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 home >> about the center >> annual reports >> 2003 annual report

American Folklife Center Annual Report for 2003

Peggy A. Bulger, Director

Board of Trustees

New American Folklife Center board members this year include Marlene Meyerson, from New Mexico, appointed by Congress; Kojo Nnamdi, from Washington, D.C., appointed by the Librarian; and Tom Bowman, from the Department of Veterans Affairs, appointed by President Bush. Among board activities this year was the completion of a Governance Policy Statement outlining board procedures for working with the AFC director and staff. The board met, January 23-24 and May 21-22, at the Library of Congress, and on September 24-26 at the Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury, Vermont. The itinerary for the fall meeting included a visit to the studios of several granite carvers, in Barre, Vermont; a tour of a nearby cemetery, where their works were in place; a presentation at the home of Russell Snow of four Vermont folk artists; and an evening visit to the Shelburne Museum, south of Burlington.

Public Programs

The Archive of Folk Culture: Seventy-fifth Anniversary Year. The Archive of American Folk-Song, now the Archive of Folk Culture in the American Folklife Center (AFC) was founded in the Library of Congress seventy-five years ago, July 1, 1928. The Folk Archive was the brainchild of Carl Engel, head of the Music Division, and the Archive's first head, Robert W. Gordon. The AFC was engaged in a number of events and activities commemorating the event, including regular notice in Folklife Center News and at public programs throughout the year; a special concert by Odetta (November 13, 2003); the creation of an "Illustrated Guide to the American Folklife Center," with accompanying compact disc of sound recordings from the Archive selected by the reference staff (forthcoming, 2004); several panel sessions at the American Folklore Society meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and an open house planned for December 2003.

Concerts and Other Public Events

October 7: English folklorist Georgina Boyes delivered a lecture entitled "Leading the Field: James Madison Carpenter and Maud Karpeles, Pioneering Collectors of Folklore in England and North America."

October 8: The New Hampshire contradance group "Old New England," with 2002 National Heritage Fellow Bob McQuillen and contradance caller Mary DesRosiers.

October 9: Folklife specialist Ann Hoog gave a "Gallery Talk" on the AFC collection material gathered in connection with September 11, 2001.

October 12: At the second annual National Book Festival, the AFC produced a Storytelling Pavilion with performers: Antonia Sacre, the Georgia Sea Island Singers, Chuna McIntyre, Peter Cook, Cambodian American Heritage dance troupe, Waddie Mitchell, Roslyn Bresnick-Perry, Tom Weakley, and the Deaf performance group the Wild Zappers. In addition, the Veterans History Project sponsored an information table in the Library's Pavilion, and Peggy Bulger interviewed retired congressman Sam Gibbons about his war-time experiences.

November 6: Anthony McCann, postdoctoral research fellow at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, presented a lecture entitled "Beyond the Commons: Intellectual Property and the Masks of Disclosure."

November 7: Pinetop Perkins (originally from Mississippi) was featured in a concert by the Bob Margolin Band, from Chicago, Illinois.

November 13: The Cellicion Traditional Zuni Dancers, from New Mexico.

December 3: A reception in the Great Hall to celebrate the December 26 broadcast of a documentary film produced by the History Channel "Save Our History: Save Our Sounds." The program portrayed the audio preservation work underway at the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution to preserve and digitize selected recordings from their collections.

March 4: Editors Heid E. Erdrich and Laura Tohe discussed their book Sister Nation: Native American Women Writers on Community (University of Minnesota Press, 2002).

April 10: John Michael Vlach, professor of anthropology and American studies, The George Washington University, gave an illustrated lecture in celebration of Barns, the inaugural publication of the Norton/Library of Congress Visual Sourcebooks in Architecture, Design and Engineering series.

April 21: Documentary photographer Rob Amberg presented an illustrated lecture based on his book Sodom Laurel Album, a visual and oral history of a rural mountain community in Madison County, North Carolina, and one family, steeped in the tradition of the region.

