The Seeger family collections reflect the family's long association with the Library of Congress, beginning in the 1930s and continuing today.
American Folklife Center
Seeger family members have contributed to or are documented in 58 collections in the American Folklife Center's (AFC) Archive of Folk Culture. These collections contain thousands of pages of manuscripts and nearly 1,100 sound recordings, photographs and videos. The majority of the sound recordings represent the Seeger family as collectors and documentarians of other musical traditions, while approximately 30 percent of the recordings feature the Seegers as performers or lecturers.
In 2003, the AFC acquired the film collection of Pete and Toshi Seeger—hundreds of reels of film footage shot between 1955 and 1965 in the United States and abroad. The collection includes Pete's demonstration of how to play the five-string banjo; performances by Odetta (also named a Living Legend by the Librarian of Congress), Ralph Rinzler, Elizabeth Cotton, Bill Broonzy, Sonny Terry and others; and documentary footage from Pete and Toshi's 1963-64 world tour to Australia, Indonesia, Japan, India, Ghana, Nigeria, Ukraine, England and Ireland. The films are being transferred to preservation format by the Library's Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, and eventually will be available to the public on DVD for research in the Folklife Reading Room.
— Todd Harvey, American Folklife Center
The Seeger Collection in the Music Division contains a rich mix of papers and music manuscripts that document the lives and careers of Charles Seeger and Ruth Crawford Seeger and their family. For both Charles and Ruth, the collection holds correspondence and other papers from family members, friends and professional colleagues. Each is represented by holograph music manuscripts.
Papers relating to Charles's musicological research include his melographs and transcriptions of the folksong "Barbara Allen," among other topics. Diaries, journals and literary manuscripts offer wonderful glimpses into Ruth's girlhood, while her mature compositions, along with clippings, programs and materials relating to her book "Folksongs for Children," provide documentation of her professional career.
The Music Division's Seeger Collection also holds materials relating to Pete, Mike and especially Peggy Seeger, who has donated a wide range of papers, music manuscripts and memorabilia relating to her life as a singer, songwriter and activist.
— Elizabeth Auman, Music Division