On May 19, a press conference announced the opening
of two mobile StoryCorps recording booths that spent a week in residence
at the LC. During that week, Peggy Bulger interviewed Marvin Kranz of the
Library’s Manuscript Division, as well as folklorist and social activist
Stetson Kennedy. AFC Board of Trustees member Mickey Hart interviewed Dr.
James Billington, Librarian of Congress. Michael Taft interviewed former
AFC writer-editor Jim Hardin, and Todd Harvey interviewed former AFC director
Alan Jabbour. On May 24, the AFC hosted a press event and evening reception
for the StoryCorps project in the Great Hall.
Irish Musical Traditions Exhibition: The AFC continued to plan for this
exhibit, which will explore the journeys of Irish immigrants, and consequently
the journeys of Irish music and song, by looking at the spectrum of performance
situations and spaces within which these traditions were created and preserved.
If funded, the exhibit will highlight AFC and Library collections, musical
performances and events, outreach and educational programs. On October
28, Dr. Mick Moloney came to consult on the exhibit; on February 7, Dr.
Séamus Ó Catháin of University College, Dublin arrived
to consult; on February 9, Peggy Bulger and staff met with Anne Hanafin,
Tim Losty and Michael Gould of the Northern Ireland Bureau; and on March
18, Angela Smith, Member of Parliament and Minister of Culture of Northern
Ireland visited the Library to learn about the exhibit.
WIPO/UNESCO: AFC continued to be involved with international discussions
concerning intellectual property, folklore, traditional knowledge and genetic
resources. Peggy Bulger served on the U.S. delegation to the World Intellectual
Property Organization (WIPO), and participated in meetings of U.S. government
officials concerning cultural policy matters involving intellectual property.
On October 5 to 12, Bulger attended UNESCO planning meetings at the National
Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to discuss the cultural diversity convention.
On October 16, Bulger was a panel participant in “WIPO and Folklorists’ Roles” at
the American Folklore Society meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. From November
1 to 5, Bulger attended the WIPO committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional
Knowledge & Folklore as part of the U.S. delegation in Geneva, Switzerland.
On December 7, Bulger attended a UNESCO meeting at the U.S. State Department
on Cultural Diversity. On March 23, Bulger attended a meeting at the State
Department about the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity. On May 2,
Bulger attended a meeting with the UNESCO Cultural Diversity working group
at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). On May 12, she attended
a meeting with the WIPO U.S. Delegation at the (United States Patent and
Trademark Office (USPTO) to plan for the WIPO subcommittee meetings on
Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Folklore. On May 18, Bulger
met at the State Department with a working group to plan for a UNESCO cultural
diversity meeting. From June 4 to 10, she attended the WIPO Committee meetings
on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore in Geneva, Switzerland,
as part of the U.S. delegation. From June 16 to 17, she attended a symposium
sponsored by the Center for Intellectual Property at the University of
Maryland at College Park. And on September 30, Bulger met with Brian Brachner
of the Library of Congress Law Library to discuss intellectual property
issues and WIPO initiatives.
Video Conferences: On December 13, June 6, June 13, July 11, August 9
and August 11, Cathy Kerst and Judy Graves of the LC Digital Reference
Team participated in video conference workshops for K-12 educators entitled “Gathering
The Homegrown Concert Series is an ongoing project of the AFC to document
the best folk and traditional performing artists in the United States for
the archive’s collections, as selected by state folk arts coordinators
in the U.S. This program served the state folklife offices across the nation
by offering a venue for their artists in DC, and provided opportunities
for congressional outreach to constituents. Artists participated in oral
history interviews recorded and deposited in the Archive of Folk Culture.