April 23: Irish music and dance, featuring legendary accordion player Joe Derrane, instrumentalist John McGann (guitar and mandolin), sean nos singer Bridget Fitzgerald, and two step dancers from the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance, Silver Spring, Maryland.

April 30: Anthony Barrand, professor of anthropology at Boston University, presented an illustrated lecture "But American for a Morris Dance!" in the Montpelier Room.

May 1: "Bringing in the May," featuring five Morris dancing groups from the Washington region: the Foggy Bottom Morris Men, Rock Creek Morris Women, Shepherdstown Northwest Clog Morris, Arlington Morris Girls, and Potomac Morris Men. The program was narrated by Anthony Barrand.

May 21: Halau o na Maolipua, from Oahu, Hawaii, in a program of mele hula.

June 18: The Cajun band Charivari, from Louisiana.

July 10: The bluegrass band The Seldom Scene, from the Washington, D.C., area.

July 16: The Minnesota Scandinavia Ensemble and Becky Weis, Nordic music from the upper Midwest.

August 7: Mariachi Los Amigos, based in Washington, D.C.

August 20: Robert Turner and the Silver Heart Gospel Singers from Indianapolis, Indiana..

September 11: Little Bit of Blues, featuring Warner Williams and Jay Summerour, from the Washington, D.C., area.

Education and Documentation Projects

Field Documentation Training School. June 13 to July 3, the AFC conducted a field school in Crisfield and Salisbury, Maryland, in conjunction with Salisbury University and the Ward Museum for Waterfowl Art. Student projects focused on Crisfield, a maritime community in transition.

Montana Heritage Project. The very successful Montana Heritage Project, now in its eighth year, is a model for several other state projects in Arizona and Utah. On May 16, four students in the project, one teacher, and one school librarian, along with project director Michael Umphrey, visited the Library of Congress for a meeting with the Librarian and a tour of the Geography and Map Division and the American Folklife Center. On September 9, Peggy Bulger attended a meeting of the Executive Board of the Montana Heritage Project, in Helena, Montana.

Arizona Heritage Project. In June and September, AFC staff made site visits to attend the first summer institute of the Arizona Heritage Project, in St. Johns, Arizona, and meet with staff and teachers engaged in the project. Under the terms of an amendment that has been added to the partnership agreement between the AFC and the Salt River Project, AFC and SRP will continue to refine and develop the Arizona Heritage Project's in-schools program until December 2004.

StoryCorps Project. The AFC has entered into a partnership with StoryCorps, a national project of Sound Portraits, Inc., New York, New York, to gather oral histories to be used in radio programming. The Archive of Folk Culture will become the repository for the "born digital" documentary materials collected by the project.

Veterans History Project

The Veterans History Project (VHP) was established by Congress in October 2000 charging the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress to collect the stories of veterans from World War I, World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf wars. The project staff has received stories from thousands of individuals and continues to publicize the project to the millions of veterans and affiliated civilians. Since VHP acquisitions come from volunteers providing oral interviews and other materials, the acquisitions strategy relies heavily on publicity generated by events focusing on the importance of the nation's veterans.

A key component of the Veterans History Project is the 170-plus select "partner archives" nationwide that choose to--and have the proper facilities to--preserve and provide public access to the materials. This "branch library" component of the project enables local repositories to participate actively in the project as partners, yet retain their collections rather than send them to the Library of Congress, as do the majority of the VHP's 800-plus partner organizations. Reasons for this arrangement include pride in local history, and ease of access. Partner archives agree to provide the American Folklife Center's Veterans History Project with full descriptive data about veterans for whom they retain interviews and other personal accounts of wartime; this data becomes part of the VHP 's holdings database, which thus functions as a union catalog. To date, over 700 collections are retained by partner archives around the country.

