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Library of Congress
The Library of Congress - More Than a Library
Conservator of National Traditions

Our nation's rich diversity is preserved and made available in our American Folklife Center. The center celebrates America's cultural heritage in its collections of oral histories and recordings of musicians, writers and storytellers-from the famous performer to the everyday citizen.

The collections of the American Folklife Center include Native American song and dance; ancient English ballads; the stories of ex-slaves, told while still vivid in the minds of those who endured one of the most harrowing periods of American history; firsthand accounts of community events from every state; and international collections from every region of the world.

All of these images, sounds, written accounts and many more items of cultural history await researchers at the Center's Archive of Folk Culture, where more than 4,000 collections, assembled by Center staff over the years embody the heart and soul of our national traditional life and the cultural life of communities from many regions of the world.

The Folklife Center is also home to the Veterans History Project, which honors our nation's war veterans for their service by collecting their stories and experiences and preserving them at the Library. The U.S. Congress created the Veterans History Project in legislation signed into law in October 2000. Public Law 106-380 calls upon the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress to collect and preserve audio- and videotaped oral histories, along with documentary materials such as letters, diaries, maps, photographs, and home movies, of America's war veterans and those who served in support of them.