The concerts during FY 05 were:
- October 20: Nadeem Dlaikan and the Dearborn Traditional Ensemble
(Arabic music from Michigan)
- November 17: The American Indian Music
and Dance Show with Tom Ware (Kiowa and Comanche traditions from Oklahoma
and elsewhere on the Great Plains)
- December 8: Jerry Grcevich and his
Orchestra (Croatian-American tamburitza music from Pennsylvania)
21: Fiddler Liz Carroll and guitarist John Doyle (Irish-American music
- May 18: The Chu Shan Chinese Opera Institute (Maryland)
- June 21: Margaret
MacArthur (ballads from Vermont)
- July 20: D.W. Groethe (Cowboy songs
and poetry from Montana)
- August 17: Benton Flippen and the Smokey Valley
Boys (old-time string-band music from North Carolina)
- September 20:
Dale Jett and the Carter Singers’ tribute to the
Carter Family (old-time country music from Virginia)
The Benjamin Botkin Folklife Lecture Series provided once-a-month lectures
that were free and open to the public. The lectures offered a platform
for folklife and ethnography professionals to present findings from original
research, and added collection materials to the archive. Botkin Lectures
in FY05 included:
- October 21: "From Bridge to Boardwalk: An Audio Journey
Across Maryland's Eastern Shore,” by Douglas Manger, folklorist,
Mid Atlantic Arts Council, Tatiana Irvine, radio producer, and Elaine
Eff, folklorist, Maryland Cultural and Historical Trust
- January 25: “Enthralled
by the Story,” Todd Harvey and Valda
Morris discussing AFC’s International Storytelling Collection
- February 23: "Between Midnight and Day" -- an illustrated
lecture by Dick Waterman, photographer, agent, manager, and promoter
- March 23: “Music in Bulgaria: Experiencing
Music, Expressing Culture,” an
illustrated lecture by Professor Timothy Rice, ethnomusicologist,
- May 24: “Building Democracy in America”-- Stetson Kennedy,
folklorist, activist and author, interviewed by Peggy Bulger
- June 22: "From Virginia to Vermont: a Trek from Slavery to Freedom" --
an audio illustrated lecture by Jane Beck, Folklorist and Executive
Director of the Vermont Folklife Center, Middlebury, Vermont
21: "Bridles, Bits and Beads: Folk and Fieldwork from the High,
Wide and Handsome State of Montana"-- an illustrated lecture
by Dr. Alexandra Swaney of the Montana Arts Council
- August 23: “Tales
of the Jersey Devil” -- an Illustrated
Lecture by Stephen D. Winick of the American Folklife Center
28: “The Beat: Go-Go's Fusion of Funk and Hip-Hop” --
ethnomusicologist Kip Lornell discussing the book he co-authored
with Charles C. Stephenson, Jr.
Other Programs and Public Events
March 23: The Center co-sponsored, with the Hebrew language table and
the Hispanic Division, a performance of Ladino music by Ramon Tasat.
March 29: The Center co-sponsored, with the African and Middle Eastern
Division, a concert of Persian music in honor of Persian New Year, Noruz,
performed by the Chakavak Ensemble.
April 1-30: John Barton converted the "Folk Song Index: A Comprehensive
Guide to the Florence E. Brunnings Collection" to text for a scholar
who will be putting the widely used index online.
May 23-26: Jennifer Cutting and Matt Barton worked with Karen Lund of
the Music Division in order to provide a digitized version of Alan Lomax’s
1939 recording of Captain Richard Maitland singing “Shenandoah” for
the Thomas Hampson / American Creativity pages under construction on the
May 24: Jennifer Cutting prepared a report on Czech and Czech-American
materials in the Archive of Folk Culture for AFC Board member Mickey Hart’s
presentation to Václav Havel, former president of the Czech Republic.
August 1 through 8: Jennifer Cutting coordinated a team consisting of
Michael Taft, Maggie Kruesi, Marcia Segal, Stephen Winick, and herself
to provide critiques of the first round of work samples for the critical
edition of the James Madison Carpenter Collection.
September 21: The AFC hosted the National Endowment for the Arts’s
National Heritage Fellows’ Banquet.
Blanton Owen Fellowships. AFC’s Committee for the Blanton Owen fund
made three awards in FY05. $1100.00 was awarded to Sandra Grady for her
work with Somali Bantu refugees being resettled in Louisville, Kentucky.
$300.00 was awarded to Jaman Matthews in support of his project “Life
and Afterlife in the Mississippi Delta: Photographs and Visions.” $300.00
was awarded to Carrie Leonard to support her photographic documentation
of Inupiaq life in Noorvik, Alaska.