The VHP Web site receives five to ten thousand hits daily with significant spikes during commemorative dates. For instance, the VHP Web site logged over fifty-thousand hits around Memorial Day. The National Registry of Service made available on Veterans Day, 2002, lists individual interviewees and pertinent information such as their branch and years of service. Under the White House Conference topic of "American History, Civics, and Service," the Veterans History Project was one of the Library units selected to feature Web highlights from its collection under the heading "Courage, Patriotism, Community." On Memorial Day 2003, twenty-four notable collections featuring "courage," "patriotism," and "community" were shown for the first time on the "Experiencing War" exhibit site on VHP's main Web page. Quarterly additions will be made to the site. These fully digitized collections of audiotape, videotape, letters, photos, and memoirs can now be seen and heard in their entirety, along with interpretive captions to contextualize these displays.

The Veterans History Project was able to highlight the contributions of veterans belonging to the various groups celebrated by the Library in keeping with other federal agencies: On October 1, 2002, the Hispanic Heritage Month Program speaker was U.S. Rep. Joe Baca, and on September 29, 2003, the speaker was filmmaker Sonya Rhee discussing her PBS documentary film "Soldados: Chicanos in Vietnam." On February 10, 2003, the African American History Month Program featured Renee Poussaint, Executive Director and Co-Founder, National Visionary Leadership Project. On March 24, 2003, the Women's History Month Program: "Salute to Women," was a show-and-tell presentation of women's materials from the collections and VHP Web site tour by VHP staff. On Mary 1, 2003, Francis Y. Sogi, Five Star Council Member spoke at the Asian-Pacific Islander Heritage Month Program.

Other events included:

October 12, 2002: VHP staffed tables and computers in the LC Pavilion at the National Book Festival and presented a demonstration interview with Five Star Council member Sam Gibbons.

November 11, 2002: At the Veterans Day Program, Sacramento, California, the VHP joined AARP California and other California partners in showcasing the VHP to the California media and launching the involvement of AARP volunteers there. The morning program included Library of Congress, AARP, and community speakers. It was followed by a working luncheon where VHP partners and potential partners shared information and successful techniques for carrying out the Project.

May 2, 2003: At the VHP Partner Meeting and the Five Star Council Meeting, Council members met with the VHP director and staff to discuss the scope of the Project, outreach, preservation and other topics of concern and interest. VHP welcomed approximately ninety-nine representatives from seventy-three official partner organizations in 24 states to the Library for the annual VHP partner meeting. Many of the participants toured D.C. war memorials in the morning, and all attendees convened for luncheon with Five Star Council members and spent the afternoon in a plenary session and breakout groups.

May 22, 2003: In connection with the Library of Congress's Bob Hope 100th Birthday Tribute, VHP conducted demonstration interviews with USO performers Tony Hope, Patty Thomas, and Fayard Nicholas as part of the Library's evening performance to celebrate Hope's 100th birthday.

June 6, 2003: The Atlanta D-Day Program co-sponsored with AARP Georgia, was held at the Atlanta History Center, Atlanta, Georgia. Speakers included the Governor of Georgia, the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, several AARP Board members, Library of Congress representatives, and a panel of D-Day veterans from Georgia. A VHP Partner, the Atlanta History Center announced a new program to hold weekly open houses to collect Georgia veterans' stories.

June 17, 2003: National History Day Teachers Meeting. Veterans History Project presentations and training workshop for NHD teachers.

June 18, 2003: A program to announce the acquisition of World War II veteran Tracy Sugarman's collection of wartime drawings, paintings, and letters was jointly sponsored with the Prints and Photographs Division.

July 16, 2003: At a National D-Day Museum Program VHP staffed a table at the reception following the screening of "The Burma Bridge Busters," a film by Steven Spielberg. The event was sponsored by the National D-Day Museum, a VHP partner.

July 26, 2003: The VHP staffed a table at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C. prior to a special performance held on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice.

September 7-9, 2003: The VHP attended the AARP member event "Life @50+." VHP staffed two exhibit booths, made stage presentations on the floor of the exhibition hall, and conducted on-site interviews.