Gerald E. and Corrinne L. Parsons Fund for Ethnography
Committee for the Parsons Fellowships made two awards in FY05. $600.00
was awarded to David Hoffman of Burlington, Vermont for a research project
focusing on AFC’s involvement in issues pertaining to cultural and
environmental conservation. $600.00 was awarded to David Stanley of Salt
Lake City, Utah, for a project aimed at assembling an anthology of classic
Internships. The AFC hosted and trained twelve interns in FY05, who accomplished
a variety of work concerning the collections in the Archive of Folk Culture.
The interns were: Amanda Berger, Krista Dorsey, Beth Daniels, Jeff Huffnagle,
Rona Razon, Katie Heimer, Maya Lerman, Brian Oliver, Hannah Sacks, Breanna
Byecroft, Osei Essed, and Jeremy Foutz.
Junior Fellows. Two Library of Congress Junior Fellows worked at the AFC
during FY05: Sarah Reeder, a recent graduate of the College of William & Mary;
and Amy Palmer, who has a master’s degree in library science from
the School of Library and Information Science at the Catholic University
Leadership Development. The AFC hosted a Leadership Development Intern
during FY05: Parthenia Palmer, a longtime employee of the Library of Congress
and a student in the School of Communications at the University of Maryland
University College. Palmer worked on developing a public relations plan
for the AFC.
Key Personnel Changes
February 28: Stephen D. Winick reported for duty as AFC’s Writer-Editor.
May 15: Marcia Segal, formerly an AFC processing technician, was promoted
to Processing Archivist.
September 4: David Taylor, formerly AFC Senior Folklife Specialist, was
appointed Head, Research and Programs.
November 24: Michael Taft and David Taylor gave Sen. Bob Graham (FL) and
family a tour of AFC.
January 13: Peggy Bulger and Peter Bartis met with Roger Szemray of Rep.
Marci Kaptor’s (OH) office to discuss her wish to serve ethnic museums
across the nation.
March 8: Peggy Bulger and Stephen Winick prepared letters for the Librarian’s
signature to Senators George Voinovich of Ohio and Tom Harkin of Iowa,
and to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert of Illinois. The letters concerned
Peggy Bulger’s visits to the embassies in Slovenia and Luxembourg
March 14 (week of): Jennifer Cutting spoke with a member of Rep. Bob Menendez’s
(NJ) staff. The call was to recognize the work of Menendez’s constituent,
Calvin Earl, a singer of African-American spirituals.
March 15: Jennifer Cutting hosted former Sen. Connie Mack’s (FL)
visit to the Folklife Reading Room. Sen. Mack came with his friends, Andrew
and Julie Nichols. Mr. Nichols’s mother and aunts were recorded in
Florida by the WPA, and their singing is featured in the Center’s
web presentation on the Florida WPA.
May 25: Peggy Bulger, Sarah Bradley Leighton, David Taylor and Stephen
D. Winick met with Rep. Bill Pascrell (NJ). Rep. Pascrell was presented
with a copy of the collection guide for the Working in Paterson Project
Collection and a copy of American Folklife Center: An Illustrated Guide.
June 21: David Taylor, Thea Austen and Stephen D. Winick coordinated the
visit of Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont, Mrs. Jeffords, and approximately
twenty of his staffers to the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium for the
Margaret MacArthur concert, which was part of the “Homegrown” series.
David Taylor presented Senator Jeffords with a copy of American Folklife
Center: An Illustrated Guide, and with the CDR Vermont Recordings from
the Collections of the American Folklife Center, created by Stephen Winick.
July 25-29: The office of Senator Harry Reid (NV) contacted the reference
desk to obtain copies of photos Paiute Indians from the “Buckaroos
in Paradise” website.
August 6-7: Melvin Watt, Congressman from North Carolina, was interviewed
for the AFC by Dr. James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress. The interview
was arranged by Stephen D. Winick, coordinated by Cathy Kerst, and documented
on video by Jonathan Gold. Stephen D. Winick presented Rep. Watt with a
copy of American Folklife Center: An Illustrated Guide and several CDs
of African American Music from the Archive.
During FY05, three issues (one a special double issue) of Folklife Center
News were produced. The new writer-editor, Stephen D. Winick, redesigned
the look of the newsletter, adding color to the covers. Editorially, he
emphasized guest writers from the field of folklife and historical articles
about the AFC’s collections.