Preservation and Archival Projects

Save Our Sounds Audio Preservation Project. This project is now in its third year and considerable progress has been made on all of the eight collections earmarked for digitization. In partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, the project is funded by a federal grant from the National Park Service that has required a one-to-one match of funding from non-federal sources. During FY 2003, the AFC entirely matched its share of the federal funding ($285,000). Work on the individual collections to date includes:

Eloise Hubbard Linscott Collection: Approximately 460 sound recordings, 6,000 pages of manuscript, and 100 photographs, as well as one association copy of Linscott's book have been digitized and all data has been entered for each item. The collection is now accessible to researchers via computer terminals in the AFC reading room.

American Dialect Society: All intellectual and administrative data has been entered in the metadata database; approximately 400 discs have been digitized out of 800 discs total.

Don Yoder Collection: All spools of wire have been transferred to analog preservation tape, and two spools, along with their archival notes and an image of the spool box, have undergone digitization. All metadata has been entered for the collection.

International Storytelling Collection: The collection has been arranged, described, and housed; data has been entered for most of the items in preparation for digitization. Equipment has been ordered for in-house digitization of 1,000 sound recordings from the collection.

James Madison Carpenter Collection: Over 13,000 pages of manuscripts and 560 photographs have been digitized. Contracts have been prepared for the digitization of 160 cylinders and two cylinders have been digitized as part of a test for the collection.

Eleanor Dickinson Collection: All 180 videotapes have been digitized, and data has been entered on a database for all items in the collection.

Zuni Storytelling Collection: Data has been entered in the database for all items, and 6 of the 200 tapes have been digitized.

Pearl Harbor Collection: All items in this collection have been digitized, all data entered, and the collection is now completely accessible as an American Memory site.

The project has used or obligated non-federal matching funds as follows to perform grant-assisted work during the interim period:

Category Obligated
cash $46,797.00
labor and services 0.00
materials 0.00
Total $79,536.00
Cumulative total to date $226,002.00

Contributions to the project have been made by Peggy Bulger, David Kleiman, and the Nathan M. Orbach Foundation/The Tides Foundation. AFC's Save Our Sounds project team were this year's winner of the Rex Foundation's Ralph J. Gleason Award for $10,000, which was used for preserving the AFC's Zuni Storytelling Collection.

Ethnographic Thesaurus. In July 2003, the American Folklife Center's Ethnographic Thesaurus Project, in partnership with the American Folklore Society, submitted a grant proposal to the Mellon Foundation for funding to continue work on the project. During the past year, two new members have joined the project's Task Force: Laurel Sercombe, archivist, University of Washington Ethnomusicology Archives replaced music archivist Jerry McBride; and Robert S. Leopold, anthropologist and archival information manager at the National Anthropological Archives at the Smithsonian Institution, replaced museum archivist Carrie Beauchamp.

Major Acquisitions

Anthony G. "Tony" Barrand, associate professor of anthropology at Boston University, donated the Anthony G. Barrand American Morris-, Sword-, and Clog-Dancing Collection, which includes videotapes and films in various formats, photographic prints and transparencies, manuscripts, research files, posters, programs, a collection inventory, and a searchable database, all concerning the history, choreography, and performance of Morris, sword, and clog dances in the United States. Barrand has researched and documented these dances for over thirty years. Apart from his academic work, Barrand is an internationally known singer of traditional British songs (with singing partner John Roberts), and a dancer, dance teacher, and teller of recitations.

Pete and Toshi Seeger of Beacon, New York, have donated the Pete and Toshi Seeger Film Collection, which consists of numerous films documenting traditional music, dance, crafts, games, and other aspects of world folk culture. The films include some shot by the Seegers during a world tour, as well as documentary films shot by other filmmakers. Included in the latter category is rare newsreel footage of Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter.