During FY05, AFC produced an updated edition of the manual Folklife and
- Review-essay of six series of CDs containing early recordings
from the Vienna Phonogrammarchiv. Ethnomusicology 49,
- Review of the first two CDs in the Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv
Historische Klangdokumente series. IASA Journal 25:
- “Shaping Sorrow: Creative Aspects of Public and Private
Mourning in Response to September 11th.” In Samuel Heilman (ed.)
Death, Bereavement and Mourning, 2005.
Catherine H. Kerst
- Review of Framing a National Narrative: The Legend Collections
of Peter Christen Asbjornson, by Marte Mvan Hult (Detroit: The Wayne
State University Press, 2003). Western Folklore 62, 4: 308-310.
of MennoFolk: Mennonite & Amish Folk Tradition by Ervin
Beck. The Mennonite Quarterly Review, LXXIX, 2: 263-266.
- “Introduction” in Ervin Beck (ed.), MennoFolk2: A Sampler of
Mennonite & Amish Folklore. Scottsdale, Pennsylvania and
Waterloo, Ontario: Herald Press, 2005.
- “Access to Multi-Format Ethnographic Field Documentation: Archival
Practice in the American Folklife Center.” Folklore Forum 35,
- “Mock Weddings,” “Shivarees,” and “Tall
Tales” in David J. Wishart (ed.) Encyclopedia of the Great Plains.
Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004.
- “The Ethnographic Document in the Digital Age: Making Traditional
Material Accessible in the Modern World--The Save Our Sounds Project
at the Library
of Congress.” Cahiers de la société de recherche
en musique 8,
- Review of The Film Preservation Guide: The Basics for Archives,
Libraries, and Museums. San Francisco: National Film Preservation
Foundation, 2004. College and Research Libraries 66, 2.
- Talkin’ to Myself: Blues Lyrics, 1921-1942.
New York and London: Routledge, 2005.
- “Home on the Range: A Study of Regional Preference in Song,” in
Martin Lovelace, Peter Narváez, and Diane Tye (eds.) Bean Blossom
to Bannerman, Odyssey of a Folklorist: A Festschrift for Neil V. Rosenberg.
St. John’s: Memorial University Folklore and Language Publications,
David A. Taylor
- Georg Jensen Jewelry. New Haven & London: Yale
University Press for the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative
Design and Culture, 2005.
- Several reviews and articles in the February/March, April/May,
June/July and August/September issues of Dirty Linen Magazine, the
magazine of folk and world music. Winick is a contributing editor.
American Folklife Center Reference Transactions
For the dates:
October 1, 2004 through September 30, 2005
|FORMS OF CONTACT
|Items (containers) served to readers
|Publications given out
|Translations provided to patrons
Acquisitions statistics for both AFC and VHP are estimates. AFC’s
estimate is simply a count of the materials known to have been acquired
in FY05. Since some new acquisitions require a period of time before they
are counted and cataloged, AFC does not yet have numbers on many of our
FY05 acquisitions, and the numbers below are probably very low.
VHP’s estimate is based on the number of collections acquired in
FY05 and the average content of the collections that they have processed
in their history. Since the nature of VHP collections is substantially
uniform, this is likely to provide an accurate estimate. Since AFC’s
collections vary more widely in content, this method would likely not produce
a close estimate.
Like most libraries, AFC’s acquisitions are moving from analog to
digital. This year’s numbers reflect the acquisition of more digital
files and fewer analog items than last year’s for AFC. In the following
list, materials that come as digital files are listed under “Digital
Files,” whether the content is text, audio, video, or still image.
This produces a different kind of count, since a single digital file may
contain (for example) 10, 000 manuscript pages, one photograph, or one
hour of audio.
Since VHP deals so heavily with World War II era materials and audio recordings
of oral histories, they still receive primarily analog collections.
American Folklife Center
|Other Print Materials (pamphlets and ephemera):
Veterans History Project
These collections are technically part of the
American Folklife Center, but generally counted separately.
(discs and CDs containing documents):
Veterans History Project Reference
Since reference service for this collection is handled by two separate
staffs (folklife reading room and VHP) some of these numbers are
reflected in the general reference statistics above. The numbers below
questions handled exclusively by the VHP staff, not the AFC reference
Total Reference: 396
Total Directionals: 60