King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, has donated the George Korson Collection to the American Folklife Center, in order to ensure that the collection materials receive proper care and appropriate use. The collection comprises the life's work of prominent folklorist George Korson (1899-1967). Korson achieved particular recognition for research and writing about the cultural traditions of Pennsylvania, especially the music and lore of coal miners. His books Songs and Ballads of the Anthracite Miners, Minstrels of the Coal Patch, and Coal Dust on the Fiddle are especially important contributions. In 1946, he directed a field research project for the Library of Congress that documented the songs of Pennsylvania miners. This resulted in the Library of Congress record album Songs and Ballads of the Anthracite Miners (1947), which Korson edited. Korson also edited the Library of Congress album Songs and Ballads of the Bituminous Miners (1965). The Korson collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, fieldnotes, song texts and tunes, original sound recordings made in the field, photographs, publications, and ephemera.

Veterans History Project (VHP) receipts passed the four thousand mark in December 2002, and reached ten thousand by the end of September 2003. Individual items currently amount to over forty thousand. Official partners numbered more than five hundred in December and over eight hundred in September 2003. With newly donated VHP collections reaching a rate of 125 per week, many rich collections are accumulating. Groups of materials have been received from many interviewer/documenters, including: Judith Kent (Flagler County Library, Palm Coast, Florida), Don Byers and Scotty Springston (Virginia Air and Space Center, Hampton, Virginia), Mary Adams Martin (Rochester, Minnesota), and Fred Wallace, (AARP, Atlanta, Georgia). One individual collection of note, the Tracy Sugarman Collection, was acquired in cooperation with the Library's Prints and Photographs Division in June 2003. Sugarman, a U.S. naval officer in England and Europe during World War II, donated his three hundred-plus wartime letters to his wife, June, to the VHP, and his ninety-three drawings and watercolor and oil paintings to the Prints and Photographs Division.

Processing and Arrearage Reduction

During fiscal year 2003, the AFC had three and the Veterans History Project had five permanent processing technicians in addition to temporary and/or summer help to work on arrearage, an improvement from previous years when primarily temporary workers processed collection materials. Two full-time permanent technicians have resigned, however. New collections continue to arrive, and twenty-six collections are in various stages of processing. The Veterans History Project now includes more than 10,000 collections. The processing of Joel Halpern, Dunaway/Seeger, Leadbelly/Lomax, Julie McCullough/Folklore Society of Greater Washington, Todd-Sonkin Migrant Workers, Anne and Frank Warner, and Sam Eskin collections have been completed, pending review of draft collection guides. As part of the Save Our Sounds project, the American Dialect Society, James Carpenter, Eleanore Dickinson, Eloise Linscott, Zuni Storytelling, and Donn Yoder collections are being digitized and processed simultaneously. The processing and arrearage reduction efforts will be greatly enhanced by the forthcoming appointments of a new cataloger and two new processing technicians.

The Veterans History Project is too new to have an official arrearage. Since it began in 2000, its incoming collections have been reviewed, processed, and made accessible within six months of receipt. At current rates--125 new collections per week--the VHP processing team is able to adhere to the six-month turnaround schedule. As acquisition rates increase, either the processing team will grow in number or the team will prioritize processing based on the quality and content of submission and preservation requirements.

Number of Reference Queries

  Reference Directional
In-Person 1,804 1,269
Telephone Service 1,707 1,051
Email Service 1,857 508
Letters, fax 291 75

Digital Projects

American Memory Presentations. Courage, Patriotism, Community includes a presentation of the American Folklife Center's Local Legacies Project and "Experiencing War," a selection of materials collected through the Center's Veterans History Project was put on the Internet. An expanded version of the Center's presentation of the World War II "Man-on-the-Street Interviews" has been put online as an American Memory project: After the Day of Infamy: The "Man On the Street" Interviews.

New pages on the AFC Web site

The revised version of the publication Folklife and Fieldwork: A Layman's Introduction to Field Techniques.

A tribute to Alan Lomax titled "Alan Lomax, 1915-2002"

"The New Yellow Ribbon Tradition" pages provide two articles by Gerald E. Parsons Jr. on the emergence of the custom of wearing or displaying yellow ribbons.

The top pages in the AFC site have been revised to include coding that will make them more efficient to search and maintain. This process is continuing with pages lower down in the site hierarchy.

The process of encoding new cross-collection topical finding aids for the Web and converting those in ASCII text to HTML has been streamlined by reference staff by creating and using a Dreamweaver template. Converting the ASCII texts already online to HTML makes these texts fully searchable by the Library's Web site search engine, as well as commercial Internet search engines. In addition, interns and volunteers assisted reference this year by re-keying topical finding aids that were not in a word-processing format. Some of these older guides have been updated by interns as well. A similar template is being developed for converting word-processed or ASCII text collection guides to HTML. Twenty-three new finding aids were added to the Center's Web site. Twenty one finding aids already online were updated from ASCII text to HTML. Both categories are listed below.

New Finding Aids Online This Year

African Material in the Archive of Folk Culture
Benelux Collections (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg) in the Archive of Folk Culture
Cuban and Cuban American Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
Finnish and Finnish American Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
The Harold C. Conklin Philippine Collection
Indiana Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
The Joel Martin Halpern Collection
Maryland Field Recordings in the Archive of Folk Culture
Michigan Material in the Archive of Folk Culture
New Jersey Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
North Dakota Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
Pennsylvania Field Recordings in the Archive of Folk Culture
Principal Collections of Field Recordings in the Archive of Folk Culture Which Contain Negro Spirituals
Recordings made in Louisiana and by Selected Louisiana Performers in the Archive of Folk Culture
Sea Shanties and Sailors' Songs: A Preliminary Guide to Recordings in the Archive of Folk Song
South Asian Recordings in the Archive of Folk Culture
Street Cries, Auction Chants, and Carnival Pitches and Routines in the Recorded Collections of the Archive of Folk Culture
Utah Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
Virginia Folklore in the Archive of Folk Culture: Field Recordings
Washington Field Recordings in the Archive of Folk Culture
Welsh and Welsh American Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
West Virginia Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
The Working in Paterson Project Collection

Converted from Online ASCII texts to HTML

Alaska Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture (sept 2002 not reported)
A List of Fiddlers on Field Recordings in the Archive of Folk Song
A Selected Listing of English-Language Folksongs of the United States Sung by Children in the Recorded Collections of the Archive of Folk Song
The Art Rosenbaum/Georgia Folklore Collection
Boatbulding Documentation in the Archive of Folk Culture
Brazil Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
Colorado Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
Iowa Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
Kentucky Recordings in the Archive of Folk Culture
Mexico Recordings in the Archive of Folk Culture
Minnesota Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
Ohio Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
Oregon Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
Puerto Rico Recordings in the Archive of Folk Culture
Recordings of Slave Narratives and Related Materials in the Archive of Folk Culture
Robert Winslow Gordon Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
South Carolina Field Recordings in the Archive of Folk Culture
Tales of the Supernatural
World War II Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
Zora Neale Hurston Recordings, Manuscripts, and Ephemera in the Library of Congress

International Outreach

American Folklife Center Participation in International Meetings. AFC staff represented the American Folklife Center and the folklore professional community at a number of international meetings this year. On December 5-7, David Taylor attended the UNESCO conference "Protecting the Cultural and Natural Heritage in the Western Hemisphere: Lessons from the Past, Looking to the Future," at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. On December 9-11, Peggy Bulger and Michael Taft attended the Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore, World Intellectual Property Organization, in Geneva, Switzerland, as members of the U.S. delegation.

International and Domestic Professional Visitors. Foreign visitors to the American Folklife Center from libraries and other cultural agencies and organizations outside the United States included: On October 2, twelve museum directors from Russia; on November 7, ten American studies specialists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia; on February 13, three cultural specialists from Moldova; on March 21, the editor-in-chief of French Programs, Moroccan Radio and Television, Morocco; on June 24, ten librarians from Thailand; on June 24, the head of the folklore archives at Université Laval, Quebec, Canada; on September 11, six librarians from Croatia; and on September 30, twelve librarians from Russia.

Visitors from libraries and other cultural agencies and organizations within the United States included: On October 11, twenty-five library science students from the School of Information and Library Science, The Pratt Institute, New York; on November 26, thirty-five school librarians from Brooklyn, New York; on February 6, three Native American participants in the National Archives Institute; on March 6, seven women from the National Women's Division of the American Committee for Shaare Zedek Jerusalem Medical Center; on June 12, five librarians and archivists who were participating in the Modern Archives Institute; on July 17, 18 and 21, three Nevada folklorists..

Print Publications

The revised third edition of Folklife and Fieldwork was printed in December 2002, and the popular booklet is once again available for free distribution.

The fall 2002 issue of Folklife Center News published articles on the Montana Heritage Project, by Michael Umphrey; Oral Tradition at the Library of Congress, by James Hardin; and A Brief History of Chinese Puppetry, by Nora Yeh. The winter 2003 issue of Folklife Center News was published articles by Amanda Brown, on the Veterans History Project; David Taylor, on the acquisition of the Aaron Ziegelman Foundation Collection; Michael Taft, on the WIPO conference in Geneva; and James Hardin and Michael Taft, on the History Channel documentary on the Save Our Sounds project. The spring issue of Folklife Center News published an article by James Hardin on the Archive of Folk Culture, which was founded seventy-five years ago, on July 1, 1928. The summer issue of Folklife Center News published an interview with National Park Service Director Fran Mainella, conducted by David Taylor and James Hardin (which the Park Service will put on their Web site "Inside NPS"); an article on the James Madison Carpenter Collection and the Anthony G. Barrand Collection of Morris, Sword, and Clog Dancing, by Jennifer Cutting; and a notice on the Rounder Records reissue in compact disc format of the AFC's historic field recordings.

Appropriated, Gift, and Trust Funds

The appropriated budget for the American Folklife Center (apart from the Veterans History Project), for fiscal year 2003, was $2,693,000. Salaries amounted to $1,750,000 of that amount.

American Folklife Center gift and trust funds continue to suffer from a decline in the value of investments in the stock market, and there has been little activity in the funds this year. On January 28, the governing committee of the Parsons Fund for Ethnography held its annual January meeting and re-elected Ann Hoog chair. Initially the committee was unable to offer an award from the fund, but at a later meeting, March 10, Hoog announced that donations made by Peggy Parsons and Judith Gray made possible an award of up to $1,500 to be made in May. On April 30, the Parsons Fund Committee voted to award $900 to Nicole Saylor for her project to create Web pages presenting Sidney Robertson Cowell's fieldwork in Wisconsin.

Fund Title Balance
Raye Virginia Allen Fund $49,341
Blanton Owen Fund for Fieldwork $16,541
Parsons Fund for Ethnography $29,569
Henry Reed Fund for Folk Artists $32,708
Veterans History Project $466,351
Veterans History Project DAV $50,000
American Folklife Center Gift Fund $59,131
AFC/Save Our Sounds Various Donors $59,000
SOS/Smithsonian $73,243
SOS/NARAS $34,197
Friends of the Folk Archive $56,000
Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Fund $21,000

Key Personnel Changes

On October 11, Mary Hufford resigned her position as a folklife specialist in order to continue with her work on the graduate faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. Hufford has been on leave-without-pay for a year.

On December 1, Michael Taft was appointed to the position of supervisory librarian (head of the Archive of Folk Culture).

On June 15, Ellen McCulloch-Lovell was appointed director of the Veterans History Project.

On August 4, Ilana Harlow began work at the AFC as a folklife specialist.

On August 25, Guha Shankar began work at the AFC as a folklife specialist.


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